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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University of Bath, Bsc. EJU Level 5 - Block 1, Day 5.  

This morning started with a session with Mike Callan, in regard to our research projects. We each had 5 minutes to outline our project to our peers, then solicit feedback on the project. Mine is going to be an expansion of the research I did at the 2006 Commonwealth Judo Tournament. I plan to revisit that work and repeat it on a more recent elite tournament via video footage.

Listening to everyone else's proposals, I am struck by how interesting these projects are going to be. I think I want to read them all. Some are really modern and cutting edge, some historical. Some dealing with modern competition, some with coaching juniors. Two at least are quite cool in that they are questioning the status quo, by that I mean they are researching things that are happening right now in the Judo world and looking at it critically. Brave!

This afternoon I managed to get a copy of a dissertation on video analysis for Judo. Can't wait to read it as I have this idea that it could form the basis of the simulation engine for my much neglected VWJL/e-judo project, which I hope to start work on again after I complete this degree course.

After a short break, we had a lecture from Patrick Roux on "Technical Components" within our module on Sport Specific Technical Analysis. Intense going! So much content in a quite long lecture from a non native speaker of English... tests your concentration I can tell you. Luckily, the content was worth listening to.

Interestingly, the dissertation I mentioned earlier (from my understanding of it from last year) shares 95+% of what Patrick was saying. Which, in itself encourages me into thinking that it will make a good model for simulating Judo matches.

After a painfully short break (20 mins?), we went through "Collecting Data" with Jonathan Robinson. Which was of course valuable, though I wonder if all those colleagues of mine doing qualitative research got from it. I got at least a couple of thoughts to consider in designing my research, so that was good.

After lectures, I took a bit of a powernap, no really.
I was struggling a bit, so 20 minutes kip actually helped a lot and after I got up again I felt much better. I got some assignment work done and also got a letter in relation to the World Masters out and on it's way.

I am staying on campus this weekend, which I am not 100% happy about. But I really need to get into my assignment work, as I have not made much of a dent in it yet. :( I know that with some dedicated hours of isolation I will get a heck of a lot done.
But that said, I miss my family! Timings have conspired that I haven't even managed to talk to them in for a while, so I feeling a bit weakened. :( And no typing about it is not helping, so I shall stop.

This evening I plan a nice quiet evening, a couple of drinks with colleagues and then chill out in front of the computer here and get more typing done. (I have bought in supplies of caffeine).

Till next week.


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University of Bath, Bsc. EJU Level 5 - Block 1, Day 4.  

Hello everyone,
today was another good day here at the University of Bath. For a start the sun was out and that always makes me more positive, also having already done my registration in full, I did not have to attend the first session of the day, so relaxed start to the day.

My first real lecture then, was with Lisa on "Managing Financial and Non-Financial Resources". It is, I suppose an interesting comment on modern sport that a degree in Sports Performance includes a sizeable section which is about obtaining cash and managing it once you receive it.
It is I suppose true that in modern sport, the ability to obtain funding for development projects is as important as good coaching or talented athletes. Sad, but true.

In the afternoon we had two lectures with Patrick Roux. The first was a keynote lecture on "Bio Information" and was interesting, especially with the input of Barry Edwards, physiotherapist. Lots of good content about the way that Judo performance is not necessarily a "intellectual" act. In that I mean, that throwing is often not me choosing to execute a throw at a certain point in time, to throw you because I say you were off balance. It is generally a near automatic action that happens because I feel the moment is right, or just magically attack at just the right moment.

Afterwards, Patrick took us for a Ne-Waza session.
As with much of what Patrick has been showing, it was this lovely transformation from simple fundamental movements through to advanced groundwork techiniques, using those basic movements. His Tachi-Waza is the same process, simple footwork patterns and body movements developing into wonderful throws.

What is being demonstrated is occidental (Patrick's word) implementation of the Oriental (Japanese) methods and theories... if that makes sense. I do have those moments of going "Oh...I get it" when Patrick's fundamental movement transitions into a very Japanese feeling technique. The principle I suppose is that we are able to analyze the Japanese (or Russian, or Korean, or whoever) technique and filter through to the underlying principles and fundamental movements. Then we can teach those movements/principles in our own way, and through a progression end up at the same technique and level of execution.

I really hope this is true, as one of the assessments we have to complete after finishing our two week stay here at the University is a DVD showing a Judo technique, and the way we might educate students in how to execute it. Starting from, you guessed it, fundamental movements. So I shall have to do some deep thinking and try and do it justice!

Assignment-wise, I am progressing ever so slowly towards some sort of document for the financial management paper. I have started from scratch and the new direction has really helped. It is also a project that I think should actually be possible and practical, and I will probably try and execute it after the course is over. One of the great things about this course is that most all of the work we do has real world application and this development plan I have to write could be really good if executed.

Sadly, I felt a bit shady at spots today. I think I am fighting a cold, and being a bit of a wimp I skipped this evenings Randori session. I should have gone, but when I became free at 8pm (when the session was due to start) I felt rather unwell and decided to skip it. Yeah I know I am just making excuses!

Tomorrow is Friday and we have no practical sessions. Theory all the way... ouch! But then it is the weekend and I think I shall be staying here and working on my assignments. Meaning I miss a weekend with my whanau, but getting the assignment done here frees e up next weekend when I go home properly. That said I miss my family (having just thought about them in writing this paragraph), so would dearly like to go home and see them all. :(

Anyway.... time to head off to bed and get some rest before what shall be a mentally taxing day I think.

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1909 letter from Jigoro Kano to Baron Pierre de Coubertin 

I wanted to post this online as soon as I could.
Below is a electronic copy of a letter from Judo founder Jigoro Kano to IOC president Pierre de Coubertin. This is an important piece of Judo history so please do read it. It is HUGE, almost 4mb so be patient.

** Please click on the letter to see it full size **


Many thanks to Densign White for showing this letter to me.
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University of Bath, Bsc. EJU Level 5 - Block 1, Day 3.  

Hi all,
so day three and what have I got to report... well I met a seagull, insulted a historian, and generally avoided getting on with an assignment for all the wrong reasons.

Seriously though, today was an odd day, we had lots of freetime, which for me came at a bad time as I am still at the stage of needing more knowledge in my head before feeling happy writing assignments.

So today, the only lecture I had was with Lisa again, who is leading our development plan project. Ulp! This has been a hassle for me, mainly as I had started down a bad path with a rubbish project that does not fit the "model" very well. So after discussing it with Lisa I scrapped what I had started and this afternoon/evening I started fresh.

And boy oh boy, was that ever a good idea!

I am now well on the way to having the structure for a more traditional sports development plan (Judo Specific). It's quite interesting having given a lecture about social networking that once I got fired down the right lines on this project, the first thing I did was look to my social network for info, help, expertise. Yeah it wasn't via a social networking site like FaceBook, but it was utilising all those connections, many of which have come via the web.

Speaking of which dear reader, if you happen to have some experience with writing development plans (or reading them and rejecting them) please do contact me and give me your thoughts opinions, etc. Written a business plan for a club/training centre/team/etc. drop me an email please. I'd really be interested in seeing some real world examples and hearing real world examples so I can try and ensure what I write is really built "on the backs of giants" so to speak. In part because it'll help me get good grades, but also because the plan i am writing is one I'd actually like to see implemented, so I'd like to make it a good one.

Working on this development plan assignment for three days has already taught me a lot. It has also highlighted to me that the people who write these for clubs, associations are a special bunch, who deserve our respect! And also that the barriers to just doing Judo the way we'd like to are going up all the time.

The amount of energy that is being spent on procedures and protocols and record keeping and the itsy bitsy details is amazing. All to protect the association/coach/club in the (hopefully) unlikely event it all goes wrong. Of course it's all valid and worthwhile, but damn is there a lot of paperwork and hoops to be jumped through just to keep teach Judo. It's CRB checks, risk assessments, revalidation, licenses, paperwork of attendance, paperwork for injuries , etc etc etc.

And then it's keeping it all for a month of Sundays just in case at some future date someone starts legal proceedings!

Again I see the need, I just wish I didn't.
Wouldn't it be great if we were in a utopia and a good coach could just coach well and good students would just train. No law suits, no audits, no courts, no taxman.


Tomorrow looks interesting, after a late start (more time to work on this assignment), we have most of the day with Patrick Roux in the dojo. I am really looking forward to this a lot.

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My Keynote "Coaching Digital Natives" 

HIi everyone,
here are the slides from my KeyNote lecture on "Coaching Digital Natives" (March25, 2008). It was 48MB in total with videos etc. So this is the smaller PDF version via SlideShare.

The YouTube video of Katrina is here:

And here is the notated version from BubblePly:

*** Note: this site was down as I posted this blog.

Twitter is at and my page on twitter is

Facebook is at and I am at

Try or if you'd like to start a blog and if you do, please email me and I'll include it with the 50 or so other Judo blogs at

I'd appreciate your feedback.


*Updated March 26th 2008*
I realise I hadn't added the non Judo videos, here they are:
1. Blogs.

2. Twitter.

3. Social Networking.

And here are a couple that didn't make the slides...
RSS. Please consider adding RSS to your club site, even if you don't blog. It makes it really easy to access info about your club for cool things like mashups or aggregation like I do at

And finally this one...

Which was going to be the closing slide. :)
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