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.

Paying the bills

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Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful. 

Dr. Mike Callan of JudoSpace pointed me at this terrific video clip.

It is a trailer of sorts for "Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful."A in progress film about Keiko Fukuda.

In 1934, at 21 years of age, Keiko Fukuda embarked on a long journey with judo as her vehicle. This path meant giving up marriage, family, and her Japanese citizenship. She has endured war, discrimination, and crossed oceans, to become the highest ranking woman in judo history. She is the last living link to judos original history. Today at 96, she still teaches judo three times a week, and through her gentle soul she exudes wisdom and inspiration to all who come in contact with her. Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful, is an hour-long documentary film about Keiko Fukudas inspirational journey. The film will be released summer of 2010. Please visit our website at:

Given the recent and very sad loss of Rusty Kanokogi, it is great to hear that someone is capturing some of our Judo history.

They are looking for funding I understand to finish the film; so if you have any ideas to support this project, please visit their site and contact them. You can also donate via this website:

[ view entry ] ( 2314 views ) permalink and the EJU Level 3. 

I am a Judo coach, (the domain name gave it away right). Regular readers will know that over the last 5 years I have spent weeks and weeks working on myself as a coach, via the EJU Degree level coaching qualifications at the University of Bath.

Some of you will be aware that the Level 3, 4 & 5 courses were terminated by the University of Bath. Which really upset me at the time it happened as I knew students on all levels of the courses and knew the great opportunity they were losing.

Well, here we are at the end of 2009 and I am pleased to say that a page has turned and it is with great joy I can tell you that the EJU Level 3 is back!

That's right, the course is back and it is starting now!

The course is now being delivered by which I am honoured to be one of the directors of. JudoSpace is lead by Dr, Mike Callan (who created the Bath programmes) and has an amazing board of advisors:

* Envic Galea,
* Roy Inman OBE,
* Densign White,
* Mike Chamberlain.

These names are probably well known to European Judoka and it is rather odd in ways to be listed on the same page as them ( ).

The level 3 course itself is something that is open to Judo coaches from not only Europe but anywhere. It provides a solid foundation for all coaches, which covers these broad topics:

* Principles of Gokyo
* Culture of Judo
* Planning & Physiology
* History & Development of Judo
* Communication
* Competitive Judo

You can signup for the course right now at and you can get started right away as the modules are all delivered electronically over the internet.
And you'll want to get started sooner rather than later as you'll not want to miss the residential assessment being held from 5-8th July 2010, to be held in Malta! It is not that mush time to progress through all the modules, do the assignments, discuss the content and understand our art and sport better.

Please do email for more information, or ask me direct ( ). You can also learn more by following the JudoSpace blog at


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The new rules and the Art of Judo. 

Today has been one of those days where other people have amazed me!
Within the space of a few short hours, Gene, Mike and Tris have published amazing works to the Judo community!

It started with Tristan Greaves' terrific Blog post on the new rules being promoted by the IJF. The post is a great balanced piece of writing about the rules that have been trialled recently. It is a great article and be sure to read the comment by Luke Preston from Camberley Judo Club too.

On my drive home from work I was fortunate enough to put on Mike & Gene's terrific podcast titled "Judo is an Art". The show is a conversation with Justin Flores about art and Judo. It is an amazing listen and really struck a chord with me. They also discuss the new rules there.
The podcast is one of the highlights of the 47 episodes they have produced so far. I really felt in my heart much of what they talked about.
Gene's quote from his club information is amazing and really sums up well what being a Judoka is all about.

For me they also highlighted that sensation of getting Ippon, how that is art. How that is what makes Judo more than just sport. How even if you throw someone a million times, an Ippon is a unique creation that is beautiful and emotional and magical.

They also fitted those into competitive Judo and how the two are linked. They spoke about how the evolution of Judo styles is a differentiator and part of the allure of Judo. This merges with the discussion Tris starts about the rules, about if Judo is to be allowed to continue to evolve or if we force it into a shape through rule changes?

A great day for the Judo online community between these two.
It reminds me how great the online Judo community is and I am amazingly lucky to live in an age where I can have this interaction with people like Mike, Gene and Tris and learn more about Judo online.

So go listen/read and enjoy!

But before you go, here is a GREAT video by Mike and Gene's guest Justin Flores which I wanted to include because itis really great Judo art too.


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If it's broke... fix it! 

So, regular readers will have noticed I whinge alot about the state of the BJA website and as per my last post, about the rubbish clib list system they have on their website.

So... I decided to do something about it!

So I can introduce to you all "DojoList".
DojoList is a small piece of web based software that allows you to easily create a list of Dojo. It runs on pretty much any webserver and automatically does the following:

* Store the list in a open XML format
* Store the list in KML format for GoogleEarth.
* Show the list in HTMML
* Show the list as an embedded map

DojoList is Open Source, which means that you (yes you) can use it for free. You can take the software and install it on your own server. You can change the software and make it match your specific needs. Did I mention it was free?

I have licensed it under a AGPL license, which states all this in legalese, but the summary is that you need can use it pretty much as you like, but you need to share any improvements you make back to us/me.

Now, you can find the software at where you can grab it via Git if you are technical. I'll create a .zip file soon for the rest of you.

If you want a test drive, try it out at where I have a test installation running. Please take a look and let me know what you think of it. Specifically, I'd like to know what is missing for you. If you had it installed it yourself, how would you use it? What would you need?

If you like the software, and would like some help let me know. I would love to help you get it running. I'd like that as it'll help me test the system further and make it better and better.

One less excuse for the BJA or you to not have a list of Dojo.

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Finding a club and a visit to Eston Grange Judo Club. 

Last night I had a great time visiting the Eston Grange Judo CLub in Middlesbrough (BJA Northern Area, England).

I have always loved visiting new clubs and it gives you an opportunity to see new things which is vital as a player and as a coach.

In Eston Grange I learned a nice new Ne-Waza turnover variation that I didn't know before. It was simple and effective, and something that would still now be on my radar had I not taken the time to visit a new club.

To the credit of the club, it was welcoming and friendly. If you are in the area I can recommend the club to you, they were very nice! If you are in Middlesbrough I can recommend you pop along to ESTON SPORTS ACADEMY on a Monday night and give it a go.

And now the bad news....

The BJA website is still a fail.
Here I am away from home, looking for a Judo club and it is still not easy enough to find a Judo club. Especially if you do not know the area.

I to be fair have a dreadful sense of direction and knowledge of geography, but I looked in the wrong "area" for a club before a friend corrected me and pointed me at the northern area section of the BJA club list.

And it got worse not better from that point. Once having got to a BJA area list of clubs, you can not narrow it down any further than that! So the only way I could find Middlesbrough clubs was to search through the list for Middlesbrough.

This is bad as I don't know what the surrounding towns/villages are called. Also the list has no info on where the club is I had to call/email the club to find out where they actually train.

The problem being that if the club had not called me back I would not have gone to Judo last night. And I am not your average person looking for a club. I was on a mission to visit a club. Would your average parent or player looking for a club have the extra time to contact a selection of clubs to find the closest one?

Also how do I tell what sort of club it is, no "Kitemark". No indication of level of training. No indication of prices etc.

Come on BJA, that website project of yours that we keep getting told is coming has so far delivered very little.


(P.s. I suppose I should disclose that I am actually working on an online Dojo listing system)
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