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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Videos on coaching Judo from Bob. 

My fellow student at University of Bath, lecturer in Coaching Science, and coach at Comberton Judo Club, Bob has a terrific Judo coaching website which I recommend you check out. I worry shall overcome my website in a very short period of time. :( Bob is a smart guy and he has started posting video of games and drills for Judo.

Just visit the site and click on "Games & Drills". He has done several videos recently on strength training for juniors, check them out. Once you have done that be sure to browse the site and read some of Bob's excellent work.

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Things others do well. 

Today I was cleaning out my study (and in the process turning my home Dojo into a home office ) I came across a CD of photos from my days with Capoeria Scotland.

The photos (now on Facebook and Bebo) were from a workshop I organised with a Capoeira Mestre from Rio, Brazil. Back then, we were a small organisation, probably a membership in double digits, maybe 50 if we were lucky.

Yet we organised to have an expert instructor visit us from Brazil. We paid not only for the Mestre's flights but for his time also for the weekend. Hundreds of pounds were spent and obtained from the members. In Capoeira, workshops are really common, getting Mestres to come to workshops is common too.

In Judo, not so much.


I have been to Judo workshops, but with much less frequency than in Capoeira. It is something that a club is unlikely to do. Clubs are more likely to attend events from the National Governing Body; but unlikely to organise their own events. Why?

I think it is something that we could do better.

Thats it, goodnight
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New Rules from the IJF... thoughts? 

Hi Everyone,
I have received copies of the proposed new rule changes that I gather are to be trialed at the 2008 Junior Worlds in Bangkok.

I could not find the information on the IJF website, so I can't post any links to the documents... sorry. I have some PDFs but shan't post them as I might get in trouble. :(

Anyway... here is a summary of what is going on, I would love to hear your opinions in the comments. I am also interested as to who's been consulted on these rule changes, if you were, let me know.

Yuko, Wazari, Ippon only.

Osae komi
Ippon - 20 seconds
Wazari - 15 seconds
Yuko - 10 seconds.

Golden Score
Golden score will be only 3 minutes.

Border line rules
All the actions are valid and may continue (no Mate) as long as either contestant has some part of their body touching the contest area. (Similar criteria than in Ne-waza).


refusal of Kumi kata grasp - Shido.
When gripping the player seeking to grip is safe, the one "Preventing the grip" will be given Shido.

block by Kumi kata by repulsing - Shido
If you block your opponents attacks by pushing with the arms - Shido.

blocking by kumi kata with crushing - Shido
If you dominate the grip and prevent the other player attacking, pulling them doy. Shido.

excessive defensive posture - shido
Defending by basically bending in half, preventing your opponent form attacking. Shido.

grasp of trousers - Shido
Grabbing the trousers to attack or defend, shido.

False Attacks:
Sutemi - shido
Dropping into a sutemi attack without breaking the opponents balance. If there in no "intention to action or projection" Shido.

with the knee - shido
Dropping onto the knees (drop seoi) without unbalancing or intention of projection.

My initial thoughts are this...
Koka is gone, will this mean that small throws go without score, or will Yuko become the new Koka?

Osae Komi duration... shorter shorter shorter. The moment the duration was changed from 30 seconds to 25 I knew it would eventually become 20. So the question is where does it stop? And do we want to further shorten ne waza when MMA is full of ne waza and is growing so fast?

Kumi kata penalties. Well we'll see, maybe they are going to prevent excessive gripping and negative play... maybe.

Penalties for "flop n drop" seoi. Well it was there already, but being highlighted is probably good. Ditto for the penalty for dropping into sutemi waza with no intention of throwing.
These two I suspect are designed to "manage" the strategic play of Judoka who are up on points. A specific example would be the Fallon vs. Paischer match in Beijing. In that match Paischer played an excellent strategic match, dropping into a sumi gaeshi-like position over and over, preventing Craig Fallon from getting into the fight and securing him the win.

Hopefully these rule changes are designed to, and will help promote more positive throwing Judo. Of course as an old friend said via Facebook recently:
"...the reason the rules change is nothing to do with the progress of judo but rather to justify people meeting on a regular basis on expenses paid by members what would be the point of them meeting if they did not change the rules..."

Time will tell I suppose, please do comment on these rule changes and let me know what you think.


UPDATE: October 21 2008
I have posted a podcast you can listen to on this subject over at

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British Judo Association (BJA) disaster of the day... "Technical Update" 

Okay... maybe the title is wrong and this is not a disaster. Maybe this is just the BJA succeeding in it's evil plans to assassinate "The World of Judo" (or perhaps I am just a conspiracy theorist).

Over on the BJA side they have released/launched "Technical Update" ... Issue1.pdf which I think is supposed to replace Matside; the glossy magazine that (argueably) helped to kill Bob Willingham's "The World of Judo".

***Update: Okay, so this was not "Matside" the new magazine, it was a smaller coaching thing. Still the comments above and below remain valid.

Well, it's a complete mess. Go take a look. I think it was thrown together by someone from the 80's!!! It just looks terrible, the "articles" are tiny and pointless. I have no idea what they this was supposed to achieve.


I know I am a "BJA basher" (like a growing number of people), so I'm negative. But I am going to throw out some ideas here that could I think make this positive.

1) Drop the PDF format.
PDF just makes it harder for everyone involved, don't use it. Look, PDF is great if you have content you'd like maintain the style of the layout of a quality layout. This text is ugly as it is, so you would be better leaving it as another format, HTML anyone. Which leads to...

2) Turn it into a blog.
A blog would be index-able by Google. It would be able to be subscribed to via RSS, so people could get updates in their browser or RSS aggregator. It would also be able to be linked easily to in emails and from other websites. Of course I could include it on where a lot more people would see it.

3) Expand the articles fully, so they have something more useful. Those snippets in the PDF are useless. Have the full information available in seperate posts (on the blog) share more, get more people.

There are three positive spins on "BJA Technical Update", see I am not always negative.

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Visiting Camberley Judo Club. 

Camberley Judo Club
This week I had the opportunity to visit Camberley Judo Club and felt I should blog about it as it was really great. For the first time since I last visited the London Judokan, I had that "WOW, I'm here!" feelings. It's when I describe myself as being a "Judo Tourist", when I go somewhere and feel that buzz from the moment I arrive. That, hey this is cool, this is somewhere amazing.

For those of you who don't know Camberley, it has a special place in the history and hearts of British Judo. From their website:

Our record of success includes many Olympians, three junior world titles and medallists in the last four world championships. In total, 7 out of the last 13 World medals won by Breat Britain have come from Camberley based players.

It's permanent mat area and accommodation is home to and has been home to some of the best players Britain has ever produced.

On a personal note, I know three players who are/were "Camberley Players", Paul Jones, Steve Withers and current coach at Camberley; Luke Preston. I like all three guys, and have the utmost respect for all three's Judo and for them as people who have stayed in the sport beyond competition and are giving back to the sport in a big way.

Anyway.... I watched the junior session prior to the adults. It was interesting the level of physical conditioning included in the session. If you agree with the common argument that a large number of players entering the adult ranges of Judo are not prepared physically for the game; then the session was definitely going to prepare future players.

The adult session started with a game of touch rugby, flashing memories of the Judokwai in Auckland, New Zealand through my head. It was interesting stepping on the mat in my poor state of fitness with some serious players.

I suppose it supported the idea above that if you are not physically ready for the game, you are not going to win in Judo. I struggled to establish myself, could have done better if I had better strength and fitness I'd like to believe.

Sadly I'm a masochist (like all Judoka I suspect) and enjoyed it immensely!!

After the session I got to have a beer with Luke and Mark (Earle), it was great to sit and talk Judo with the man behind the club and the man beginning to carry the name forward. The Club and these guys are there working at the highest level in our sport, Olympic, and it was a pleasure and honour to be welcomed there.

So... thanks Mark, Luke and everyone there last Tuesday.


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