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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February 2005 

February 26, 2005
A wee test

By LanceW

Who Links Here

* Posted on: Sat, Feb 26 2005 8:08 PM

Politics at its best!

By LanceW

Below is a link to the final speech of MP Brian Sedgemore in parliament on the 23rd of Feb 2005. ... -21_spnew0

A labour MP, who attacks the government and Tony Blair directly as he disagrees with the way the country is heading.

Good on him!!

Here are some highlights:

As this will almost certainly be my last speech in Parliament, I shall try hard not to upset anyone. However...

I am reminded that our fathers fought and died for liberty—my own father literally—believing that these things should not happen here, and we would never allow them to happen here. But now we know better. The unthinkable, the unimaginable, is happening here.

How on earth did a Labour Government get to the point of creating what was described in the House of Lords hearing as a "gulag" at Belmarsh? I remind my hon. Friends that a gulag is a black hole into which people are forcibly directed without hope of ever getting out. Despite savage criticisms by nine Law Lords in 250 paragraphs, all of which I have read and understood, about the creation of the gulag, I have heard not one word of apology from the Prime Minister or the Home Secretary. Worse, I have heard no word of apology from those Back Benchers who voted to establish the gulag.

Have we all, individually and collectively, no shame? I suppose that once one has shown contempt for liberty by voting against it in the Lobby, it becomes easier to do it a second time and after that, a third time.

Many Members have gone nap on the matter. They voted: first, to abolish trial by jury in less serious cases; secondly, to abolish trial by jury in more serious cases; thirdly, to approve an unlawful war; fourthly, to create a gulag at Belmarsh; and fifthly, to lock up innocent people in their homes. It is truly terrifying to imagine what those Members of Parliament will vote for next.I can describe all that only as new Labour's descent into hell, which is not a place where I want to be.

It is a foul calumny that we do today. Not since the Act of Settlement 1701 has Parliament usurped the powers of the judiciary and allowed the Executive to lock up people without trial in times of peace. May the Government be damned for it.

* Posted on: Sat, Feb 26 2005 9:52 AM

February 24, 2005 again - Pop-up Radio

By LanceW

Above are links to a pop up radio station based on my musical preferences gleamed from Audioscrobbler/

Experimental, try it an let me know!


* Posted on: Thu, Feb 24 2005 3:58 PM

Feedburner Tests

By LanceW

I am playing with feedburner, to see what functionality it brings me.

* Posted on: Thu, Feb 24 2005 3:48 PM

My Technocrati Profile link

By LanceW

Technorati Profile

* Posted on: Thu, Feb 24 2005 9:05 AM

February 23, 2005
Developing a "far view"

By LanceW

As most of you will be aware, I am coaching the Royal Navy Judo Squad soon.

It is an interesting project, as it is a mix of skill levels and I don't know them well. So I undertook to do some research on them before I arrived and have been developing my sessions based on what I have found.

Where did I look?

* The Navy Judo Champs
* The 2004 All Japan Champs
* The 2005 Olympic Judo competition
* The recent Judo videos/dvds. (Namely Extreme Judo, Koga and Jeon)

The process of watching the footage was very interesting, when you have to watch this much video over time you take notes and notice quite a bit. Whilst watching the Navy Champs I took notes on each fight and soon found myself repeating the same comments. (which I will keep to myself, sorry)
The same happened watching the other videos, interestingly the comments showed some patterns to me that I think I would have missed otherwise.

How does that relate to developing sessions?
Well, reviewing the Navy Champs helped a heck of a lot in terms of identifying patterns in Judo style, technique, attitude etc. When comparing that to say Suzuki winning the All Japans you really see the differences.
These differences I noticed were not so much in technique, but in application and "feel".

Knowing these differences, it helps me develop sessions that address these subtle areas. Areas that I would most likely not have noticed had I not prepared by watching hours of Judo, with my finger on PAUSE and the other hand scribbling notes.

It really reminded me that as a coach I need to take a "far view" as well as a close view of players. I need to see them in context with their peers and as in this example, those well above them.
Having this far view, you can identify the areas where your player(s) can develop. Especially outside the scope of technique.

Technique Teaching Versus Coaching
Where I am heading (returning) is to the idea that we must differentiate between coaching and instructing.
I can/could/might go to the Navy training and try and "teach" them some technique I think will help them. Or teach then Suzukis amazing Hiza Guruma or Koga's Seoi or Jeon's Gripping strategies.


With good preparation I think I'll try and coach them on the aspects of their Judo that my "Far view" revels to me. I can draw them along the train of thought I have and they can make improvements based on this.

I in effect do nothing, they do it themselves. I don't teach them something, I help them learn something. This is COACHING!

So what are the Navy getting?
I couldn't possibly tell you! :)

* Posted on: Wed, Feb 23 2005 11:56 AM

February 20, 2005
Audioscrobbler info

By LanceW

I am having a little play with and so far really interesting.

Try my personal radio station if you like.

* Posted on: Sun, Feb 20 2005 6:01 PM

February 15, 2005
Book Published!!

By LanceW

Not mine unfortunately, but I am very pleased to announce that my step-father-in-law's book has been published!

* Posted on: Tue, Feb 15 2005 6:38 PM

Running Club Website

By LanceW

I have thrown together a small web page for the running club.

It is at:

Let me know what you think!

* Posted on: Tue, Feb 15 2005 6:38 PM

February 9, 2005
Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!!

By LanceW

I am really pleased to be really sore this morning!

Last night the Running Club had it's first run together.
There were 10 people in the group and they dragged my sorry butt 3.8 miles around the village! (In 47 minutes !)

So this morning my legs are expressing their disatisfaction at not being allowed to sit in front of the TV last night! Nothing injury feeling, just good old fashioned "you've worked me hard!" ache.

It is interesting that the distance I ran is much more than I have run to date, yet it felt only slightly harder. The power of a group to carry you along. Fantastic!

I am going to try and go out again on Friday, hopefully with a bit more comfort!

Can't wait till next Tuesdays run!

* Posted on: Wed, Feb 9 2005 11:36 AM

February 7, 2005
Running CLub is GO!

By LanceW

After Saturdays meeting with about a doxen poeple attending the Fair Oak & Horton Heath Running Club is now of the drawing board and into reality!

We all decided to meet once a week, any one from the village is welcome.

Meetings are:
Tuesdays, 7PM
At the Pavilion on Pavilion Close (by Wyvern College)

I suspect we will split into 2 groups, one for experienced people and one for people like me just getting into running properly. There is a broad mix of ages, genders and ability levels, so everyone should find their level we hope.

Having got it this far, I will actually have to follow through and go running now!!!

I only have one more comment at this point, "OH Grief, what have I done!!"


* Posted on: Mon, Feb 7 2005 4:48 PM

February 4, 2005
Judo is Honesty article

By LanceW

I am not 100% happy with this piece, consider it a work in progress perhaps.

The link below is to a PDF file describing that moment when you take a grip with someone on the Judo mat and instantly know what level they are at and if you are better or worse than them.

Judo is Honesty!

Please email me any comments,


* Posted on: Fri, Feb 4 2005 10:38 PM

Judo coaching programmes are not so awful?

By LanceW

As a result of my prevuos post I have had some great discussions on the subject of Coaching programmes in Judo.

(some of which can be seen at ... topic=3889 on the wonderful website )

My intentionally inflammatory comments have resulted in some good comments highlighting the improvements being made to the BJA system and elsewhere. I am still interested in everyones comments, so email away!


* Posted on: Fri, Feb 4 2005 11:55 AM

Should we pull out of the Olympics?

By LanceW

The Huardian has a piece on the state of Athens post the Olympics, that makes some interesting reading. ... .html?=rss

I have had this discussion before, but perhaps Judo should pull out of the Olympic movement untill the Olympic movement comes back to its ideals.

It sounds like Athens got very little from holding the Olympics. Judo got very little from what I have seen from it.

From a Judo perspective, I hate the fact that smaller countries have to qualify to fight. The quota system is awful, 1 person from Oceania per category (or something like that).
So we end up with only the big countries and the best players. No chance for the suprise upset win by the unknown. No great Olympic moment for someone from a small country to represent their country.

I personaly think it is a disgrace that professional athletes like Andre Agassi & Michael Jordan have been allowed to go to the Olympics when people I know personally can't. Every country should be allowed to send it's best players, even if they get beaten in every fight!

Thoughts all?

* Posted on: Fri, Feb 4 2005 11:33 AM

[ view entry ] ( 2209 views ) permalink

January 2005 

January 31, 2005
Coaching programmes are awful!

By LanceW

I have been chatting to people about coaching standards and it has ended up on more than one occasion with me fuming about how cr*p coaching programmes are in Judo (and elsewhere I am sure).

As many of you will know I amd both a coach in New Zealand and in the UK (BJA Senior Club Coach). And I have to state first off that the NZ system is better (or at least was when I was last there) than the UK one.

I remember attending a coaching course in Manchester run by the BJA. It was great fun! I fought Udo Quellmaltz and got Neil Adams to throw me with his Taio Toshi! I learnt stuff from Neil, Udo and some others, excellent stuff!
Then they basically re-ratified everyones coaching qualification, which was the point of the weekend.

Sounds good, but hold the phone, where was the coaching?!?!?!?!

Perhaps we were supposed to learn by osmosis or example, I don't know. But I did not come away from the event having learned anything but the latest tricks/techniques/styles of the chosen instructors.

Did I have a fuller understanding of the processes that people I might coach would go through when learning a technique? Did I now know a little more about child protection?
Had I been exposed to the latest scientific research on what stretches to do or to avoid?
Did anyone once talk about how the BJA considered you should teach Judo?

The answer to all the above is NO!

And that is my issue. National bodies need to be more involved in promoting good methods rather than good Judo techniques. Knowing how Udo did his Taio was valkuable to me as a player, but unless the perscribed sylabus in clubs is to mimic Udo then it was a waste of time!

In recent conversation I have mentioned the lack of quality child protection processes in Judo. Are all the coaches working with kids in the BJA police checked first annually?
Are they even made aware of the risks they face?
The same goes for health and safety issues. I once taught in a local council Judo club, where their official health and safety documentation prohibitted "horseplay" and "rough housing" along with many other things. Which actually meant that anyone teaching Judo there was technically infringing on the policy and as such was legally in a bad BAD place!

Although it is each instructor/coaches responsibility to personally be up to date with all these things. It is the national coaching programme that should ensure that this actually happens.

They don't, it is awful, It annoys me, enough said!


* Posted on: Mon, Jan 31 2005 12:41 PM

January 28, 2005
Judo for Parents

By LanceW

Hi all,

Just a quick note to say I have created a small "Judo for Parents" page on the website. Basically it is just a host page for my soon to be completed book/eBook.

"Judo for Parents", is a guide I have been writing for parents of children who want to or have started Judo. Unlike everything else I have seen out there it is aimed at the parent and is not a "this is how to do Judo book".

The book covers the basics of:
What is Judo, its history, etc.
What to expect from a club
What to expect at a competition or grading
What do do when Johnny/Julie gets hurt
What are the principles of Judo etc.

I shall soon have either a final draft or the finished version available for electronic and hopefully paper publishing! I am happy to share some early drafts with people as long as you don't mind giving feedbakc and potrentially some quotes.


* Posted on: Fri, Jan 28 2005 3:04 PM

January 26, 2005
0900 service

By LanceW

AlloPass, micropayment for all Webmasters !
The banner above takes you to the quite clever AlloPass service.
It allows virtually anyone to setup micropayemnts via their website.

* Posted on: Wed, Jan 26 2005 12:03 PM

January 25, 2005
NZ Flag Petition!

By LanceW

Go to this site, fill in the petition, do it, NOW!


Why are you still here? Go fill in the petition!

* Posted on: Tue, Jan 25 2005 8:45 AM

January 24, 2005
Motivation Judo published

By LanceW

My Article on motivation aimed at business, based on Judo methods has been published in The Aziz Corporation's newsletter E-Communiqué.

Here is a Link to it, should you fancy reading the final version.


* Posted on: Mon, Jan 24 2005 5:30 PM

January 22, 2005
Woodworking classes from school have paid off!

By LanceW

Well, the workworking classes my parents paid extra for when I was about 12 have paid off!

Today I built a bannister in my house, which included copious chiselling and use of a mallet. WOOT!

Ayywho, here are some piccies of my creation. (Please do not critique!)

* Posted on: Sat, Jan 22 2005 7:32 PM

January 21, 2005
Running Vs. Walking (FUN)

By LanceW

The link below takes you to a piece on the effectiveness of Running versus Walking as a form of exercise. Particularly interesting to me as I have just started trying to get back into running recently.


* Posted on: Fri, Jan 21 2005 11:31 AM

Short Judo promo video

By LanceW

I came across the following video file I made some time ago as part of a project I was working on. I felt then and still feel today that it shows more of what we want/need to be presenting to the media.


It is modern, exciting a bit scifi.
I am not saying this is the absolute image we should be selling, but it is a seriously different one to the way we saw at Athens or Sydney. More in line with the Europa Cup video.

Anyway, it was just me playing about, but thought you might enjoy it!


* Posted on: Fri, Jan 21 2005 12:52 AM

January 19, 2005

By LanceW

Please consider making a small donation if you have found anything on my website useful, it would help keep the site online.

* Posted on: Wed, Jan 19 2005 9:38 PM

Wheres my....?

By LanceW

I was looking through my wardrobe last night and looking at my Judogi.I was suddenly thinking wheres my Blue Coke Gi?

Years ago at a trial for Blue Gi for the IJF, Coca-Cola via Elephant (the manufacturer), via the IJF provided blue suits to all the compeditors so everyone would have one, to see how blue suits worked in compedtitions.

I had one, and brought it with me to the UK, but where is it now?

So.... if anyone spots a faded blue suit with "Coca-Cola" embroidered on the sleeves do let me know.


* Posted on: Wed, Jan 19 2005 3:30 PM

January 11, 2005
DRAFT article on Motivation

By LanceW

The text below is a draft of an article I am writing on motivation, any comments/corrections would be appreciated.


Motivation Judo

By Sensei Lance Wicks

Judo is a Martial Art and Sport born of the ancient fighting arts of Feudal Japan, is also and arguably most importantly a “way” of doing things Judo players are recognised as highly motivated individuals, few would argue that the famous British fighters Brian Jacks and Neil Adams were not well motivated. Neil Adams was considered one of the fittest (read hardworking) athletes on the Olympic squad, whilst Brians’ “Superstars” records still stand today.

Goals, Focus, Encouragement and rewards are generally regarded as the primary factors affecting motivation. We shall explore these four areas, how Judo successfully harnesses these factors and how you can do the same.

Most of us are familiar with goal setting and goal setting methodologies such as SMART, SCORE and the IGS calculation. These methods all tell us that we need big objectives, broken into smaller realistic quantifiable goals. In Judo the obvious example is the coveted “Black Belt”. Reaching your black belt is done by first getting your white, yellow, orange, blue, then brown belts.

Being able to stay focussed on the smaller goals and the bigger objective is essential to motivation and performance. Judo clubs promote a culture that encourages focus. Classes start with formalises bowing and training can often consist of practising the techniques required for the next belt. The focus on the goals/belts drives the activity of repeating techniques in classes.

As a Judo coach, my job often consists of nothing more than shouting. I know from experience and from scientific research that encouragement improves motivation. A 2002 study found that a significant improvement on motivation and performance can be achieved in subjects running on a treadmill simply be encouraging them verbally every 20-30 seconds.

Judo is full of rewards. We get medals at competitions, belts, certificates, team selections, etc. We get invited to attend “advanced classes” or to compete in prestigious events. Less tangible rewards are there also; throwing someone on their back is always better than being thrown yourself.

Applying these Judo methods to motivation can assist you in getting the most from your team or from yourself.

Do you have a “big objective”? Is it clear and understood? Have you created smaller goals that take you to your big objective? What is your “Black Belt”, what “belt” are you working for right now?

Does your team have a culture that encourages you to focus on the goals? In Judo beginners are encouraged to train with Black Belts. This serves two purposes, one it reminds the beginner what the big objective is by “feeling” what it is like to be thrown by a Black Belt. It also allows the Black Belt to help the beginner towards the smaller goal by working with them on the techniques required. Do your Black Belts help your yellow belts?

Who is shouting at you? How often are you encouraging those around you? In Japanese Judo clubs, the highest graded player will often shout “FIGHT ON!” (In Japanese of course) to a responding guttural shout from all if they feel motivation/energy is slipping. This Japanese example also highlights that encouragement is required not only from above, but from peers and subordinates as well.

Lastly, who in your team has earned a black belt? Have they been awarded it in a big ceremony with corresponding certificate? Did someone else earn a blue belt with a similar but lesser ceremony? Were the two linked to highlight that one leads to the other?

The “DO” in Judo is translated into English as “way of doing”. If you can bring some Judo into your team the improvements in motivation and performance will become apparent. Having a goal based, focused, rewarding, encouraging “way of doing” things in your team will generate black belts of your own.

HAJIME!!! (Begin) and Arigato (thanks)

* Posted on: Tue, Jan 11 2005 12:29 PM

January 6, 2005
Transport Direct

By LanceW


Transport direct is a interesting site/project.
The aim is to make available all the travel information options into a single site, for easy comparision.

It looks quite useful, although it is still in Beta test mode.

Try it out.


* Posted on: Thu, Jan 6 2005 2:45 PM

Navy Judo weekend cancelled

By LanceW

Sadly, I have just discovered that the weekend training session with the Navy Judo Squad this month has now been cancelled.

The week-long training in Feb/March is still going ahead however, so I look forward to attending that and helping prep the team for the inter-services competition that follows it.

If anyone has anything they want me to do the weekend of January 22 & 23 shout out now!

* Posted on: Thu, Jan 6 2005 12:16 PM

January 3, 2005
Online bookmarks

By LanceW

Hi all,

I am sure many of you have had the same problem as me, too many website to keep track of in too many places. In my case I have a problem with my links at home and those I have at work.

Today I have been trying and foxylicious as a solution and find it quite good.

Basically, is a social bookmarks site, which allows you to put links to websites online. Foxy, then syncs these links into your browsers bookmarks.

using the javascript link I add links to then with foxy they sync to both my weork and home pcs. sorted.

* Posted on: Mon, Jan 3 2005 2:09 AM

[ view entry ] ( 1783 views ) permalink

December 2004 

December 22, 2004
Software Patents

By LanceW

Just to encourage visitors to this blog to go here.
Happily POland saved us on this one today and the vote on this bit of EU legislation was postponed, but the struggle continues!

* Posted on: Wed, Dec 22 2004 12:44 AM

December 21, 2004
effing virus attacks!

By LanceW

One of the servers I look after is being hit pretty hard by the Zafi.d virus at the moment!

At present 40% of the emails it is dealing with are just Zafi ones! Thanks to the magic of open source and Linux it is catching them fine through ClamAV, but what a pain.

Strangely it only seems to happen between 10am and 6pm. SO am thinking it is a specific machine in somewhere GMT-1. Am about to start on some forensics to see if I can track down where they are coming from.

Also, time for a user dance!
Users, when your IT person says to be "cautious" as there are lots of "nasties" going around at the moment, please do not ignore the new thing in your task bar called "FunBox" that when you click on it has some rather distasteful keywords in it!


* Posted on: Tue, Dec 21 2004 3:56 PM

P.C. Seasonal greetings...

By LanceW

Received this via the Hants LUG mailing list this morning and it made me chuckle. Thought I'd share it:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes
for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress,
non addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice
holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the
religious persuasion of your choice, or the secular practices of your
choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or
traditions of others not to practice religious or secular traditions
at all.

In addition, please also accept our best wishes for a fiscally
successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated
recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year
200X, but not without the due respect for the calendars of choice of
other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make this
country great (not to imply that this country is necessarily greater
than any other country or area of choice), and without regard to
race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual
orientation of the wishers.

This is limited to the customary and usual good tidings for a period
of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting,
whichever comes first. "Holiday" is not intended, nor shall it be
considered, limited to the usual Judeo-Christian celebrations or
observances, or to such activities of any of any organized or ad hoc
religious community, group, individual or belief (or lack thereof ).

Note: By accepting this greeting you are accepting these terms. This
greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal, and is revocable
at the sole discretion of the wisher at any time, for any reason or
for no reason at all. This greeting freely is transferable with no
alteration to the original greeting. This greeting implies no promise
by the wisher to actually implement and of the wishes for the wisher
her/himself or others, or responsibility for the consequences which
may arise from the implementation or non implementation of it.

This greeting is void where prohibited by law.


* Posted on: Tue, Dec 21 2004 3:13 PM

December 20, 2004
On databases...

By LanceW

Further to my previous entry, but specifically about sales databases and the like.

A database is only as good as the information within it.
A database equally is only as good as the use of the information within it!

If a database does not contain accurate information or you are unable to use this information your database is sick! And needs urgent medical care!

Try this exercise...
Get a list of your clients who have (or have not) bought something in the last 12 months. How long does it take to get this information? How accurate is the list?

Exercise two...
Find out when the last time you contacted a contact on your sales database? Again, how long did it take.

Exercise three...
Repeat exercise two, but for everyone on your database. How long did that take?

Exercise four...
How many people do you need to contact this week? How easy and how long did it take to get this information?

Exercise five...
Who are you best 10 clients?

Exercise six...
Who are your worst 10 clients?

For all the exercises above, it should take seconds to get useful information from your sales database. If it takes too long, or the information is inaccurate or difficult to access then the database needs attention!

If your database is "ill", I would strongly advise dumping it! Print out the contact details for all your contacts, one per page. Then manage everything manually using a 42 folder system or similar.

If it is sick, it is a bigger drain on your company than you probably realise.


* Posted on: Mon, Dec 20 2004 2:57 PM

If it don't work on paper...

By LanceW

Okay, it's been a week since my last entry, so I thought I had better write something new.

It's a rant,
it's about computer systems and users.

Basically, my core thought here is "If it doesn't work on paper, it won't work on a computer".

By this I am refering to application design or system integration. Too often I get asked about buying a piece of software or changing this or that for people who don't have a working paper based system.

Take for example a Sales database.
If you don't have a working "system", and by system I mean actual physical way of doing your sales management; then buying a database package is not going to help you!

I am as many poeple know, a bit mad for documentation of procedures. This is because I strongly believe that if you can't write it down then you don't know what you are doing.
Generally, my documentation for technical things is step by step, click by click. The idea being that almost anyone could follow it. When I worked for a fund managers I wrote the monthly IT procedures document. How did I test it?
By getting the helpdesk admin lady to do them. I.e. a completely non-technical person was able to do our important IT procedures just using the documentation.

Over kill perhaps, but the process fo getting the system that well documented helped us clearly see what we did and why. The result was we really looked hard at what we were doing and were able to cut out things that were really not needed and add things that we were missing.

In terms of a sales database, you really need to write down what your salesteam are actually doing on a day-to-day basis and document the strategies, methods and steps in your process.
You need to do this long before buying a CRM package.

If this does not happen prior to looking at CRM software, experience tells me that the software implementation will be a disaster! Trust me on this! Document reality first, then try and make computers do it for you.


* Posted on: Mon, Dec 20 2004 10:31 AM

December 13, 2004
Article on communicating with IT people - DRAFT

By LanceW

Geeks vs. Business people
(Draft for The Aziz Corporation E-Communiqué newsletter)
By Lance Wicks.

As the IT manager for The Aziz Corporation I am caught between two worlds, that of geeks, programmers and other IT people and that of business leaders through our consultants’ efforts to help them improve their communication skills

On a day-to-day basis I will communicate with other geeks worldwide. I do this via email, instant messaging, newsgroups, mailing lists, website and more. What I do not often do is pick up the phone and speak to someone or heaven forbid talk face to face with a fellow geek.

However, working where I do I have been forced (kicking and screaming) to communicate with people in the real world. It is often an uncomfortable, painful and just plain annoying!
I am not alone in this sensation and as Britain becomes more and more reliant on knowledge workers (geeks), business people need to change the way they operate to suit the geeks rather than the other way around.

Change One: Communicate in “big picture” terms, leave out the details
When speaking with your IT people, don’t be tempted to try and talk details. Stick to the bigger picture. Talk about what you want to achieve, what you “see” happening. Let your geek translate that into technical details.

Change Two: Manage using metrics and deliverables
Meetings are “geeks bane”; avoid dragging your geeks into a room to talk about what they are doing. This of course infuriates most business people who like to “catch-up” regularly. Try setting procedures in place that make reporting automatic.

Change Three: Everything is either a 1 or a 0.
Computing is a yes or no, black or white industry, IT people struggle with gray areas or communication that is not clear. Ensure that when communicating with your IT people that you make sure everything is either one thing or the other.

Change Four: Ethics DO matter.
Your IT Geek could do bad things. In seconds flat they could delete all your files, post your salary on the company intranet or send the client database to the competition. They don’t! Given this ability, geeks react badly to managers who do not behave ethically. Little white lies, half-truths and office politics will not be appreciated.

Change Five: You know less than they do.
Geeks are not called “knowledge workers” for nothing; they know more about all the technical aspects, take that as fact. Never assume you know more about something than your geeks. Ask them what they know about something, not IF they know about something.

Change Six: Respect your Geeks opinion.
IT people think logically and understand very complex technical systems. This does translate into being able to look at real world business situations and apply the same skills. Listen; really listen, to what your geeks say.

So there you have it, six small changes in approach that will help you cope with the geeks in your day. Finally I would ask that you should also forgive their messy desks, their obsession with gadgets and penguins, their musical tastes and their dress sense.

Remember, modern business relies on their idiosyncrasies to make technology do wonderful things. So, when communicating with your geeks you need to allow for these same quirks, as they are what make them valuable to your organization. If you try to change or stop the quirks you are trying to remove what makes them valuable, you need to change not them.

(C)2004, Lance Wicks. All Rights Reserved.

* Posted on: Mon, Dec 13 2004 5:30 PM - LPW

By LanceW

I attended the London Perl Mongers, London Perl Workshop on Saturday at Imperial College.

It was very good I thought. Although being the first such thing I have attended I don't know how much weight people should put in my opinion.

I attended all the "Learning Perl" talks and they varied both in terms of presentation style and quality and technical level quite substantially.

Working as I do with the UK's leading training company for presentation skills, I could not help but notice the different "styles" employed and how well or badly it worked. Given the audience, I suspect they all got their message across, but in a corporate environment I can see why we "geeks" often struggle to be regarded seriously. seems well regarde worldwide and presumably shows a fairly high level in Perl circles. And I wondered sitting there with serious brain overload at one point if this was why Perl often struggles for corporate acceptance.

Perl has a "hacker" image that Java & C++/C# do not. It is more fun and perhaps this is why it is not taken as seriously as these other languages perhaps?
Java for example just "feels" corporate, so the average manager I suspect would approve a Java project before a Perl one based purely on awareness and if they are better informed perceived seriousness. Ie. Java "feels" more serious and corporate than Perl.

Just a thought.

The slides for the talks will soon be available and I shall link to them.

* Posted on: Mon, Dec 13 2004 11:46 AM

December 10, 2004
Google Suggest

By LanceW

Googl Suggest

Google do it again with another great beta test service.
This time as you typein your search, google will "suggest" a search for you. Try it to really understand what I mean.

* Posted on: Fri, Dec 10 2004 4:50 PM


By LanceW

Pricenoia is a brilliant internet site, that does a straight price comparison across all the Amazon sites worldwide and shows you the equivalent costs.

So if you are paranoid about that book or DVD being cheaper in the States, then you can easily check.

Particularly cool is the toolbar plug-in. Drag it to your browsers toolbar and then when browsing through Amazon's site you can click on the button and see right away what the relative costs are worldwide.

* Posted on: Fri, Dec 10 2004 3:23 PM

Professionalism in Judo

By LanceW

Found this site today

It is Jimmy Pedro's website.
I know my web design efforts are poor, but this is terrible!
The site looks like it was made in the early 1990s. And this is what the US public see when they search for their sole surviving Judoka of note!

At least he has a site I suppose. But is he trying to convey a sense of prefessionalism?

My reaction to his site got me thinking about the standard of Judo and the bodies supporting it, the standards for coaching, tournament administration, coaching, promotion etc.

And the result of my contemplation...
The level is low on most aspects of Judo.

How well does Judo promote itself? Badly.
How well does Judo encourage quality in clubs? Badly.
How well does Judo promote professional standards? Badly.
How well does Judo assess its weaknesses? Badly.
How well does Judo support elite players? Badly.
How well does Judo promote normal players? Badly.
And so on....

I know, I know. It is easy to stand here on the sideline and criticise. But hard to make improvements, yes I know this and I feel your pain.

But in the big bad world out there (like on the tatami) all that really matters is results. Intentions, plans, projects, good efforts count for zip, nada, nothing at all.

If you are a member of any organisation and you are reading this, what is your reaction?
Are you already mentally calling me a rude ignorant fool?
Or are you asking yourself why? how can I make a change? How did it get this bad?

If you are in either category give me a call/drop me an email, I want to help!

* Posted on: Fri, Dec 10 2004 10:20 AM

December 9, 2004
Worth1000 comp- fab!

By LanceW


A great contest, public service posters... some are very funny.

* Posted on: Thu, Dec 9 2004 11:41 AM

December 8, 2004

By LanceW

For some while I have had the wikipedized version of the BBC news site on my bookmarks. (

Today I found which does the same thing to text on other pages say on blog entries like this one.

Still playing with it but was keen to spread the word.

* Posted on: Wed, Dec 8 2004 5:02 PM

Judo Paperwork

By LanceW

There is one thing I have noticed about Judoka worldwide, a bad thing, one which I remember being bad for as a compeditor also.

That thing is paperwork!

I am yet to meet a compeditive Judoka who is good at doing their paperwork. Ask any tournament organiser about when entries come in and I am sure they will back me up.

Now I don't know why Judoka are so bad at paperwork and the point I am about to make is that basically I don't care! And if you are a compeditor you should not care either!

Why? You ask.
Because you (the compeditor) should not have to worry about paperwork. You have enough to worry about just getting prepared and performing.

But what about the paperwork?
Get someone else to do it, that is the best answer I have for you. If you are a serious athlete, you need to be thorough in your paperwork and administration. You should find someone who can and will do your paperwork for you.

What I am suggesting is getting some Judo Management.
I'll expand on my thoughts on this in a later entry but for now I will concentrate on it from a paperwork perspective.

The paperwork is important, when I moved to the UK I had already pretty much stopped fighting seriously. But being a Judoka I entered lots of competitions for the social element and the fun.
I forwarded every contest draw and result etc to the New Zealand Judo Federation office. Anecdotally I know I was the only player in the entire NZJF doing this for every event.
The result was I got bumped up from my position somewhere at the bottom of the list to being in the number two squad below the olympians! This was despite being 100% open about the fact I was getting drunk the night before I competed as well as the evening afterwards and not taking things seriously.
They had to up my "ranking" because I was doing the paperwork. They had evidence that I was fighting and getting results. More evidence (again anecdoctally) of performance than my more talented, dedicated and better performing colleagues. But I had proof, they didn't.

Can you and do you prove to everyone that you deserve to be taken seriously?

Do you get your entries for competitions in months or weeks in advance?

Does your national body, your club, your friends, your coach know that you are working hard and doing well?

If not why not? Because you are a Judoka and cr*p at paperwork I suspect. In which case, find someone who will do it for you!

* Posted on: Wed, Dec 8 2004 11:01 AM

December 6, 2004
NZ Security gets thumbs up!

By LanceW

Bruce Schneier's Website

Security guru Bruce Schneier blog mentions an article in the NZ Herald about security and approves of some of the thinking coming from our little island.

* Posted on: Mon, Dec 6 2004 10:26 AM

December 3, 2004
Take that Console online!

By LanceW

Xlink Kai

I have as some know been on the Sony Playstation2 online beta trial programme since it started here in the UK.

Today I discovered XLink Kai's website, and can't wait to get home and try it out!!
Kai, reading the site, is a free tool that you run on your PC, that allows you to play console games over the web. Which doesn't sound exciting until you realise that they are talking about letting you play any game that has system link! Cool!

It apparently works for XBox, PS2 and Gamecube and does not need a modded console.
Sadly Gamecube only seemed to have 3 supported games and the PS2 12. But XBOX has plenty, which is perhaps not suprising as MS charge you to their online services, so a free alternative makes sense to me.

I shall definitely be trying it out over the weekend and shall report back.

* Posted on: Fri, Dec 3 2004 10:01 AM

December 2, 2004
Training for Judo - addendum

By LanceW

After writing the previous entry, I fired up a spreadsheet and did some simple math, here it is a comparison between the East & West.

Now obviously the figures are rubbish, we don't spend 100% of our session throwing or doing uchi komi, but I was giving you all the benefit of the doubt.

You can see from this very basic computation that what say a Japanese player does is 2 weeks, will take us 9 weeks.
If we assume (and assume probably correctly) that the Eastern player would spend a greater perscntage of their time actually doing techniques, then our figures would look even less positive.

If you have a better calculation I'd like to see it, perhaps as a "group exercise" we can expand the calculation to give a more real answer?

* Posted on: Thu, Dec 2 2004 2:26 PM

XMOO - Virtual Stockmarket

By LanceW

From the same people that run iClod is XMOO a virtual stock exchange.

Try it and see.

* Posted on: Thu, Dec 2 2004 2:26 PM

Training for Judo

By LanceW

All Judo players, like all athletes need to train.

The hard question is always where to invest your time and energy when it comes to training. Do you pop down to the Gym, go for a run or train at a local Judo club?

It depends of course on the individual.
Different forms of training give different benefits and you and your coach need to know what the benefits (and costs) are and choose accordingly.

If you are an elite level Judoka (Olympic/World medalist or at least in the top 5 or 10), then it makes a huge impact on if you win or lose.

For the rest of us, the impact is much reduced and the choices easier to make.

We can simplify our choices to running, gym or Judo.

Running is great, it builds your cardio-vascular fitness, making you fitter and more able to endure a days competition. It takes a long time to do and to get good at. There are some serious risks to consider like traffic, weather, shin splints, etc.
Running works, its easy to do and costs very little.
(p.s. I hate running, but I at one stage in my career was running twice a day everyday)

Gyms are great, cardio machines weights, etc. Here I focus on weights. Gym work helps build your strength. Giving you the power to pick someone up and dump them on their back. Without adequate strength you'll get beaten by those who do have it.
That said its not cheap (generally) and you need to know what you are doing. Also it's easy to lose perspective and do too much weights and get too strong, affecting your Judo skills.

Last but absolutely not least is doing Judo.
This IMNSHO (In My Not So Humble Opinion) is the best training for Judo. If you need to choose between Judo and some other form of training, choose Judo.
Especially in the West, we spend far too little time doing Judo compared to say our Japanese counterparts, where 3 hour sessions everyday are what school kids do. I leave it to you to imagine what the competition players and elite do!
Typically a western Judoka will do two 1-2 hour sessons a week. More advanced people might do 3-5 sessions and perhaps train for two or more hours.
But the match still puts us behind the east. So more Judo time is required to compete against the likes of the dominant Judo nation of the moment (and of history) Japan.

More Judo improves your fitness and strength, but more importantly it improves your techniques / skills.

An old instructor of mine once said it took 5,000 uchi komi repititions of a throw before it was "usable". how many uchi komi dis you do this week?

Judo is about throwing people, thats how you win.
How many times did you throw someone for Ippon this week?
How many times did you let someone throw you?
How many times did you get someone to attack you so you could defend against the attack?

5,000 times?

If so, please pat yourself on the back. pick up the phone and call me as I want you as my training partner.

If not, then consider your training programme and if it has enough Judo time in there. Are you getting fit and strong but neglecting to practise the real nuts and bolts of Judo? 5,000 may be a random number dreampt up by a coach trying to motivate me, but the idea is sound.

More Judo equals better Judo.


* Posted on: Thu, Dec 2 2004 12:43 PM

December 1, 2004
Fierce Conversations - Slacker Manager

By LanceW

Fierce Conversations

The above link takes you to an interesting article on the Slacker Manager site. (the site is quickly becoming a favourite)

It's an article on how to converse with others, interesting reading for business people and for coaching.

* Posted on: Wed, Dec 1 2004 11:35 AM

10 Most Wanted Design Bugs

By LanceW

10 Most Wanted Design Bugs

The above link takes you to the AskTog website of Bruce Tognazzini, where he lists his top ten Computer faults along with some relevant comment on dealing with them.

* Posted on: Wed, Dec 1 2004 11:28 AM

[ view entry ] ( 1646 views ) permalink

November 2004 

November 29, 2004
Geeks shall inherit the earth?

By LanceW

Click here to visit the wikipedia proxied BBC news article.

The BBC news site has an interesting article on Open Source on its site. Use thelink above to take a look at the Beebs perspective on us OPen SOurce people.

* Posted on: Mon, Nov 29 2004 5:11 PM

Columnists: Seeds of Disaster

By LanceW

URL: Columnists: Seeds of Disaster

Here is quite a nicely written article on IT Security, which looks at MS's Internet Explorers problems and how the causes of these problems may be sowing the seeds of future problems in other MS software.

* Source Blog

* Posted on: Mon, Nov 29 2004 1:33 PM

November 28, 2004
Here, kiddie kiddie

By LanceW

URL: Here, kiddie kiddie

Hmm... an interesting article on Hacking. Although it seems to focus on cracking rather than hacking, but terminology aside it it quite a reasonable piece and worth the read.

* Source Blog

* Posted on: Sun, Nov 28 2004 1:40 PM

Buried Gems of the PS1

By LanceW

URL: Buried Gems of the PS1

A good list of often missed Playstation classics.

* Source Blog

* Posted on: Sun, Nov 28 2004 1:38 PM

How to deal with video games and your kids

By LanceW

URL: How to deal with video games and your kids

As someone with multiple consoles and relatives with Kids of game playing age and disposition, I thought this Blog entry spotted on EyeBeam Reblog was worthy of posting here also.

General statement, if you think the games your kids are playing are bad, then basically you (yes YOU!) should not have let them play it.

PS2 games are generally targeted at the late teen to 30 age group, no really they are. So letting your 8 year old play any old PS2 game is a bit dodgy!


* Source Blog

* Posted on: Sun, Nov 28 2004 8:56 AM

November 26, 2004
Make love not spam

By LanceW

Is a link to a Lycos screensaver that downloads data from Spammer websites.

The theory being that this costs the spammers even more money, so discouraging them from spamming.

I'm willing to give it a go if it stops the tons and tons of spam that I receive each day!


* Posted on: Fri, Nov 26 2004 5:14 PM

The Importance of Clarity

By LanceW

My latest post on the "Enjoy Judo" campaign got me thinking about the birth of "Capoeira Scotland" and how clarity affects the promotion of Martial Arts.

When we started we made some decisions early on about what we were about and probably more importantly, what we were not.

We decided that Capoeira was not really a martial art in Scotland. We also decided that the quality was so low that we could not push that either. What we did have was a small group of dedicated people who loved and enjoyed doing Capoeira, we had fun doing it!

So as part of the start up process we wrote a brochure which had our inperpretation of what Capoeira was to us, what its history was, etc. What we wrote was what we said, we all argued over content till a consensus was reached. Once we decided, we agreed to stick to it.

The other key thing we did was compress everything we were about into a slogan. (cheesy perhaps, but bear with me)

"Capoeira Scotland - Fighting Fun and Fitness Brazilian Style"

What did writing this do for us? It clarified for everyone what we were about.
We were about:
1) Capoeira in Scotland and Scotland only. (and uniquely Scottish)
2) Fighting, Capoeira is like play fighting which is...
3) Fun, key statement here. We were all about Fun not about being the best.
4) Fitness, Capoeira is aerobic, you don't really stop so fitness improvements come along pretty quick. That and lots of people were participating for health reasons.
5) Brazilian Style, Capoeira is from Brazil, Brazil is Rio, the Mardi Gras, etc. We wanted to carry some of that feel with us.

This phrase was trotted out by everyone all the time.
Everyone knew it off by heart and it showed.
People who came to us knew we were there to do Capoeira in Scotland, that we wanted to enjoy it and get fit (work hard), that fighting was involved and it was all bound up in that whole Latin feeling.

The clarity of message was really valuable, people hearing about us from brochures got the clear message. People hearing by word of mouth got the message.
I had lots of experiences where new poeple would say that they came along because their pal had been talking about it and they thought it was great fun.
This showed that the FUN message made it through.

Okay, so lets look at the "Enjoy Judo" programme.

Okay, the name sounds great, but read the rest of the site and it has nothing to do with enjoyment of Judo. Its about Judo in Schools or about getting kids into BJA clubs or about making sure all kids get to experience Judo.


It's so confused, what is it all about?
BJA if you are listening, simplify!!!

What do you want to happen? Clubs in Schools or School Kids in Clubs. Or it is 5 week programmes in Schools? Or is it getting people to Enjoy Judo?

The goal and message should be clearer and should be so close to one another that one indicates the other.

S... what can we come up with for a Judo In Schools Campaign?

How about "Judo in Schools" as a the name of the Programme? Tells us exactly what it is about.

What about the goal?
Well, lets start of by agreeing to have a single goal.
So what do we want to achieve? Get Judo into Schools? Get school kids into Judo clubs? What? Lets assume its getting Judo classes/clubs into the schools themselves. So the goal might be...

"Re-Introducing Judo into School Curriculum"

So now it all looks a bit easier, its about getting Judo into Schools and specifically getting it back into the school curriculum. (I know I am taking a bit of creativelicense there, not all schools had Judo in the curiculum but I think that sub-conciously its a good message that we are RE-Introducing Judo rather than Introducing)

The next step would be to have a clear "product" to take to the schools. 5 week programmes or clubs? Both? I'd lean towards 5 week programmes as clubs might happen itself afterwards. 5 week programmes are also a much easier sell.

Okay so a 5 week programme, sorted!
Now the hard work is deciding and defining what each week should have in it. Again its clarity and consistency. Each one of these 5 week programmes needs to be virtually identical, country-wide.
So all the important stuff like "What is Judo?" needs to be decided and documented, then the coaches need training in the official message.

If each 5 week programme and each coach does something different and passes onto to the kids a different Judo to the next person, then problems will occur.
Think a successful programme is held by Coach A, who sells traditional style Judo, Kata, Martial aspects. The school loves it and decides to run Judo every term. But Coach A is not available, so they hire Coach B.
Coach B believes in competition only, this is a sport and teaches Judo that way.
The school decides that this is not what they wanted and is pissed off, so they cancel the classes and potentially/most likely do not hire another coach. they are "burned" they have a bad taste in their mouth, Judo is dead in that school!

I hope the above rant shows the importance of getting the basics clear at the outset. I have picked on the "Enjoy Judo" campaign and I do apologise if I have insulted peoples honest efforts.
Lets face it, its not their fault. Judo world-wide has not been able to get this clarity thing right, so why should a BJA programme. And you never know the programme might actually be better than I am giving it credit! (I for one honestly hope so)

I'll be emailing Dermot and offering to help.


* Posted on: Fri, Nov 26 2004 4:15 PM

School Judo Development

By LanceW

Hmm.... the BJA is trying to get kids into Judo, and have launched a new website and programme to do so. The logo above is... well weird, I'd love to hear an explanation of what it sybolises.

Below is the first text from the site:

British Judo Schools Development Programme Launched

The British Judo Association is pleased to announce the launch of the Schools Development Programme supported by Sport England, which will develop a nationwide programme that will provide the opportunity for every young person to be exposed to the sport and benefits of judo.

The programme will do this by:

* Undertaking judo demonstrations in schools
* Running five week programmes and taster sessions
* Setting up clubs in schools
* Linking in with local BJA clubs

The ultimate long term aim of the programme is to get children from the schools into BJA clubs!

Don't think much of the final line, which basically undermines it all as far as I feel. The goal is not to promote Judo, to get kids to "enjoy Judo" but to get them into BJA clubs.

Why is that bad?
Well, it specifically states they want them out of the schools, which contradicts what they say in the bullet points.

I'm always happy to see campaigns like this one and conceed that getting kids into clubs is a really important goal. However it shows the typical lack of cohesiveness that plagues the BJA and Judo generally.

Do you want clubs in Schools or not?
And what does "Enjoy Judo" the brand do with your stated goals? I hope Dermot Heslop plans on upgrading the website and hopefully expanding on the sparse content there.

I don't want to seem pesimistic, but when your programme starts with mixed messages, then the programme is likely to have conflicting goals and a lack of direction. And that basically does not fill me (or the schools I am sure) with confidence that investing time and effort into Judo is worthwhile.

My experiences with KiwiJudo and more resently with Capoeira Scotland have proven that a clear simple message and objectives are required to suceed.

I'll post a blog about that shortly!


* Posted on: Fri, Nov 26 2004 4:14 PM

VB and Word Wizards

By LanceW

I have been hacking today a Word questionairre.

Interesting how easy it is to take a boring word document and add some polish/pizzaz to it. Basically have the labels for the fields as protected text, and the fields as... well fields.

Then I added a simple dialog box with a logo and some introductory text and a ok/close button.

Looks pretty damned good if you ask me. (not sure about the Arial font choice) The next step (if requested) would/will be to create dialogue boxes to fill in all the fields, although I don't think its required in this instance.

I did struggle to find and good references on how to do the above on the web, so if anyone has any good links please let me know.

* Posted on: Fri, Nov 26 2004 2:16 PM

November 23, 2004
Say no to Software Patents

By LanceW

Software patents are IMHO bad for the IT industry and for us all generally. Please visit the website to learn more.

* Posted on: Tue, Nov 23 2004 3:13 PM

Kiwi Dolphins are great!

By LanceW

Heres a link to a news story on CNN about a pod of doplhins that protected some swimmers (human) from sharks!


Our Dolphins Rock!

* Posted on: Tue, Nov 23 2004 11:41 AM

Laser Printers print secret ID

By LanceW

over at Boing Boing they have highlighted a interesting/disturbing fact about laser printers.

Basically, laser printers from as far back as 1995 have apparently been adding the serial number of your printer to anything you print.

The rational being to help track down counterfeiters, terrorists etc I suppose. But how come its not something we all know about?

Does my printer do it?

Do manufacturers have the right to do this?

Personal privacy?

And all on the same week David Blunkett promotes ID cards (again)

* Posted on: Tue, Nov 23 2004 10:57 AM

November 22, 2004
Navy Judo

By LanceW

As many will know, the British Navy have asked me to help coach their Judo Team in January.

I am really pleased to be able to attend and am looking forward to it greatly. If any of the squad happen to read this, please do email me and get in touch!


The navy website is:

* Posted on: Mon, Nov 22 2004 12:47 PM

Web redesign

By LanceW

Hi all,
any one visiting my site lately will have noticed how tired its looked and how little time I have been spending there.
To remedy this I have started on a redesign, which (should) be healthy XHTML, so future design work will be easier.
Unburdened from the hassle of having to edit each page to make design changes, I should be able to keep things both looking good and up to date!
Anyway, as the site goes up, things might go missing, so please bear with me!


* Posted on: Mon, Nov 22 2004 10:35 AM

[ view entry ] ( 1921 views ) permalink

October 2004 

October 29, 2004
Google Desktop

By LanceW

For anyone who has yet to discover it, go direct to and test the google desktop beta software.

There is an issue if you use roaming profiles however, that your google index is stored in your profile. So... it can slow down your login and logout quite badly.

* Posted on: Fri, Oct 29 2004 10:30 AM

October 4, 2004
SpaceShipOne claims X-Prize

By LanceW

Private space flights for all!

URL: SpaceShipOne claims X-Prize

* Source Blog

* Posted on: Mon, Oct 4 2004 4:04 PM

[ view entry ] ( 2206 views ) permalink

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