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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Injury prevention in training for Judo. 

Over on "The Science of Sport" Jonathan and Ross have posted a couple of entries about injuries in running and how to prevent them.

Now I have done my share of running and "enjoyed" my share of running injuries too. In fact, I would argue that I have had more injuries from running than I've had from Judo, especially if I consider the time spent doing Judo versus the time spent running.

In their first post the reinforce the good advice to only increase the distance run per week by a MAXIMUM of 10% per week. In the second post they talk about technique, inter-relatedness and intensity (specifically about how a small increase is more risky than a larger increase in volume).

So it got me thinking about this from a Judo perspective.
Can we apply the 10% rule in Judo? Are there rules of thumb as to volume and intensity of Judo training? Can we use the 10% rule directly?

The issue I suppose is how do we measure Judo training?
Time on the Mat? Number of Uchi Komi? Nage Komi? Randori? All of them?

As Jonathan and Ross mention, and in Judo no doubt is even worse; there is little scientific research to give us insight. An interesting area of research in Judo would be to build some metrics on training and injury. To do a study on this area and see if we can create some solid recommendations.

I would very much like to hear from people who have considered this area and perhaps those managing training of high level players. How are you monitoring players training, how are you monitoring injuries?

Drop me an email and let me know.
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Professional programmes and do they need outsiders. 

This time next week I shall be in Belgium at the World Masters Judo Championships.

By this time next Friday i shall have started competing I would hope, hopefully I'll have won a fight or two against the 30 odd other competitors in my class.

by the end of the day I shall have fought my little heart out, and will have placed somewhere, hopefully near the top? I'll also be looking forward to having a beer or two with my fellow team mates ( ) and with other Kiwis who live in Brussels ( ).

I am feeling positive all in all, training has been going well, I have been loving going to Bath and training there. Monday was great with Patrick, Mike and Juergen all giving me feedback. Sometimes as a dan grade I find that people tend not to criticize what you are doing. Which for me is really hard as my kinetic awareness is pretty poor. I.e. I see what others are doing much better than I feel what I myself am doing, it is one of the reasons I use to explain why I am not and never was "elite". The top players do tend to be able to self-correct far better than I can and I am sure that explains some of their success.

Bath is also good just in terms of associating with fulltime players, young fit players and training in that professional environment. Along with the physical improvements and Judo improvements, there is the less tangible benefit of being inside an elite programme.

It is one of the strengths of the place that there is a wide range of seriously good people involved. If i look at the place as a model for performance training, it's got a lot going for it.

Bath is well funded (being part of the University).
It has a strong leader (Mike).
It has great coaches (Patrick, Jane, Juergen, Yuko, etc.)
It has good organisers (Michelle, Kat, Diego, etc)
It has support from outside (coaches like me who are involved through the degree)
It has good support people (Physios, Scientists, etc)

For example, last week when I went, the Combined Services Team were there (supporting the programme and giving a very different set of players for the athletes to train with). In the Randori session I attended there were 30-40 people on the mat. You had worldclass coaches watching and helping. You had a physio there the whole session!

Now... that last one to me is worth commenting on. A Physio there and treating people if needed. She is there pretty much everytime I have been there. It to me, indicates the level of organisation and care the place has. How many sessions do you attend where there is a Physio there? One that is there to work I mean, one with experience with Judo injuries?

That does not happen by accident, you have to have a physio who is willing to give up their evenings and attend. You have to have a way of making it worth their while, you have to have sessions where it is worth them being there. It's no good having a physio there and only having three players who cruise along all session. So the session has to be of a high level and well attended, which again takes work to get happening.

The physio being there tells me a lot about the setup at Bath. It tells me that a huge amount of effort, thought and planning has gone into the running of the programme. It is professional and to be aspired towards.

If you are involved in a club or even a more elite training system, do you have a physio there for your Randori sessions? If not why? Have you chosen not to have one, or have you not tried?

Maybe you should have a psychologist? A statistician? A videographer? A blogger? A podcaster? A Strength and conditioning coach? A nutritionist?

Who else can you bring into your programme to raise the bar?

I would love to hear from anyone reading this as to who, other than Judo coaches, you have involved in your sessions. Drop me an email and let me know.
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T-15 till World Judo Masters 2008 (Brussels). 

Hi All, well this week has been pretty good as I close out towards the masters. As my previous post said, I trained on Monday in Bath, excellent stuff, I am very pleased I went.

Tuesday, I went up to University of Reading again, for a tough ol' session with Dave. Small number of lads working hard. No Devil Run this week, but lots of pressure work, the classic 1 minute of all out attack by one player while the other defends, interspersed with pushups just to make sure you are knackered.

Wednesday, rest.

Thursday, down to Gosport Judo Kwai which was pretty fun. I was pretty knackered but survived.

Friday & Saturday, rest.

Sunday, I popped down to Eastleigh Judokwai and took a light session there.


So that was the week that was.
Sadly, as my previous post might have hinted towards, Mondays session in Bath on Monday was pretty heavy... which was cool! However, I took a knock or two, specifically I got a awesome bruise on might right shin. from just below the knee to the ankle! Tuesday, I got a heel to the same shin/calf, dead legged! :-(
By Wednesday the black was down below the medial malleolus (pointy bit) so Mark lent me a shin pad on Thursday and that helped prevent anyone else cracking it again! :-)

In other topics, I got a design for the TeamNZjudo T-Shirts through from Mike over at which I really like. We've put some designs together for shirts Jackets etc. Should be able to post on the site early next week and also get some kit through in time for the trip... I hope!

Anyway, 15 days to the event, so two weeks hard training to go, looking forward to the taper period just before the event.

Till next time, head over to and click on Donate would ya?

[ view entry ] ( 2061 views ) permalink Improvements 

Hi everyone, if you have been visiting recently you will have noticed that it has been VERY slow in responding/loading. This is due to the caching mechanism that pulls all the various site feeds together, basically it is not caching properly, and was pulling all the data from all 50+ sites everytime someone hit the site!

I have now created a quick hack to improve this, by scripting updates seperately.
What this means is that the site should load much MUCH faster from now on! Hopefully I shall be able to resolve the issue with the caching and then I won't need this work around.

The site now has 55 feeds, the latest one being the TA Judo Blog. The blog is covering their training at the University of Bath this week and next, and I added the RSS feed this morning, so check it out!

Please give me your feedback and PLEASE do let me know of any site feeds that I have not got on PlanetJudo already.

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T-20 till 2008 Judo World Masters. 

Something I read recently stated that you should exercise on a Monday. Mainly they were talking about how starting Monday as you'd like to proceed helps ensre you do what you should during the week.

Well, will Brussels quickly approaching, I took that to heart and drove over to University of Bath for the Monday night Randori. It started with a small warm up and then some ne-waza uchi komi followed by a little ne-waza randori.

There was some standing uchi komi and combinations work before the real order of business, the Randori, began in earnest.

I started and ended the night with Emmanuel Narty, which was a foolish and unwise decision!

Manny, is one of the fulltime athletes there at TeamBath and also a professional soldier. In fact the evening had a decidedly military feel as the British Combined Services Judo Team was there also. I spent some time on the mat with one of their -90kg players and we worked well together and had a good scrap in the Randori too.

The only down side to Bath, except turning purple from the exertion, is that it is a solid two hours away (ignoring the closed A36 road and the motorway offramp at my place being closed too), so it is a late night. :(
Mike, can't you move the City of Bath closer to my house?

Tomorrow (Tuesday), I shall be at the University of Reading Judo club, getting worked hard by Dave again. Wednesday is a light/non-judo day and I'll either sleep or more than likely go into the gym. Thursday is down to Gosport again and Friday shall be the Gym. Staurday is rest and Sunday might be Randori in Eastleigh... maybe.

Three late (like past 12 finishes) there, which is bad, but one thing I have on my side is a pretty strong ability to survive on limited sleep... at least for short periods.

In other news, I shall have to get some work on done sharpish as the performance is rubbish, especially since my quick hack to get the RSS feed updaing again. People keep saying they visit it, and then I have to look sheepish and apologise for the perfomance! So, I have (on the way home from Bath) had a couple of ideas about how to get it performing better and will try and implement them sooner rather than later.

Anyway... 20 days till the world masters and despite having Ghana's finest work me over tonight I am feeling good. He may have killed me, but I was still fighting at the end...just! :-)


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