This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at where I cover more geeky topics. Please do leave comments on what you read or use the Contact Me form to send me an email with your thoughts and ideas.

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Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces Task for this week.... 

As a part of my participation in the online social networking workshop Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces ( ), I have been tasked to do some online story telling, so I have chosen to copy Steve Wheeler ( ... -tell.html ) and Blog my story.

So to start here's the task:

Tell us about about your first approach towards learning technologies or that first experience that comes to mind. In other words, tell us your story on how it all started. It doesn't matter whether you are beginners or experienced users of web 2.0 tools, once we start working online, we automatically start developing an online identity. Here are some questions you may use to guide you on your story:

1. How did it all start?
2. What were you thinking?
3. What did you want to achieve?
4. Did you succeed?
5. Where did it take you?
6.How has your perspective changed throughout the years, months, or days?

My Story...

So compared to my colleagues on the 6 week workshop, I have an odd background. By that I mean that I am not in “academia”; I am a Judo coach. So learning technologies in Judo is very different I think to in education.

I suppose my story starts in Napier, New Zealand (The Art Deco city) back in the mid 1990s. I moved there as a computer geek and it was about then I started my first website. I don't recall why, except I knew the then very much smaller internet was “cool”.
My little website was a collection of Judo training games and drills. Which was I suppose my first attempt at using technology to educate. My first attempt at sharing knowledge with the international Judo community.

I recall that one of the “highs” of that site was receiving my first game from someone else. A Judo coach in Sweden sent his favourite Judo game for helping kids learn Judo. I added it to the list and it was such a huge buzz to be adding other peoples knowledge to mine and sharing it.

Since then that website has morphed and changed and become this website ( That original list of kids games is no longer the focus but the site still has the list hidden away somewhere. :-) The list itself I know is popular as the games have been used by coaches worldwide now, sometimes attributed, mostly not. It is flattering to see my games on DVDs and in Books; but Judo people really need to learn copyright law or etiquette.

The simple list of games, has led me to all sorts of wonderful things. I am proud to be as far as I have been able to tell, the first Judo blogger. It brought me into different circles of Judo people and is the reason I got into the University of Bath FdSc and Bsc degree courses (and possibly a PHD next believe it or not!!). I have a Judo Podcast too, which has allowed me to meet (virtually only often) some of the biggest names in the sport and share their knowledge with an entire planet of Judo people. I have also become a Keynote lecturer at University of Bath, my Father who survived my rebellious teens must be swooning every time he things about his “Judo Bum” son actually having an education and now teaching!

Whenever, I think about it my head swells!

In terms of my perspective over the years I have been doing this, it has changed immensely. I become more aware of my naivety each day. I also become more aware of the fact that technology has a huge potential to change and improve the way people learn and possibly more importantly how they think about Judo.

I am more aware than ever in 2009 that I have so much to learn and increasingly from outside of the Judo world. Which brings me nicely to this Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces workshop; which has nothing to do with Judo at all. Well... depending on your point of view. To me I think it is absolutely linked to my Judo life. I think that the more I learn about education and technology for education, then the more I can integrate into the Judo universe both for myself and for others.

So that is my rambling story, my geek career and Judo careers have merged and the child of that merger is my formal education. The merger of my geek, Judo and education facets is me branching out into things like this workshop.


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Structured Warm-Ups prevent injuries in training and competition. 

In a recent article in the BMJ (BMJ 2008;337:a2469 ), research (Soligard et al., 2008)⁠ was published showing that structured warmups prevent injury in both competition and practice sessions.

This study in Football (Soccer), suggest that a sport specific structured warmup of 20 minutes decreased the incidence of injury in athletes. The warmup included gentle running, increasing in intensity. It also involved sport specific rapid direction changing drills etc. the focus being on “awareness and neuromuscular control during active movements”(Brooks & Erith, 2008)⁠.

As Judo coaches, what is the take away?

This study suggests that we should be running structured warmups of around 20 minutes prior to training sessions. The days of the “hey you guys warm up, have a stretch and let me know when you are good to go” are gone.

The warm-up used in this study was a three part warmup.
1.Running exercises at slow speeds combined with active stretching.
2.Exercises including jumping, balance and strength exercises (3 levels of difficulty).
3.Speed running with football specific movements including sudden changes of direction.

The study showed “the risk of severe injuries, overuse injuries, and injuries overall was reduced.”.

Within Judo injuries to the knees, shoulders and fingers/toes are common (Daniel Barsottini, Guimarães, & de Morais, 2006)⁠, with Seoi Nage, Taio Otoshi and Uchi Mata being the main culprits. With this in mind, it would be sensible to ensure that a Judo specific structured warmup would include drills specific to these joints and these techniques.

It is also perhaps worth noting that the structured warmup used in the study, was provided by the international governing body for football Fifa. Perhaps the IJF could look into providing this sort of resource to the international Judo community.

Perhaps some of my colleagues (one in particular springs to mind), could be commissioned to produce such a resource on behalf of the IJF? And if not the IJF, perhaps for the EJU or BJA?

Brooks, J. H. M., & Erith, S. J. (2008). Warm-up programmes in sport. BMJ, 337(dec09_2), a2381. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a2381.

Daniel Barsottini, I., Guimarães, A. E., & de Morais, P. R. (2006). Relationship between techniques and injuries among judo practitioners. Rev Bras Med Esporte, 12(1).

Soligard, T., Myklebust, G., Steffen, K., Holme, I., Silvers, H., Bizzini, M., et al. (2008). Comprehensive warm-up programme to prevent injuries in young female footballers: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 337(dec09_2), a2469. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a2469.
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Demonstration of the new IJF rules. 

I spotted this YouTube video on the website. It's important that we all understand the way the rules will be applied, so watching a video from an IJF A referee is a great opportunity.

For those of you who see this via an RSS feed and/or can't see the video here is the link to the youtube site:

Mike, Gene and I discussed the rules on their awesome podcast over at which will be online soon.

I have some other resources I have yet to receive, I'll post about them once I have taken a look.
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BJA grading Sylabus, thumbs up. 

The BJA has done something really right (in my opinion anyway).

They have developed a completely new grading syllabus and have put all the information online so you can see.

So, if you visit: you can find all the details.

There is basically three types of grades;
Mon, Kyu and Dan grades.

The new syllabus has some good guidance and a nice easy form for use by examiners, coaches, players to ensure they have met all the criteria.

As for the syllabus, there is a big input from Andrew Moshanov and has ruffled many feathers. It certainly does not follow the Go Kyo.

I have mixed feeling on it myself. I have spoken with Andrew about the intentions and I think I understand it. If it's a good idea... time will tell.

Take a look and let me know what you think of it.


[ view entry ] ( 1803 views ) permalink Update 

Hi all,
I just wanted to post a quick update on what has been happening on the website I run. is a blog aggregator, which means all the content on the site comes from other sites via RSS feeds. Typically these are blogs, but included are things like the British Judo Association's news feed.

I add sites to PlanetJudo as I descover them, so if you know of a site that is not included (and it has an RSS feed) please do let me know. If you run a site and it does not have an RSS feed, let me know and I can help you add one.

Recently I have made a couple of changes, which I wanted to let you know about.

Firstly, I removed the combined feed for all the Blogs on . There are a couple of reasons for this. Frstly a couple of people had been incontact with me about a couple of the blogs. Nothing sinister. The second was more sinister, this morning I noticed was featuring some spam for Ugg boots. It looks like someone created a blog on and was using it to promote those grotesque pieces of footwear!
This along with a few other minor things made me decide to remove the combined feed. I shall manually add individual blog feeds from the site when time permits.

The second thing is I modified the code that runs the site to create a cached version of the archive. It had been getting generated dynamically when people visited it, but as the number of feeds has increased it was taking too long. Now it is a static page, so it loads pretty quick. I also moved the link to the archive near the top of the side bar so more people see and use it. Initial stats tell me that it is working and poeple are using it, so I am happy.

My "and one more thing..."
I also added some more advertising to the site, basically this is to help cover costs. As more and more people visit the site the bandwidth charges are increasing.
Let me know if the adverts annoy you too much, hopefully it is not too intrusive.
By the same token a even better way to lose the adverts is to sponsor the site or make a donation towards the cause. :-)

So thats about all, I have some more changes in the pipeline for the site, and will talk about them as they become more concrete.

Thanks to everyone who uses the site, watching the usage go up and discovering people that use the site daily is a real buzz for me! It was a site I wrote to "scratch my own itch", in that I got sick of surfing all over the web to check on Judo news, so I love the fact that other people are hitting the site and finding it useful. It is now getting more hits than any of my other websites, so thanks everyone!


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