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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EJU Coaching Seminar, the 2nd Children's Training Camp. 

Here I am in Bath again, though not yet for the degree course... yet.
TeamBath are hosting an EJU Coaching Seminar, the 2nd Children's Training Camp.

Though I did not participate fully, I did have the privilege of facilitating an "unConference" which is a I.T. phenomenon which I wanted to try in a Judo context. But Before I talk about that a quick summary of what the camp has included.

1. Master-class in Schools Judo with Colin Small.
2. Tachi waza session with Matt Divall.
3. Technical Teaching System with Steve Withers.
4. The unconference with me, Lance Wicks.
5. Newaza movement with Katrina McDonald
6. Judo Games with Darren (Bob) Challis.
7. Master-class with Yuko Nakano.
8. Master-class with Matt Divall.

It is terrific to see the EJU and TeamBath hosting a two day event focussed on kids judo, after all a majority of most Judo associations are junior members.

For my part I ran the unConference, which lasted all morning (9am - about 12:25).
Now an unconference is something we do in the computer geek world, without going into details a unconference is an informal meeting of like minded people within a formal conference.

The session started with "Speed Dating", in which people got 3 minutes to meet another person and learn their name, their favourite kids TV show and talk about something Judo oriented.
After 3 minutes people rotated and repeated the process. It is a nice way of getting people talking and more familiar with one anther.

Next, people broke into groups to discuss something Judo specific that they wanted to discuss. The idea being that the speed dating round had allowed them to meet people who had similar areas of interest. Then people could discuss it within the context of children's Judo.

After this a quick coffee break was had before we returned and it was decided (by the group) to try a "hack". By which I mean we wanted to try and create something in a short period of time.

What we decided to try and create was a coaching system to deliver "education" via Judo, "Judo for Life". This came from the earlier discussions where independently almost all the small groups ended up discussing the less visible/tangible things we learn from Judo. Things like self-confidence, self-respect etc.

The "hack" was to try and create a system for teaching coaches how to teach these elements. The end product was two presentations on the two groups ideas on how to deliver this.

I tried to stream both presentations, but one failed. :(
But here is the first presentation, produced in approximately 30 minutes after long and passionate discussion.

It was an experiment and all in all I think it was a success, as if nothing else the coaches in the room had a whole morning of (often heated) discussion on how Judo is more than just a combat sport. This matches the interesting interview I had with David Matsumoto over on .
It was interesting that although there was debate about how to deliver a coache education system to deliver these elements, I don't thing there was any debate about the importance; the essential-ness of these elements.

I hope that everyone involved enjoyed the experience and gained something from the discussions. I know I really enjoyed watching the development of the theme and the coming together and dynamics of the coaches enthusiasm for the discussion.

My thanks to all involved! I really enjoyed watching it develop.

[ view entry ] ( 438 views ) permalink update + away to Bath for two weeks. 

If you visit in IE7 now you will hopefully have a better experience, I have sorted out the stylesheet problem and everyone should have the same layout.

You will also, if you have "Eagle eyes", spot the following button on the side:
Add to my Widsets
This button is a link to include the entire PlanetJudo feed on your mobile phone via the free widsets program. So if you like, you can get all the latest Judo blog news straight to your mobile! There are over 60 Judo blog feeds in there now, and I am always looking for more.


In other news, I head off to Bath on Friday for the EJU Coaches Seminar, on which I am taking a two sessions (1 half day) on Saturday where I am holding a Judo "Unconference", which will be interesting as I suspect few, if any, of the delegates will ahve been exposed to this distinctly IT type of event.

Then from Monday, for a fortnight, I am in Bath for my regular two week residential block. This is the penultimate block on my BSC/Level 5 course, with the pressure mounting to get my research project done before April next year!

So stay tuned, I shall continue my unbroken 4 year stint of blogging about the course at University of Bath, hopefully some of what I write will appeal to someone out there, if that person is you, please do drop me an email.

[ view entry ] ( 449 views ) permalink and update 

Hi everyone,
well this evening I finally sorted out what has been affecting and it is now parsing all the feeds again. So it will now show you all 61, thats right 61 Judo blog feeds.

You can also subscribe to the RSS feed or get daily updates. I added a subscribe by email box on the righthand side, so for those of you who are not comfortable with blogs, RSS feeds, etc. You can have all the updates sent to your email inbox daily, nice and simple.

The 61st feed by the way is which is a collaborative site to provide high quality comment and coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games. We shall be trying to have posts from people on the ground in Beijing and also coverage from other sources along with some commentary on the fights.

Any thoughts on what you would like in terms coverage would be appreciated, email them through to me at

[ view entry ] ( 411 views ) permalink related link

Injury prevention in training for Judo. 

Over on "The Science of Sport" Jonathan and Ross have posted a couple of entries about injuries in running and how to prevent them.

Now I have done my share of running and "enjoyed" my share of running injuries too. In fact, I would argue that I have had more injuries from running than I've had from Judo, especially if I consider the time spent doing Judo versus the time spent running.

In their first post the reinforce the good advice to only increase the distance run per week by a MAXIMUM of 10% per week. In the second post they talk about technique, inter-relatedness and intensity (specifically about how a small increase is more risky than a larger increase in volume).

So it got me thinking about this from a Judo perspective.
Can we apply the 10% rule in Judo? Are there rules of thumb as to volume and intensity of Judo training? Can we use the 10% rule directly?

The issue I suppose is how do we measure Judo training?
Time on the Mat? Number of Uchi Komi? Nage Komi? Randori? All of them?

As Jonathan and Ross mention, and in Judo no doubt is even worse; there is little scientific research to give us insight. An interesting area of research in Judo would be to build some metrics on training and injury. To do a study on this area and see if we can create some solid recommendations.

I would very much like to hear from people who have considered this area and perhaps those managing training of high level players. How are you monitoring players training, how are you monitoring injuries?

Drop me an email and let me know.
[ view entry ] ( 1724 views ) permalink

Professional programmes and do they need outsiders. 

This time next week I shall be in Belgium at the World Masters Judo Championships.

By this time next Friday i shall have started competing I would hope, hopefully I'll have won a fight or two against the 30 odd other competitors in my class.

by the end of the day I shall have fought my little heart out, and will have placed somewhere, hopefully near the top? I'll also be looking forward to having a beer or two with my fellow team mates ( ) and with other Kiwis who live in Brussels ( ).

I am feeling positive all in all, training has been going well, I have been loving going to Bath and training there. Monday was great with Patrick, Mike and Juergen all giving me feedback. Sometimes as a dan grade I find that people tend not to criticize what you are doing. Which for me is really hard as my kinetic awareness is pretty poor. I.e. I see what others are doing much better than I feel what I myself am doing, it is one of the reasons I use to explain why I am not and never was "elite". The top players do tend to be able to self-correct far better than I can and I am sure that explains some of their success.

Bath is also good just in terms of associating with fulltime players, young fit players and training in that professional environment. Along with the physical improvements and Judo improvements, there is the less tangible benefit of being inside an elite programme.

It is one of the strengths of the place that there is a wide range of seriously good people involved. If i look at the place as a model for performance training, it's got a lot going for it.

Bath is well funded (being part of the University).
It has a strong leader (Mike).
It has great coaches (Patrick, Jane, Juergen, Yuko, etc.)
It has good organisers (Michelle, Kat, Diego, etc)
It has support from outside (coaches like me who are involved through the degree)
It has good support people (Physios, Scientists, etc)

For example, last week when I went, the Combined Services Team were there (supporting the programme and giving a very different set of players for the athletes to train with). In the Randori session I attended there were 30-40 people on the mat. You had worldclass coaches watching and helping. You had a physio there the whole session!

Now... that last one to me is worth commenting on. A Physio there and treating people if needed. She is there pretty much everytime I have been there. It to me, indicates the level of organisation and care the place has. How many sessions do you attend where there is a Physio there? One that is there to work I mean, one with experience with Judo injuries?

That does not happen by accident, you have to have a physio who is willing to give up their evenings and attend. You have to have a way of making it worth their while, you have to have sessions where it is worth them being there. It's no good having a physio there and only having three players who cruise along all session. So the session has to be of a high level and well attended, which again takes work to get happening.

The physio being there tells me a lot about the setup at Bath. It tells me that a huge amount of effort, thought and planning has gone into the running of the programme. It is professional and to be aspired towards.

If you are involved in a club or even a more elite training system, do you have a physio there for your Randori sessions? If not why? Have you chosen not to have one, or have you not tried?

Maybe you should have a psychologist? A statistician? A videographer? A blogger? A podcaster? A Strength and conditioning coach? A nutritionist?

Who else can you bring into your programme to raise the bar?

I would love to hear from anyone reading this as to who, other than Judo coaches, you have involved in your sessions. Drop me an email and let me know.
[ view entry ] ( 507 views ) permalink

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