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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World Masters Training, Week Summary 16/46.  

Not alot to report here sadly.
I didn't do alot (okay any) training this week for various reasons, except for a 3 mile run on Saturday morning.

Christmas, work, lazy... 'nuf said.
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A new Judo blog in the community! 

Today I came across Judo-the-Blog which has been on the net since November seemingly. I have added it to PlanetJudo already.

It is associated with (and possibly written by) Jan Snijders, the Dutch Olympian who (and I quote the site here) is a well known Dutch judoka. During his active competition period he has participated in all major contests like the Olympic Games in 1964. Jan Snijders became amongst others European Champion in 1962 in Essen. Nowadays Jan Snijders is Refereeing Director of the European Judo Union but still also teaches judo in Oirschot, Bladel, Deurne and Gemert Netherlands). Not to mention being an 8th Dan.

The site has a Science slant, so I look forward to reading more on the site.
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Judo - The Open Source Martial Art and Sport. 

Judo is "Open Source", awesome, great, what the heck does that mean Lance?
What it means is that Judo is open and we share and grow as a community, the quality of the sharing detrmining the quality of the sommunity and that in turn the quality of the Judo.

Judo, unlike traditional/historical arts does not have "secrets" or as you might call it now days... "proprietary". It is in part the reason Judo was/is the most popular and wide spread martial art in the world.

Being open and having a strong community is the path to success, keeping to yourself is the road to failure, both for you and for us all. One of the best examples of this open source method succeeding is University of Bath, here in the UK. I consider myself fortunate to be involved with the programme there and it has been showing results for all involved.

In Bath, Mike Callan has assembled a cohort of players and coaches and scientists who are pushing forward Judo there and in the UK, and it's all open and if you had the gumption to, you could copy the setup yourself and Mike would probably give you more help than anyone else.

In Bath, I attend a course where I and about 60 other Judo coaches visit for two weeks, twice a year. We study, we train, we chat, debate and argue. We learn from one another and we and Bath benefit.
Mike has build a "community" around Judo in Bath. this community shares and works together both for Bath and on individual projects. This is exactly the same sort of community that people talk about in computing.

So... How have you contributed to your Judo community?
Me, I have done Judo research, I've coached clubs and players and teams, I have helped my colleagues with their studies. i started the Judo podcast and Planet Judo and all the other sites. i have done websites for my friends in Judo and chatted over many a beer with people about what they are doing in Judo.

What are you doing? What could your role be? maybe you are a conditioning coach? maybe a business person with the ability to bring in sponsors. maybe you are a physio ora artist or and accountant? maybe you are just a motivated parent? maybe your contribution is beiing a green belt who makes a black belt work hard? maybe you are the Dad how brings players to events?

we can all contribute, and we all should.

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British Interservices Judo Competition 2007 + RWJL thhoughts. 

Last weekend I had the good fortune to attend the Interservices Judo Competition at the British Army PT college in Aldershot.

The event is one I have been to before both when hosted by the Army as in this case and down in Portsmouth when hosted by the Royal Navy. The event has always been one of my favorite Judo competitions. Unlike most events, the interservices has many many years of history and rivalry between the RAF, Army and Navy. The Team fights are the highlight and I always enjoy the competitions.

I enjoyed the event and the Navy did well despite having the smallest team there. The lack of players meant that the other teams had quite a few occasions where the Navy was unable field a full team and gave away fights in the team events.

The interservices is a great event that I think other tournaments could learn from. The team format is excellent and having both Dan grade and Kyu grade works well. Dan grade is actually brown Belt and up, separating the more advanced players from the lower grades is excellent as it gives the lower grades something worthwhile to compete in, where they can win fights for the team.

Mike, over at has been talking about hosting a competition and making it a team event, I hope he does as the more I look at the format, the more it makes sense to me. Another friend of mine helps run a team league here in the UK for juniors and it seems to work well as well.

One of the nice things about the Interservices is that the levels are fairly well matched. One of our Navy players has only been doing Judo for 4 weeks, yet managed to win 2 of his 4 fights. That is awesome!

Working on the WWW.RWJL.NET site/project has had me thinking about this sort of thing. The idea behind the RWJL is to allow us all to find people in our ability range to fight, the idea is to use the ELO ranking system to sort players by their results.

My idea is that you will be able to visit the site, find your name and next to you see players of your approximate ability. The ELO system basically gives starting players a standard base score say 1500. Then you get points for wins and lose them if you lose a match. The interesting thing is that it is not a fixed amount you gain/lose, the amount changes depending on how far above/below you the other player is.

What this does, is reward people who win fights against players who should beat them. It gives them a smaller reward for easier fights closer or below their level. The ELO system "should" prevent people picking on "newbies" or fighting below their ability all the time. It is a mature ranking system used primarily in Chess, but also in adapted forms in other areas including XBOX Live.

Progress on the RWJL is progressing slowly but steadily and with increasing pace. I am using the CakePHP framework, which I have not used in the past, so it has been a learning curve. I have however almost got it sorted in my head (associations are still not quite right in my head) and have not prototyped the majority of the basic code, except for the ELO ranking itself.

I foresee something "Alpha" getting finished over the Christmas period, so if you are interested in helping out with testing it, let me know.

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World Masters Training, Week Summary 15/46.  

Hi all, life is about ups and downs... this week was a down.
This week for a variety of reason I did no Judo till this evening (Sunday), which is a bit rubbish. I do now have a "suitable" excuse, except feeling a bit rubbish all week.

Which raises an important issue for coaches.
Emotionally/psychologically all players will reach a point like me, where they are just "not in the game". A state where they don't want to train any more, not because they are bad people, not lazy, no unmotivated.

As a coach, you need to be aware that players will have this occur to them and how you and they deal with it will be important to how the player develops. How you deal with the situation is going to be different in each and every case.

Personally, I believe that how you deal with the situation is entirely dependent on quality and type of relationship you maintain with your player. Generally, I would recommend being accepting of the players demotivation and be aware that it will be a short-term situation.

It is unlikely that adding your negativity to the situation is going to assist your player escape from this state.

Now is the time to adjust your training micro-cycle, perhaps with something radically different and fun? Maybe, just a break all together?

You may also want to consider some longer-term changes to your training programme. Although these sorts "downers" are to be expected, they may also being brought on by faults in your training programme. All training programmes's are fluid things, you need to be adjusting them all the time, raising the intensity, or lowering it. Varying it to best suit your player and their current condition.

One final thing I'll add is that the "downer" may not be a result of your training training programme at all. It might be their work/personal life causing it. Again, it depends on your relationship with the player and your approach to coaching how you deal with that; but that's a whole kettle new of fish. :)

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