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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IJF to ban coaches matside? 

* UPDATE * December 12 2008, 5pm
We are going to try and put together a podcast on the subject this coming week. The format will be 90 second segments of high profile people stating their opinion. If you are such a person, or can involve such a person, please contact me!

Hello all,
I have received today what looks to be an authentic IJF communication from a Judo friend who I trust. The letter does not seem to appear on the IJF website, so I am making it available here:
Coaches at IJF Events_ENG
If it is not visible to your please visit ... -EventsENG

The content of the letter is also pasted at the bottom of this post.

The main message is that from January 1st 2009, coaches shall not be allowed matside.

No this is a pretty dramatic change and to announce it in mid December is a bit off I feel. I have not seen this subject debated anywhere publically either.

This is a change that needs debating and consideration as it affects players directly. Some athletes want coaches matside, this rule potentially puts those athletes at a disadvantage. Is that fair?

Please read the letter, consider the point, spread the news and talk to people about this rule. If you agree, tell someone official. If you disagree, tell everyone official you can!

Please also discuss this topic online:

Tris has also blogged about it (Tris' Blog).


International Judo Federation

Attention to:
IJF Member National Federations

Subject: Removal of coaches from tatami’s border during competitions

11 December 2008

Dear Sirs,

The founder of judo, Jigoro Kano, wished when he created judo in 1882 to set up an educational

Our mission today is to sustain his will. It comes to survival of our sport in the world where
competition is growing among various sports participants. We must also be attentive to the
presentation of judo which must remain a discipline included in the Olympic Games.

The image we give of judo, especially at major events with important media attendance like
Olympics, is a reference for all current and future judo participants.

An athlete is alone against his opponent in a fight. In the educational concept of judo, the role of
coaches is to prepare his players for this autonomy. We must reserve for a Judoka the decision-
making and ability to manage this confrontation.

Mainly for this reason we made a decision to remove coaches along the tatami from 1 January
2009. A specific location will be reserved for them in the competition hall.

Some outbursts on coaches’ side have also hurt the image of our sport at the Beijing Olympics.
Unjustified and continuing criticism against referees had undermined our refereeing in public and
media’s opinion.

We hope for your help in our mission so that judo continues to set a good example for every

Sincerely yours,

Jean Luc Rougé Vladimir Barta
Project manager Head Sport Director

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The networked student/Judoka. 

For a while now I have been following the Twitter and Blog posts of a lady called Sarah Stewart, a midwife and Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand (although she is British originally).

Midwifery and Judo are similar from what I perceive, technology has not really pierced the way it is taught yet. But it is starting to.

Sarah's Blog is a good read and I recommend it even though it has no Judo content. ;-)

In a recent post, she talked about connectivism and the networked student. I like what she had to say, hence this post.

In the post she shows this video

Which if you can't see it is here:

If you are a Judo coach, you should really go read the post over at ... dents.html

It is well written and very interesting, just replace the word student with Judoka and you'll do fine! :-)

I also recommend taking a look at this post ( ... ation.html ) which covers an evaluation of the online course she has been teaching, really interesting stuff.


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Nage no Kata demonstration... I don't like it. 

In this video on Youtube we see a demonstration of Nage no Kata from Japan ( ).

As the title of this post says, I don't like this Kata demonstration and here is why.

The Kata is dead, there is no life to the two people demonstrating. There is no clear demonstration of the principles of Judo.

If we take the first throw for example. Uke takes a grip, then both people step together. They take their steps and Tori drops on one knee and Uke falls and does Ukemi.

They are Japanese 6th Dans, I am a mere Kiwi Ni-Dan. Who am I to criticise.

But I am going to! :-)
My issue with this demonstration is that Uke does not attack Tori. He does not start the movement, he does not push Tori.

Tori does not "accept" the attack then on the second step draw Uke onwards, taking control of Uke's balance.

Tori drops on one knee and Uke somersaults. Tori is not throwing, Uke would not have fallen if he did not throw himself.

To me, this is why I do not like this demonstration. To me it is an example of why people go off Kata. It is formal walking through of the Kata. As opposed to a demonstration of the principles and techniques of Judo.

I could be wrong, I am no "expert" in Kata. This is just my interpretation of what I see and what I believe.

What do you think?

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Pages every Judo club website should have. 

I recently came across the Marketing Martial Arts website and although I have only had the smallest of browses around it has some really good content.

The entry that I had sent myself is the one on the 8 pages every club site should have.

Basically, the article suggests your club site should have the following pages:

1. Home page
2. Contact Us
3. About Us
4. Frequently Asked Questions
5. What You’ll Learn
6. Training Schedule
7. Why Train Here
8. Offer Page

I think Ryan's ideas are valid and we as Judoka can learn a lot from this Kempo man.

I am surprised that he did not include a "Find Us/Map" page. But I suspect you'd look at the About Us or Contact Us page.

Of course I would argue that there should be a Blog page, but perhaps you could make that the Training Schedule Page.

I am pleased that he did NOT include a What is Judo page or History page. These are vaguely interesting, but Wikipedia is probably a better source of information, or
Which means it is just junk in the way of visitors finding the information they need to get along to your club and get started.

He also does not cover how a website should serve your existing members. This is as his focus is on marketing to new people I guess.

I wonder if perhas in time clubs will have two sites. One for members, one for non-members?

Do take a look at the site, there is a lot of stuff you can take away and apply in your Judo club there.


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Now this is how you sell Judo to a school...! 

This video I found on the OKCDT website and I think is from Australia.

Please note the laughter, the clear message of what Judo involves. The "ooh"s and "ahh"s. The loud applause. Note also the use of male and female demonstrators and of people of different sizes.

Excellent job, lessons to be learnt by us all in this one!
[ view entry ] ( 1720 views ) permalink

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