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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Coaching Digital Natives... Spaces Available. 

Hi all,

some of you are probably aware, I am delivering my talk on coaching Judo to "Digital Natives" (i.e. young people) this weekend at Dartford Judo Club, here in the U.K.

There are still seats available and I would love to fill them.
The talk is a variation on the one I gave as a keynote lecture at the University of Bath. I have updated it slightly to reflect some important changes since I gave it in Bath. One of the really nice things about delivering it this time is that many of my examples are now UK based clubs and coaches. Some in fact who have made changes to their methods as a result of the lecture in Bath.

The organiser let me know today that there are seats available, so please do book yourself in.

The day itself is split between myself and a Strength and Conditioning coach, so lots to catch up on I am sure.

Below are the details from the BJA website:

30 Nov '08 Introduction to Strength & Conditioning in Judo + Coaching Digital Natives - COACH REVALIDATION - (SO20-08)
TIMES : from 10.00am to 3.00pm.
VENUE : Dartford Judo Club, Cotton Lane, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6PD.
COST : 25.00 per candidate (cheques payable to BJA Southern Area).
APPLICATIONS : Please send completed form and payment to Alan Roberts at Dartford Judo Club to secure your place.
CONTACT : Alan on 07956 917576.
COURSE ORGANISER : Christ Doherty - RTO.
COURSE TUTORS : Dave Richardson and Lance Wicks.
Click here for entry form

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Taraje likes coaching!  

Taraje Williams-Murray wrote a post on his blog about some instruction work he has been doing at ITC NY.

The post is entitled "Coaching IS Satisfying". The title is curious, and maybe shows how an elite athlete's mind works perhaps. Taraje was/is as you know two-time Olympian. He is a fighter, a competitor and like his team member Ronda Rousey, he is transitioning from one life to another.

Taraje, is enjoying coaching and the title perhaps suggests that it is a surprise to him. Which is not surprising as to make it to the heights that Taraje has reached he will not have perhaps been able to explore Judo fully. So has perhaps never been exposed (with eyes clear of larger Olympic goals) to the joy and deep satisfaction of coaching.

I have stated elsewhere that I do not understand Judo people who have never fought in competition. I can't. I started fighting as a kid and have competed ever since, and still do occasionally.

Taraje has done what I regrettably did not, he has chased his own potential all the way to the Olympics, and done it twice! I can not understand what that is like, any more than I can comprehend what it is like to do Judo without ever competing.

But I have become a coach and I am still exploring Judo, this is Taraje's mission and I wish him well with it. I also hope that you all explore Judo fully in your own way.

For me, my exploration is in the research area, I am currently notating the matches of the Beijing Olympics (including some of Taraje's); Taraje alternatively is exploring coaching and seminars and DVDs, etc. Ronda is heading to school and to coaching.

Where is your personal exploration of Judo headed? Perhaps you are on a path to Area medals, perhaps to bigger medals than that. Maybe you, like Mike Darter are breaking earth on a new Dojo. Maybe you learning Kata, or becoming a referee?

The question is, what are you pursuing? What are you exploring? Have you chosen the path you want to take? Or has it chosen you? Research chose me, blogging and creating Judo websites chose me. But I am exploring it as much as I can and so should you!

In Taraje's post title, he states that "Coaching IS rewarding". So is any endeavour you give yourself to fully! Be it competing in the club champs or the Olympics, be it coaching kids or the next Taraje. Commit to something that your choose or that chooses you.


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The Ocean State International 

USA JUDO Junior Point event
March 21st- 2009

Hosted by: Mayo Quanchi Judo
Director: Serge Bouyssou (401) 647-4678
Sanctioned by: United States Judo, Inc.
Chief Referee: Richard J. Celotto

Registration: Serge Bouyssou (401)647-4678 Or Liz Byrne (401) 647-4678

Headquarters: Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Crossings
801 Greenwich Ave
Warwick, RI 02886 (401) 732-6000 - Fax(401) 732-6000 (800) 2CROWNE Mention Mayo Quanchi Judo OR for online registration go to Group code is MAO Room Rates will be $119 per night

Tournament Site: Coventry High School, 40 Reservoir Road, Coventry, RI 02816-6457

Prize Money will be awarded for all senior elite divisions with 5 or more competitors

Training camp March 22 With ..TBD cost $75 per person, Team rate $250 location of camp will be held at Mayo Quanchi Judo 751 Main street West Warwick R.I. 02831

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Australasian Masters... 

Hi to all Judoka

Australasian Masters Games - Team Event

The Australasian Masters Games will be held in Geelong, Victoria on the 27th and 28th February 2009. In addition to individual shiai and kata events there will be a Masters Team Event.

Each Australian State and New Zealand are being asked to encourage as many Masters Judoka as possible to come along - a Master Judoka is a player over the age of 30 years.

Ideally teams will made up using the standard IJF weights and World Masters age categories - however it is likely that a certain amount of amalgamation will be required to make Teams. Using this method the World Masters Championships developed from a competition of 120 Judoka in 1998 to a competition of 1500 judoka in 2008.

All levels of players will be welcome. This is a good opportunity for judoka of all ages and grades to enter a fun tournament where they will get the fairest opportunity possible to compete against their peers.

Masters judo is growing around the world and if this competition is successful it will encourage players from the other Unions to enter in the future - it is worth persuading your friends to train!

Information for the Games can be found at the following site

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British Interservices Judo Championships 2008. 

Today I headed over to Portsmouth for the Interservices Judo competition. The Interservices (for those of you not "down with the lingo" is a Judo competition where the Royal Navy (the hosts), Royal Airforce and the British Army compete.

As with all the interservice competitions, there is many many years of history and pride on the line. The day started with the traditional team events, kyu grades and dan grades. In the afternoon a more standard individual event insues.

There is also a points system by which each individual result adds to a service total. I confess i don't know quite how that worked. Nor what the final results were, I am sure the various service websites will have the results soon.

The interservices tournament is my favourite domestic event. By a long shot!

There is much to sell the event, great sense of importance being on a miltary base. Knowing that these matches have been happening for a long time. Also, it is only military personnel, so the level varies. This is very similar to the British Universities Judo event. Excluding people from attending is I thing something that all tournament organisers should consider.

That said, there are fulltime athletes and international level players attending. But this did not mean they had it easy. I saw several instances where a novice did amazingly well against the more serious athletes.

If I make a complaint, and yes of course there is a complaint coming, it's... the referees! There were some big errors and mistakes; but that's life. These things happen and sometimes they were corrected, though not often.

BUT my gripe for the day is this...
Just because a player lands on their side, this does not mean its a darn Yuko IMHO!
There were several instances of big throws ending with Uke landing (argueably) on their side and Tori only getting a Yuko. Then moments later some little knockdown got yuko too.

Maybe it's the "official interpretation" I'd like to know. But as I remember the rules, its a technique executed with force, speed, control where they land "mainly on the back" that scores Ippon. If one element is missing it is Wazari.

So, if they land on their side I would say that this is one missing element, so Wazari.

I got shouted at by "the table" when I shouted when someone was thrown in one of the bigger throws of the day (a standing Ippon Seoi) and only got Yuko. "They" stated it was because it was because he landed on his side.

Now maybe this is the official interpretation, though I doubt it and suspect it was just another instance of low level referees being... well low level and getting it wrong.

If it is the offical ruling on this, then it needs to change!

In the occasion I mentioned above, the player threw the opponent from full standing shoulder height. It was a lovely Ippon Seoi nage! The other guy hit the floor hard and fast! he was on his side, though I would argue that he was on back and side. So I saw a Wazari, but no.. Yuko!

If this is the "correct" ruling, then the rule absolutely needs changing and you, I and all of us need to fight to get it changed! It is unfair and bad for the sport! What motivation is there for me/you to try the big throw when it is substantially safer/easier to go for a lesser knockdown that lands them on their side.

What do you think?

Anyway, be sure to visit the various "services" websites: ... /index.htm
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