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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World Judo Masters 2008 Training - Week 32/48 

Week 32, or the week when things went wrong... again.

So last week went well and ended with me fighting in my first competition for eight years. As you could probably imagine, I was a bit sore afterwards. Unfortunately, I discovered this week I was more sore than I thought.

It would appear that I have damage to my right knee's medial meniscus. :-(

It does not seem to be a tear (phew), but rather wear and tear. However, damage is a bad sign. And will require me looking after it carefully from now on. Fairly common injury in both Judoka (I am told) and runners. ( A retrospective case-control analysis of 2002 running injuries ). So being a Judoka and running, and running whilst heavy; it is probably not a surprise that my knee is given me pain.

( )

The problem with the meniscus, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, etc. is that they do not have good bloodflow. This means that when they get hurt, they can't get the materials to repair as quickly as say a muscle. So injuries will take longer to recover from and may never be recovered from.

As a coach, you need to understand this and be aware that a seemingly minor injury in the knee, ankle or elbow needs to be treated seriously. More seriously perhaps than a more visible injury than a black eye or arguably even a bone fracture.

As a coach, one of your primary objectives is to help maintain high performance over the long-term, not just the short term. Meaning you need to minimize the impact injuries may/will have on your athletes.

Here in the UK, we are at the closing stages of the "Six Nations" Rugby Union championship. You quickly notice the news stories at this point in the proceedings are often about who will be fit enough to play. In Judo it is the same, if not worse as it is an individual sport.

Here in the UK, hopes for Judo gold lie heavily across the (recently injured) shoulders of one Craig Fallon. He apparently suffered a shoulder injury last year, much the same way that Graham Randall injured himself between winning the World Championships in Birmingham and the Sydney Olympics. Many years ago I watched Steve Corkin of my own New Zealand bow out of the Olympics when his damaged knee blew out during his second match. He destroyed his first opponent, who knows what position he might have reached that day, if his knee wasn't busted.

So, I'll be looking after this knee. I took this week off training in part by plan and partly because my knee started playing up. Fortunately, I have just come to the end of the "endurance" phase of my planning and this week was a "transition" stage before I go into a strength phase.

So the next few weeks will be strength. Specifically, I'll stay upper body primarily as this is a weak area for me at the moment and it will give my legs (knee) a break and that will hopefully help the knee recover.

Anyway, it'll be an interesting couple of weeks, I may be quite sore as I hope to relearn the ancient art of pull-ups, push-ups, push-press and more. Joy!

( Exercise clips from )
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Mr. Bean at a Judo Class. 

Here is a video I was sent via Facebook.

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World Judo Masters 2008 Training - Week 31/48 + Hampshire Closed. 

Hi everyone, a very sore and tired post for you this Sunday evening.
This week I trained quite well and finished the week by competing in the Hampshire Trials/Hampshire Closed Judo Tournament. I shall cover that at the end of the post, but first my week in training.

Monday - Judo at Paul Jones School of Judo in Basingstoke.
Tuesday - 3.3 mile run (33 Minutes avg pace 10mins/mile)
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Judo at Gosport Judo Kwai.
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 6.25 miles (1:10 avg. pace 11:13min/mile)
Sunday - Hampshire Closed Judo Tournament.

So this week training went okay, not amazing, no bad points really. The mileage is not up to my target, but it was countered by the competition. I will however need to work out how to fit more runs in so they are shorter, else the saturday run will get well over 10 miles. Judo-wise, I felt pretty good, especially on Thursday. Admittedly that was because I was pissed off and maintained a fair level of controlled aggression throughout the Randori. This helped maintain my work rate, as did Pete's verbal prodding.

Hampshire Closed.
Those of you who have been following the blog know I am following a periodized preparation plan for the World Masters in Belgium at the end of June. To date, it has been primarily aerobic development as I have been trying to develop a base and get my obesity under control. :)

So as last week was the end of my Endurance/base phase I had scheduled in a competition as a "blow the cobwebs out" test. And boy that it surely was! Although I had only three fights, I am destroyed! That said I was really pleased with my recovery between fights. An indication (I hope) that my Aerobic fitness is okay (for a fat bloater).

Unfortunately my Anaerobic systems are knackered and my upper body strength is low. But, that is basically what I expected. next week I move into a new phase which is a strength phase so that problem will be addressed.

The great thing about a competition is that it keeps you honest and gives you a reality check. The reality of my situation is that I am seriously out of shape and need to get my match fitness up.

The biggest problem I had today was that I was not moving enough or attacking enough (let alone well). The reason for this was that I didn't have enough strength and fitness to participate fully in my matches.

Doing the competition highlights the deficit and it is quite amazing how how a five minute Judo match is roughly equivalent of probably 30 minutes running at pace, more if you factor in the pain afterwards.

The big difference is the Aerobic vs. Anaerobic energy systems, Judo is tough as it needs both. You need awesome ATP systems for bursts of effort, but a match is five minutes so you need aerobic. You need great recovery between fights also.

Compare that to distance running, where you need Aerobic and well Aerobic.

Anyway, it was awesome to fight again after what about 8 years without fighting in competition. The best thing was I won!! LOL it's great to win even if it's a fluke of the draw and numbers etc.

I actually recorded myself for the podcast ( and as soon as the server comes back up (They had a technical failure and the servers been down) I shall upload it so you can listen to my quick thoughts in between fights.

Next week I am in Vietnam on business, so not sure how the training will go, but hopefully there is a decent club in Ho Chi Minh city. Anyone know of one?


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Honor Blackman doing Judo video 

The video below is of Honor Blackman (Bond Girl in GoldFinger) doing some Judo and being interviewed. I had known she had done Judo, but this is the first time I've seen actual footage, enjoy.

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Karate bigger than Judo... on Twitter at least. 

Karate - Blue, Judo - Red.

This image from the interesting website shows that the word "Karate" is used a heck of a lot more than "Judo". Is this an indicator that Karate is bigger than Judo? Or that Karateka are more technology literate than Judoka? Perhaps it shows that Karate is more popular with geeks than Judo? Maybe Just that Karate is bigger in the USA where Twitter ( ) is popular?

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