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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October 2005 

October 31, 2005
Serenity... brilliant film!

By LanceW

Hi All,

I watched Serenity last night, what a terrific film!
I wish the Star Wars prequels had been as good as this was. Heck! Malcolm Reynolds in Serenity could have been Han Solo in a prequel.

If you have not seen Serenity go see it before it leaves the cinema. ALso make sure you get out there and buy the boxset of the Firefly series!

One of the great things about the film is the way it handles the aborted TV series, you can watch the film without having watched the series and vice versa. You can watch the movie then watch the series.


* Posted on: Mon, Oct 31 2005 9:23 PM

October 27, 2005
MightyTV - worth a look.

By LanceW

DO take a look at the mighTyV website powered by BBC Backstage. Still looking it over, looks good though.

try it here

* Posted on: Thu, Oct 27 2005 10:10 PM

October 26, 2005
Good Book - Accelerando

By LanceW

I have just finished reading Accelerando by Charles Stross.

This is a Sci Fi / Futurist book that is a really good read. Takes a bit of effort to read as the terminology and concepts can bit quite tiring, but well worth the effort.

It is a great perspective on a possible future. He is based in Edinburgh I see, shame I didn't know that (or of course about his work) when I lived there.

If you enjoy people like Cory Doctorow, you'll like this one.

P.s. It is available in electronic format.

* Posted on: Wed, Oct 26 2005 11:25 AM

October 25, 2005
KES - Judo Competition

By LanceW

Last week, in the final session before this weeks half-term break, we held a small tournament; here are the results:

* Ladies Champion - Isobel Stone
* Year 2 champ - Michael Ellis
* Light weight male champion - Barney Dobson
* Open weight male champion - Liam Kiessling

Well done everyone, at the end of term we shall be holding another competition and then we shall also hopefully hold a grading also.

So... this week we have a break and are back next Wednesday.

See you then!

* Posted on: Tue, Oct 25 2005 8:23 PM

October 18, 2005
Short venom filled words aimed at a machine!

By LanceW


The past day+ has consisted of me working on a bizarre network fault, I have the urge to swear like a sailor at a inanimate object, does that make me a bad person.

Windows 2000 server, DNS, does not work. Simple really. Well it would be if it didn't work consistently!

Back down to the freezer, bye!

(any MSCE Windows 2000 gurus wanna lend a hand let me know!)

* Posted on: Tue, Oct 18 2005 3:33 PM

October 14, 2005
A quick review of the new Judo for Juniors DVD

By LanceW

This is a quick two minute review of the new DVD from Fighting Films "Coaching Judo to Juniors".

I watched a majority of it the other night and below are my comments on what is a great addition to Fighting Films' catalogue.

First things first, I am biased on this one okay. I was fortunate enough to visit Simon Hicks' home at the end of the commentary recording process, where Brent Cooper a fellow Kiwi was recording the Japanese translation.

The disc is basically a highlights reel of some of the teaching ideas of three people, which were displayed/showcased at the IJF congress in Rio.

It is fantastic to see the IJF working so proactively with these skilled coaches and Fighting Films to produce something specifically targetted at the "bread and butter" of Judo, teaching Kids. Keep up the good work and I want more DVDs of this type!

The highlight for me was "Rory's View" of coming to Judo for the first time.
This was basically filming at a childs height walking into a typical Dojo. I believe this section was Peter Gardiner's creation and having lived in Scotland, the initial "bad" dojo scene was really familiar to me from visiting clubs in Scotland and to be fair clubs everywhere!

Peter has a definate style and in the "Good" dojo example it was really apparent that making sure a club is "professional" in its presentation is really important.

Most of the DVD is short sections where one of the three instructors shows one of his ideas. Like teaching Ukemi with hula hoops, Peters warm-up games and so forth.

All of which are really cool!

It all feels a bit gimicky and personally I don't like this introducing footballs and hula hoops and lord knows what else into a Judo Club. Lets let the Judo be the fun thing not (as is quoted on the DVD by a kid asked what the best thing about Judo was) "playing football before the class". Warning bells rang on that comment, there is IMHO no point retaining kids who like coming to a Dojo to play football. Else we might as well start teaching football.

A couple of things that grated after a while was Peter & John asking kids names everytime they spoke to one. Geez, I get the point, but when in the context of the DVD it gets old fast!
That said, the principle I think is 100% right. Names are really important and knowing and using them is a big plus. (It is also a skill I struggle with)

In general I think that the DVD is a great reference for a coach/instructor looking for a couple of possibly new ideas, but it falls very short of being a "must have" for coaches.
I would have liked to see more information, more researched opinions, more structures and principles.

What the disk does give is a view of three very different approaches to teaching kids.

Peter's is very much about presentation for example where as Franco's is very personal, quiet and uses lots of props. But all we see is a couple of their favourite "tricks". I'd have liked to have had more interviews and opinion or explanation of approach and theories.

All in all, I think anyone serious about coaching kids should own a copy of the disk, however there are several other resources I'd look at before buying the DVD. Buy some books, surf the web and you will find more insightful and informed reference, then buy the DVD and enjoy seeing a showcase of the Rio sessons with a few bonuses.

So in summary a great step in the right direction, a DVD to own of course but 101 ippons would be higher on your shopping list along with books like Soames' Junior Judo are a better resource for actual help.

* Posted on: Fri, Oct 14 2005 9:30 AM

KES - Session 4 (Autumn Term 2005)

By LanceW

This weeks class was nice and busy! Everyone is doing so well!

This week we worked on Tachi-Waza (throwing techniques), specifically Uchi Mata and O Soto Gari.

We started by doing a balance exercise, hopping on one leg from one corner of the mat (tatami) to the other bent in half at the waist with arms out wide and one leg out straight behind us.
We went forwards and backwards and also did it with a partners leg entwinned with ours and "hugging" each other.

These exercises build the essential balance on one leg that we need for both Uchi Mata & O Soto Gari. Which we then practised and everyone picked up quite quickly.

Half term is almost upon us, and with it the first school Judo competition, should be good! It will be groundwork (ne waza) only and I expect a great battle for first place!

* Posted on: Fri, Oct 14 2005 9:00 AM

October 11, 2005
What is your blog worth?

By LanceW

My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?

No really that is apparently the value of my blog, believe it or not. Try testing yours.

* Posted on: Tue, Oct 11 2005 9:23 AM

October 10, 2005
Great South Run

By LanceW

Some of you will be aware that I started a running club this year, so will also know that I entered and have been quietly training for the Great South Run in Portsmouth.

Well Sunday was the day and off I set to complete the ten mile road race with 16,000 other people around the streets and docks of Portsmouth.

I am pleased to say that I finished the race in one hour thirty five minutes!
Which is much faster than I had set as my target time (2:00 hours) or my unofficial (in my head) time of 1:45. So I am pretty pleased with myself today, sore, but happy!

I took my GPS with me and a miniature digital camera, so every mile I took a quick photo. I shall be looking and posting these tonight.

UPDATE: Just checked the great south website and it tells me that my position out of 16,000 entries is 6138!! Woot!

* Posted on: Mon, Oct 10 2005 2:16 PM

October 7, 2005

By LanceW

After hearing lots about SecondLife and not being able to use it due to my main PCs running WindowsME and Linux, I finally caved and started using a XP Laptop.

Cory Doctorow and others are often talking about SecondLife, I was dieing to give it a go. I like the idea of a virtual world minus the game elements. (I have played various online games in the past and the gaming element bores me after a while)

So, I tried it, should I say am trying it. Bit slow on the laptop I am using. I have my eyes on a beasty eversham laptop which would probably solve the problem. But thats an aside.

Who here spends time in SecondLife? Anyone? In the system I am "Akage Doctorow" so look me up and say hi! If so what do you do there? Does anyone who read this do this wild make money in Secondlife and convert it into real money? Talk to me people!

Those of you interested here is a link to download the client and get started, did I mention it is now free! (Link HERE).


* Posted on: Fri, Oct 7 2005 3:23 PM

Management structures

By LanceW

Hello all,

I was looking at my website and am planning to add some content to the management section and am seeking some input from you on what team structures you have worked under and how effective they have been.

This includes both sporting & work environments please.

Please email me any comments to

* Posted on: Fri, Oct 7 2005 12:55 PM

KES - Session 3 (Autumn Term 2005)

By LanceW

It was good to see a nice full mat this week, even with several regulars being away on a school trip.

Again our focus was on groundwork, I have a ne-waza competition scheduled for the session before half-term, hence the priority, that and its fun of course!

We talked about the scores in Judo. Ippon for a big really good throw, or for holding them down for 25 seconds. Wazari for a throw that is not so great or holding from 20-24.9999999 seconds.
We spoke about how two Wazari equals an Ippon. We then practised doing one of our throws (Tai Otoshi or Ippon Seoi Nage) into a hold. So that if the throw was only a Wazari, we are straight into a hold for 20 seconds (wazari) which adds to the initial wazari and hey presto Ippon!

We also spoke about Professor Kano. We spoke about how Judo was formed by him and the differences between Judo and other martial arts. We talked about the original Kodokan and about how Judo is spread across the globe. This culminated in why I insist we bow to the portrait of professor Kano to show respect for what he created and how we all benefit from it.


* Posted on: Fri, Oct 7 2005 10:38 AM

October 6, 2005

By LanceW

The above link takes you to, a terrific little AJAX web application.

What does it do?
It makes it dead easy for you to mark off all the films in the IMDB top 250, and of course share that with the world via fancy buttons like the one above. Which seems to be saying I need to watch quite a few films!

Take a look and enjoy!

* Posted on: Thu, Oct 6 2005 10:13 AM

[ view entry ] ( 2095 views ) permalink

September 2005 

September 30, 2005
Online Instant messaging - Mainly dead.

By LanceW

My installation of GAIM (which I use to access MSN, AIM, ICQ etc) is dead.
So my online presence is limited mainly to Skype and Googlle Talk at the moment.

Just in case you were wondering.

* Posted on: Fri, Sep 30 2005 11:26 AM

New additions to my website - Instructing.

By LanceW

Hi all,

my poor old website is so neglected now days. Does anyone remember when I added to it all the time?

Well... believe it or not I have made a couple of additions recently. I have written a couple of pages on instructing (HERE). Quickly typed so forgive typos etc.

Also, my friend Robin (Hi!) has been beavering away and has managed to send me a translation of some of the German games I've had for years! I want to add them tothe site too in the very near future.

All this may however be put on hold, whilst I consider throwing a quick database together to hold the games, exercises, drills, etc. Of course it'll be web-based so that you can all access it.
So.... any thoughts on what a database of Judo games should look like? What fields do we need? If I can do this right it would make it very easy indeed for everyone to add to the list of games and for people to find the games easier, the existing layout is A)Old and B)not easy to use so I really should get this done.

* Posted on: Fri, Sep 30 2005 11:24 AM

September 28, 2005

By LanceW

Hi all,
I have been looking at today and was wondering if anyone has used it before or heard about it? Any opinions?



* Posted on: Wed, Sep 28 2005 12:13 PM

September 23, 2005
KES - Session 2 (Autumn Term 2005)

By LanceW

The class was a little fuller this week, nice and busy.

After a little groundwork (ne-waza) randori we worked on Ippon Seoi Nage (one armed shoulder throw) which everyone got nice and quickly.

Everyone's handstands were better this week, I suspect some practising has been taking place!

Looking forward to next week, the main focus of the session will be on Ne-Waza techniques. Specifically Yoko Gatame and Kami Shiho Gatame.

* Posted on: Fri, Sep 23 2005 3:07 PM

September 15, 2005
KES - Session 1 (Autumn Term 2005)

By LanceW

it was great to be back at King Edwards VI Southampton School.

A great little bunch of students came along all of which are new to the world of Judo. The session was a introduction to Judo.

We covered very quickly a little about the history, the culture and the basics of what Judo is all about. This included Judo as a martial art as well as a sport. We had a quick fight on the ground as well as learning a throw (Tai Otoshi) and of course learning some Ukemi (breakfalls) and the all important bows (Rei).

Next week we shall hopefully have even more people and shall start the classes in earnest, lots to cover before the first of two competitions I have scheduled. The first will be just before half-term, the second at the end of term.

Well, it was great to be back at the school and teaching a nice bunch of young people. I hope some of them are reading this.


* Posted on: Thu, Sep 15 2005 11:03 AM

September 14, 2005
Google Blog Search

By LanceW

Google have just launched their search engine purely for blogs over at

I came across it care of BoingBoing (where else!)

* Posted on: Wed, Sep 14 2005 9:13 AM

September 12, 2005
Themepunks (act 1)

By LanceW

I recently finished reading Cory Doctorow's latest work, Themepunks (on my Nokia 9500).

It has just been serialised here or hit the original post on BoingBoing.

Basically it's another of his just a touch further forward than reality. I loved it! I'd love to work for kodacell! (well, in the new work culture in the story anyway)


* Posted on: Mon, Sep 12 2005 8:03 PM

September 9, 2005
Serious article on NZ immigrants.

By LanceW

Heres a small article and link to a BBC articleon immigration to the UK by New Zealanders, enjoy! ... ccess.html

* Posted on: Fri, Sep 9 2005 8:49 AM

[ view entry ] ( 1706 views ) permalink

August 2005 

August 25, 2005
Sad loss

By LanceW

I am very saddened to say that my step-father-in-law Ken died this week.

He was in his 70s and had definately lead an interesting life, much of which I only learnt about via his recently published book "No Time on the Ground".

His book is an interesting read, and obviously any royalties will no benefit his bereaved family, so please do consider buying his book, link below.


* Posted on: Thu, Aug 25 2005 2:40 PM

August 24, 2005
Back the old skool... or not?

By LanceW

Recently I have had several conversations real and over the web inrelation to training methods, and specifically in relation to Uchi Komi. Another area of interest has been as a result of the comments I have made in this Blog about the gym session with Tony McConnell back in April.

On the subject of Randori.
I am a big fan of static Randori, which as most of us know is vilified by many people. Not least Geoff Gleeson. Western thought seems very much that it is a evil to be abolished. I know the message I have been picking up here in the UK is that the path forward for UK Judoka is Randori and specifically going to Japan for quantity & Quality Randori.

Interestingly, Kenzo Nakamura whilst teaching the University of Bath FdSc course spoke about the Japanese Tachi Waza system and commented on how little and how badly westerners do Uchi Komi. (of course he put it more tactfully than I)

My personal feeling is that at lower levels and especially with younger players, Uchi Komi needs to be done a heck of a lot. Starting and primarily static Uchi Komi and moving to moving and the Nage waza as skill and experience grows.
Static Uchi Komi drills a movement, the smoother, faster and more accurate this attacking movement is the better it works. So I'd advocate doing lots of it, as a majority of Judoka I have met don't have really really smooth technique.

Okay and now the whole Tony and the weights thing...
The funny thing is, as I mentioned when I was last in Bath to several people, if given a choice between all the British instructors so far on the course, I'd probably have chosen to train with Tony if I was still a player.

It was only the weights session where I felt he was wrong ok.

Now... his circuit session in the Dojo, no that's a different matter. All that hard shuttle runs, holding weight disks out at arms length etc. I'd have loved that when I was younger!

Why am I bringing it up?

A good friend of mine has forwarded me an article from by Steve Bennett from
It talks about training distance runners and, if I summarise, how he thinks that they should be training more like in the "old days". Which is really similar I guess to what Tony was saying.

To quote the article:
"Young athletes should be encouraged to do a great variety of conditioning &
strengthening training. Simulate the play of past generations & toughen
them up. We need to develop a good training work ethic based out of a love
of training in their early stages of involvement in this sport.

We need to never cast aside what has been proven to work with many athletes
in the past while at the same time we need to refine the use of new
strategies, especially ones that help in the implementation of tried & true
methods of training."

My feeling is that this can be translated back to Judo really easily, Uchi Komi seems to have been deemed archaic and dropped. I'd argue that it is in that "simulate the play of past generations & toughen them up" category. And yes it develops a good work ethic.

And this is where Tony (and many other people) & I disagree, we should not just do things because it worked in the past. We need to "...refine the use of new strategies, especially ones that help in the implementation...".

By this I mean, weight training has prgressed from 1964, so should we; we can "refine" it using our improved knowledge of bio-mechanics etc. In an interview from 1985 Yamashita-San comments on what he saw at Camberley (where Tony I understand was running things). In the interview he says that the circuits he saw application potential in Japan, but not so the weights.

I think that Tony style circuits and hours of Uchi Komi would do a majority of "up and coming" younger players a world of good.


(P.s. if I am misquoting Yamashita-San to suit my argument I apologise)

* Posted on: Wed, Aug 24 2005 3:32 PM

Google Talk live

By LanceW

Well, the latest worst kept secret on the web was/is Google Talk.

Google talk is available at

Basically it is Google's Instant messaging client/network. Built round the open source Jabber protocols. It also includes voice (VoIP), so is this going to compete with Skype?

So, go check it out, my google talk account is if you need someone to add to your contact lists.


* Posted on: Wed, Aug 24 2005 7:49 AM

August 23, 2005 reviews

By LanceW

Okay... I am approaching stalker levels now.

As my previous post showed, I like the works of Cory Doctorow. Both on the web and in books.

Why do I say that, I now have on Amazon, reviews for each of his novels.
Also... I have this bad habit of emailing him, sorry.

Mainly because he replies!
In fact he replied and sent me through a draft of his latest work of fiction, which is great so far, I have only read a little (via my phone, for those interested in my geeky ebook fascination)

So I apologise Cory... I don't mean to stalk you, it just kinda happened. :-)

* Posted on: Tue, Aug 23 2005 12:46 PM

August 19, 2005
Cory Doctorow's Latest novel

By LanceW

Hi all,
I have just finished reading Cory Doctorow's latest novel "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town", which I had on pre-order since September with Amazon.

It is fantastic!

It also has to be the weirdest book I have ever read!!
But weird in a good way!

The characters are so strange you really have to read it to grasp what I mean (so click the link above and buy it would ya!). Put it this way, there is a family of Brothers ok.
Dad is a Mountain (yes, big hilly thing) & Mum is a Washing Machine (yes a washing machine).
Alan, our main character is... well I suppose he's only a bit weird, but his brothers!!
One brother sees the future, another is an island, whilst another three are Russian Dolls. As for Davey is well you wouldn't want to meet him down a dark alley!

My wife is so pleased I am finished now. She was getting sick of me muttering "whoah... that's weird!!... cool!!!"


* Posted on: Fri, Aug 19 2005 2:45 PM

August 4, 2005
Foundation Degree - Day nine

By LanceW

Day nine consisted of the last four of the group sessions, including my own groups Osaekomi waza "masterclass".

Some really good stuff was displayed, it really reminds you of the calibre of all the peole on the course. I think the group dynamic is really interesting, seeing how the various groups work together and what each member brings and often is able to share with all of us.

Happily it is often the person you least expects who is the highlight of the group, so to speak. Twice or three times at least I have been struck by an individual performance by someone unexpected. This is not to diminish the performances of the others.

This evening was spent at the home of Simon Hicks of Fighting Films. Very generous of him to share his home with us all (28 plus people), a great evening which was even better for me as fellow Kiwi Brent Cooper was also staying there!

We all leave tommorrow, which is sad. This block has built on the last one and we have Mike has successfully expanded our horizons with the more eclectic subject matter.

Another great day on a great course.

* Posted on: Thu, Aug 4 2005 11:45 PM

Day eight

By LanceW

well another good session with Simon Jenkins started the day. Nothing much to report today. A large amount of freetime which I/we used to finalise the details of our group masterclass.

Then in the PM we had the first two group masterclasses. I really enjoyed both to be honest.

It is really interesting to see how each team utilises the different people in the team. To see how they "gel" and what the outcomes and contributions are from each individual. It is particularly interesting as it is quite a stressful situation.

You are not presenting to a bunch of kids or your club. This is a Judo class which contains some of the best Judo people in the country/world. There are world & olypic class players and fulltime coaches. And people have to stand up there and tell them how to do Judo.

I am looking forward to doing our session in the morning, I am really happy about the way our team has worked together and the approach we have taken to our Osaekomi "masterclass". Like last block, the process of working in a team has been really rewarding, at least for me.

* Posted on: Thu, Aug 4 2005 2:27 AM

August 2, 2005
Day 7, Bath University - Foundation Degree Sports Performance, EJU

By LanceW

Another interesting day here in Bath, better weather for a start.

Judo with Roy first thing. Interesting exercises where we had to quickly come up with drills for techniques that he showed us nothing but photos of.
You needed to in quick order assess the action in the picture, decide the key actions, priciples, movements, etc.
Then, break it down and put a drill together.
Really good exercise for coaches to do, quite difficult to try and understand a technique/variation that quickly with that little information and then develop a drill for players to do it.

Simon, (poor chap) had us for Work based Learning after that. Why poor chap? A long story, not suitable for the blog I am afraid, but lets just say this block's running joke reached a whole new level thanks to the Welsh lads!
Fantastically funny, thankfully, Simon has a sense of humour and is developing the patience to put up with us idiots.

The lecture itself was really interesting as it dealt with Professional Development Documents (PDPs). Which I am familiar with from work and it actually fits really well into the framework using the Player Assessment forms I used for my block one work.
Basically it is all that good stuff about looking at your personal, learning and professional skills experience and goals. You write it all down and it serves as blueprint to help you develop positively.
Perhaps if you were going to complain, and you all know me, I'll complain, you might complain that in these sessions we seem to sweeping over what is quite a big topic with very little in the way of details and application.

The afternoon was given to Simon Hicks, who is back again. Initial lecture on style identification reviewing what we did in the first block really. Later we did a Dojo session where we focussed on uchi komi. Or as Simon put it situation & reactive uchi komi.
This is all about knowing what sort of fighters you are facing (i.e. at elite/world level, you should expect to fight left handers about 50% of the time, and Russian style left handers about 20% of the time).
So you tailor your uchi komi to train the responses you will need to beat these situations.
Simon brought with him Winston Gordon & Eric Bonti as demonstrators. Winston in particular was great as much of the stuff from Block one and the earlier lecture today features his Athens fights. So having the man himself showing how he prepared was great in terms of bringing it very much to life in your head; especially like me you've never really met/seen these guys in the flesh.

The end of the session was a 3 person grip drill/exercise. Basically one person in the middle (me), one person left handed, the other right handed. On Hajime, they grip you for 30 seconds, you fight the grip. After 30 seconds the other person takes over gripping for the other side. After 30 seconds, the first partners came back and gripped up, but this time in a "Russian Left" grip, another 30 seconds and the same but right.
Great exercise, especially if like me you are on with two "man-mountains". Great fun, nice to have to REALLY work like that. Spent at least 10-15 seconds I think having my face ground into the tatami... not entirely sure that was in the rules of the games, but hey, they seemed to enjoy it. :-) and to be honest, I like being "beaten up" occasionally, makes you work hard I suppose. Call in character/spirit building or some such.

This evening has been a quiet one, just working on the assignments. Which is a shock to my system I think which is I suspect now converting to run on alcohol as the evenings here have been rather beer-tastic. Which I have enjoyed immensely, being pretty much tee-total at home.

The drinks and dinners are in ways the best part of the course. You have this opportunity to sit down with such a depth of knowledge and experience and share views, ideas, etc. The people range from nobody kiwis like me right up to World Champions and even on occasion as high as the chairman of the BJA, Densign, who I have to say has been great and although I don't have a vote in the BJA elections, if I did, my vote would most definately go to him. He is a Judoka through and through, talks to everyone and anyone and seems to actually listen to what people are saying and encourages them to get involved in the BJA and make what they want to happen a reality.

Anyway... I still have another assignment to knock on the head, so I shall end here.

* Posted on: Tue, Aug 2 2005 9:57 PM

Bath Uni, FdSc, Day 6

By LanceW

Today was done entirely in the Dojo.
Sadly I arrived late for the first session, the Itsuzu no Kata (pardon spelling, it is rather late)

The morning session were primarily Kata with soem reference to contest Judo. I have to say, I was impressed with how well everyone attacked the subject. Some partsx of my cynical nature had wondered about how the "Sport Judo" people would react.

I think it helped that the tutors for the session (Jeremy & Andy) seemed to know both Kata Judo and contest Judo.

The afternoon session was with Barry, dealing with "core stabilty" issues. Lots of nasty nasty exercises for the hip area and stomach and lower back. By the time we'd done them we were pleased of his more relaxed swiss ball session.

Personally, I am annoyed that I was late to the kata sessions, I have been lookiing forward to it for some time.

I am looking forward to getting Tuesday squared away, I am planning a sober evening to finish of assignment work. (sad but true)
Simon Hicks is back tommorow, I am interested to see what else he has for us after the execellent sessions he took last time.

so.. till tuesday, bye....

* Posted on: Tue, Aug 2 2005 12:41 AM

August 1, 2005
I am famous...

By LanceW

Today I saw an email from Neil over at, he has put my Yamashita research I did on the last block of the FdSc on his site. ( )

It is nice to actually contribute something back to a site that for so many of us is a first port of call.

I am also by the way the most famous Lance in Judo. Well at least according to GOOGLE. "Lance Judo" pretty much is dominated by me. Woot!

On the Yamashita research, it is interesting that I looked at it just a few moments ago and noticed that I have been misquoting myself! SIlly CHild!

Also... on Friday just been, I was pleased to find in an Interview Mike did with Yamashita-Sensei back in '87 a reference to him changing his way of fighting to influence the referees (at least depending on how you interpret it)

Cool! NOt only was the research a good way to practise the notation work Simon taught us, and find out something good about Judo. It appears what I concluded was in fact accurate! Woot!

ANyway... Randori session shortly, and I will then have to summarise Day 6 of the FdSc.

* Posted on: Mon, Aug 1 2005 6:18 PM

FdSc Day 5

By LanceW

Hi all,
here is the very late summary of day five of the second block of the FdSc course at the University of Bath. I have now have ResNet in the room, so am able to blog from my laptop rather than from my phone which should help a bit.

Anyway, day 5...

A busy day two Judo session in the morning with Roy. My most enjoyable to date on this block stangely. I suspect it was a virtue of my actually having to start hard and fast, being tired as all heck from the night before.
Lots of good drills and an interesting crashmat session.

Roy took the Ethics & Safety session in the afternoon, which was on child protection promarily. After Rob's session Thursday it was good to be provided a bit more framework to work within. Incorporating the ettiquette of Judo the session added alot to what Syd had been saying. Between Rob, Syd & Roy I think we have gotten a good variety of perspectives on the subject.

Mike's afternoon sessions (Learning in the workplace) started the worst way for a lot of us I suspect... with grades from assignments we did for the last block.
Thankfully, I seem to have managed to sneak passes in on all of them, and some marks that were actuall quite respectable... no really.

The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing us and then us working on the management skills case study. All good stuff.

Then home...

* Posted on: Mon, Aug 1 2005 6:12 PM

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July 2005 

July 28, 2005
FdSc Day 4

By LanceW

Another good day after a good hard Randori evening last night. Enjoyed the busy mat a lot, even used the sasae sasae counter Roy showed earlier in the week. This morning started with a session in the Dojo with Kenzo, which was good despite my bruises. We then had a lecture by Syd on technical principles of Judo. Again a fascinating lecture. Ben Then spoke on Kano's Kodokan Judo. He shared some perspectives from his time in Japan. I suppose I found this really good as we both trained under the same sensei in Japan, although at different times. In the afternoon we had Syd Hoare's final lecture with us. Based in part on the "ways of losing" section in his "teach yourself Judo" book. Really interesting, he added a bonus to the end, a piece on ettiquette (pardon spelling). Covering in discussion the procedures for rei at the start and end of sessions. Nice to discuss this one and have a consensus based on common practise and his years of experience. His suggestion that perhaps someone should define these regular things is a good one. Our final lecture was very good, though also the least pleasant. Child Protection, a horrid subject to deal with as the abuses are awful!! And the worries coaches carry about allegations etc scare anyone. Thankfully Rob was brilliant! He really covered the subject from a good perspective and was really fresh whilst still covering the "yuck" bits. Another busy but worthwhile day, worrying a bit about assignments due at the end of next week. Particularly as we seem to not have been given all we need to proceed. Also, finding the time to complete them will be a challenge given lectures and "networking" socially in evenings. Ahh welll... speaking of which, time for a meal!

* Posted on: Thu, Jul 28 2005 5:07 PM

July 27, 2005
Day Three (FdSc University of Bath)

By LanceW

This morning started with a dojo session with Kenzo Nakamura, on the Tokai tachi-waza system. He presented more in terms of the more overiding Japanese system. To break it into something I can blog easily on my phone system forgive me if I miss bits out. The initial discussion was about how in Japan players are basically given a choice of three techniques to develop as thei "pillar" upon which their Judo will be based. The three techniques are seoi nage, Uchi mata and o soto gari. Japanese players then train this technique to a high level. Added to the primary throw other techniques are added. An example shown was ashi guruma for o soto gari. This could be drilled, 2 o soto gari followed by ashi guruma. Same entry two throws. He also discussed grip patterns and the reasoning behind maintaining the traditional standard grip. The reasoning being that it allows a wider range of possible attacks, than say the over the top high collar grip. Extrapolating, the theory as I saw it is that it allows you more throws to attack with, but also gives your opponent more to worry about. He also expressed his view that uchi komi is both neglected and often poorly done by western players. (my word thereb okay!) He showed some pointers on Uchi Komi, such as the need to focus on kuzushi, the need to make large arm movements and for Uke to be focussed, co-operative and thinking. There is more, but I want to move on. The afternoon (well late morning and early afternoon) was Syd Hoare discussing the development of the Judo rules. Again from a historical perspective. Again it seemed well researched and I found it both informative and thought provoking. I suspect at this stage that my personal view of Judo etc makes me enjoy the less practical sides of the course more, the oportunity to be provoked into thought bis great. Finally this afternoon Envic Galea spoke of ethics and specifically on teaching Judo to kids. I am not sure I agree with where it was going. But this is a personal attitude to the perhaps politically correctness invading teching kids anything rather than the excellent work that Envic, the EJU and IJF seem to have been doing. Although I broadly agree with everthing that was being said, somewhere deep down I couldn't but worry about what perhaps could be the long term result of the de-emphasis on winning and perfomance. Ialways worry about where adaption becomes change. Where is the line we cross and teaching kids Judo ceases to be teaching Judo at all and just becomes entertaining or educating kids within a Judo environment. I have obviously changed the way I teach technique etc to kids over the years as is shown on my website. But everytime I try or invent a new game or weird way of teaching A throw (or other Judo thing) I need to assess if I am going to far away from the original. For example is my "dinky do, dinky da" uchi mata too silly? Is it still teaching uchi mata? The games on my site, fun yes, but whn do they become mere games that entertain rather than tools to teach my sport. When does ensuring that too much emphasis on winning is not made become a case of Judo no longer being sport? When does and how do we assess/decide? At what point does losing need to be there? I also worry that we underestimate kids, Competition seems to me to be a natural thing, kids compete all the time especially whn adults are not controlling things. Pretty much all the games I played at school involved winning and losing. Hard questions, again the course is good in that it provokes just ths sort of internal dialogue. So... Off to do Randori tonight hope I feel more energetic than Monday!! :-)

* Posted on: Wed, Jul 27 2005 4:55 PM

FdSc Day two

By LanceW

Day two was interesting, Judo to start and finish, with Drugs and history filler. The morning session with Roy was interesting, but for me the strength of the day was the interesting look at Drugs use in sport. This included watching a documentary on Ben Johnson. Fascinating to look at the drivers behind his use of steroids and the impact his being caught had on the world of sport. It was in spots hard to watch, as an athlete you felt for him and it was easy to see how stepping over the ethical line might be easier than you might think at first. My personal highlight was Syd Hoares talk on the history of Judo. This started from the ancient past through the Edo period all the way to the formation of the Kodokan. It felt really well researched, and is the sort of knowledge that we should all know, but is hard toobtain authoritive information. Especially outside of Japan. The afternoon Judo session with Kenzo was as always looked forward to. The thing I am noticing about what he is teaching us, is the simplicity. A newaza masterclass so to speak, in which those fundamentals such as Kuzushi were promoted. The feeling I get is that the power of the Japanese system is the ability to stick to basics. I am writing this immediately after Kenzo's morning session (day 3). Which was on the Tokai tachi waza system. Interesting, but I'll write on that later.

* Posted on: Wed, Jul 27 2005 9:46 AM

July 26, 2005
FdSc Block 2 / Day 1

By LanceW

Hi all, well I am back in bath, enjoying the Sports performance course. Day one was good, ethics was brilliant. great to have the brain worked out. Good discussions. Attended the evening Randori, excellent, goood numbers, good talent, the Team Bath system seems to be working well. Shame I felt absolutely tired from the start, eh. Day two looks interesting.

* Posted on: Tue, Jul 26 2005 9:25 AM

July 11, 2005
Communication Article

By LanceW

Below is the text from an article I wrote on communicating with geeks, for business people. It was distributed to approx. 7,000 of the UK's leading business people.

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, clients and consultants.
On a day-to-day basis I communicate with other geeks worldwide. I do this via email, instant messaging,
newsgroups, mailing lists, websites 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 uncomfortable,
painful and just plain annoying! I am not alone in this sensation as Britain becomes more and more
reliant on knowledge workers (geeks). The question is, do business people need to change the way they
operate to suit the geeks, rather than the other way around? I think they do and changes need to be made
if they want to get the best out of IT.
Change One: Communicate in “big picture” terms - leave out the details
When speaking with your IT people, do not 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 the “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 putting procedures in
place that make reporting an automatic process.
Change Three: Everything is either a 1 or a 0.
Computing is a yes or no, black or white industry, IT people struggle with ‘grey’ areas of communication
that are unclear. Ensure that when communicating with your IT people, you make everything either one
thing or the other.
Change Four: Ethics DO matter.
Your IT Geek could cause a large amount of damage. 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 to 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. You need to change, not them. Or perhaps you have a different view;
Let my boss know, email
By Lance Wicks – IT Manager, The Aziz Corporation

* Posted on: Mon, Jul 11 2005 10:06 PM

Linux server article.

By LanceW

Hi all,
The above is a link to a short article I've thrown together on Linux replacing MS Exchange as the eMail server for a business. Take a look at let me know what you think folks.


* Posted on: Mon, Jul 11 2005 11:28 AM

July 7, 2005
We are fine. (London Bombing)

By LanceW

Just because I am getting a lot of emails and text messages, etc.

I am fine (not being in London), Sally and all my family are fine.

* Posted on: Thu, Jul 7 2005 11:58 AM

July 4, 2005

By LanceW

Penultimate lesson of the Term/Year.

We had another shot at Uchi Mata, with great success. We also did some good standing Randori.

We covered Defences to O Soto Gari, including the classic spin onto your stomach. The counter with your own O Soto. Finally a nice spin out and counter with Ippon Seoi for a bit of fun.

Next week is our final week and we've decided to have a Tournament. Should be good, stay tuned.

* Posted on: Mon, Jul 4 2005 8:48 PM

Live 8

By LanceW

Well, it was well worth staying up till the end for at least.

Bit sceptical of what effect the concerts will have on the G8 leaders, they seem to have managed not to worry about Africa for quite a while now, but any move as a result of the concerts is a success in my eyes.

So first off, Queen tracks.
I heard Green Day do one in Berlin, then Robbie Williams opened with We Will Rock you.
Proving you have to be very special to do a Queen track without sounding stupid. Green Day... you sounded Stupid. Robbie, you pulled it off, the fact you cut to "Let me Entertain you" may have helped.
Robbie was sensational best act up to that point, and in terms of crowd pleasing performance, the number one of the night.

That said... The Who & Pink Floyd where the best acts of the night, IMHO.
They were worth watching all the rest for. The WHo were amazing and belted out their classics and Pink Floyd, well the were "The Floyd"!
Simply amazing!!

Other than that, I wish the BBC had had better coverage of the global events, I saw nothing from anywhere else except a little from the US.

SHame really

* Posted on: Mon, Jul 4 2005 8:46 PM

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June 2005 

June 27, 2005
Japanese Navy + KES

By LanceW

Saturday, thanks to Michael Pring, I was invited to attend a Randori session with some of the Japanese Navy visiting Portsmouth for the Trafalgar 200 celebrations.

Very enjoyable evening at Fort Purbrook, including a nice Ju-No-Kata demonstration by some younger Portsmouth players (about 6-7 years I think they were). And a Katame No Kata demonstration by some adult blackbelts.

I very much enjoyed fighting some nice Judoka. Typically upright and positive Japanese Judo. A distinct lack of the excess grip fighting that is prevalent nowadays.
Wonderful throwing Judo, lots of throws all evening. Very enjoyable, throw, then get thrown. They way Randori should be.

I was very pleased to execute the classic Ippon Seoi after their Ippon Seoi that I think everyone has done in training.

Wonderful fun.

This afternoon, we had an enjoyable session at King Edwards School. Ippon Seoi (which I swear I had planned from last weeks cancelled session).

We discussed the scoring system in Judo and the objectives of Judo. We also did Uchi Mata, which most people picked up pretty quickly which was nice.

We had a fun Sumo to finish!

* Posted on: Mon, Jun 27 2005 9:56 PM

June 24, 2005 - Thumbs up!

By LanceW

I have used and audioscrobbler on and off for quite a while and am back using it again. I recommend it to all those of you who like me listen to a majority of your music through your computer.

So what does it do?
Basically audioscrobbler is a plugin to most media players that keeps a track of what you listen to and posts it to an online database. RSS feeds available and all that good stuff so you can share your musical tastes with the world and his/her friend. uses this database to build a profile of your musical tastes and makes it easy to find other artists you might like and other people with similar tastes. It also streams music based on your profile.
So it is a great way to listen to music when your CDs get stale. Browsing the site introduces you to lots of new artists, wonderful.

Now... if this was not cool enough, they have just released a Beta player, which plays the stremas for you. You give it your username and password and it then streams your music. I like it as it means your tatstes are nice and portable.

Go to the site and give it a go.
I am "lwicks" there so feel free to visit my profile and "Friend" me

* Posted on: Fri, Jun 24 2005 3:31 PM

June 20, 2005
Cory's new book is out!!

By LanceW

Cory Doctorow's latest novel is now out, at least stateside.
I have a copy pre-ordered on Amazon and have yet to see it, but I wait patiently!

Cory is a really interesting net-celebrity, a member of the fantastic crowd. I have read almost everything hes published now I think, all his fiction books at least.

cruise over to and take a look!


* Posted on: Mon, Jun 20 2005 9:36 AM

June 15, 2005
Programmes for 10mile Great South Run

By LanceW

Sally will do the London -> Brighton bike ride this weekend. Go Sally!!
Braver than me, it's about 60 miles!

Me... I have, as many people know, signed up for the BUPA Great South Run. 10 Miles of running in Portsmouth, ouch!

Have been scoping the web for decent planning resources to prepare for the run, bit tricky to work out what what is good and what is bad. The quality from the rubbish, the realistic from the pie in the sky.

Once this weekend is over (and Sally no longer dominates the "needs to train" stakes) I shall have to start training in earnest. The diet will need to get back to a decent level (bye coke cans!)

If anyone has some good website or advice I'd appreciate it!


* Posted on: Wed, Jun 15 2005 1:30 PM

June 14, 2005
KES Session

By LanceW

Last night was the second session at King Edward VII School Southampton.

After the initial warmups we had some ne-waza randori followed by a demonstration of the importance of getting "chest to chest" when doing ne-waza. I used the "experiment" of having uke lie on their back then try and spin onto their stomach when I said Hajime.

At arms length they normally get away, half arms length, the still normally make it, when my knees are touching, it's 50/50 and if I am lieing directly on them, "chest to chest", they can't turn over.

We had two brief "fitness tests", first the classic leapfrog, then crawl between the legs exercise (5 each). Then with your partner on hands and kneees, crawling underneath them first on your stomach, then through on your back (5 each).

We briefly revisited Taio Toshi (from last week), where the students without prompting remembered the "catch a fish" analogy I used last week. Before moving onto O Soto Gari.
We did static uchi komi and then static uchi komi with a "throw" on the last one. (only sets of 5) Everyone is inexperienced, so it was all light throws.

We finished with a bit of a session on bows, namely the correct way of bowing on and off the mat.

Another enjoyable session, the students are starting to get a feel for where I am coming from and my limits and vice versa.

* Posted on: Tue, Jun 14 2005 8:52 AM

June 10, 2005
Yamashita Research

By LanceW

Hi All,
I have added to the website a little research project I did. Basically I have analysed the great Yamashita-San's 203 fighht winning streak and found some things that might be of interest.

Take a look here.

* Posted on: Fri, Jun 10 2005 11:59 AM

June 6, 2005
Website & KES

By LanceW

Well, I have finally started moving my website to a nice XHTML/CSS design with the nice new logo. Lots missing in terms of content but design and navigation is there.
The other big plus of course is being CSS driven, I can clean up the style easily without having to re-edit every page. So the somewhat basic design will get pretty with time.

I also took my first session at King Edwards VII School in Southampton this afternoon. A nice bunch of people, a lot of the session was taken up with getting to grips with the levels of the students. But we did manage to fit in Taio Toshi, O Soto Gari, Ko Uchi Gari, Mune Gatame, Kesa Gatame (also the standard Taio->Kesa Gatame transition drill) and of course a game of Cat & Mouse (their first time) and Bulldogs to finish.

Too much in one session of course, but it was very fast and the aim was really to determine what level of knowledge they are at.

I very much enjoyed the session!

* Posted on: Mon, Jun 6 2005 9:12 PM

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