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

Exclamation mark Blog by Lance Wicks



FDSC year 3, Block 2, Day 5 

Hi all,
well today was the first of our deadlines, we had to get that first assignment in. I have done so and am now considering relaxing for a few hours before having a final shot at that poster, which presents my research from the 2006 Commonwealth Judo Tournament.

Today started in the Dojo, with Juergen Klinger. Who we had for "Player Analysis". Thankfully, he wisely set us a quick group activity to watch a fight between a French fighter & Russian fighter.

We had to then in our small groups, had to analyse the French player as the scenario was that one of our players would be fighting him next. Obviously then we had to provide some tactics and explain them back to the full group.

It was interesting to do, as it showed that much of what we have been learning in lectures is directly applicable to a real world Judo situation. Things like the notation systems we have looked at were valuable as it gives you a framework through which to work. Having "a system" is really helpful. We can all use our experience and intuition, but having a system I think provides a more solid base to allow your abilities to work on.

It was also interesting to see how different people and groups approached the task. One group took it from the Opponent, our group for example discussed/presented how our (hypothetical) player fought first and then applied that to the situation. We also considered the "Plan B" situation for when the strategy failed, while others spent more time on detailing "Plan A".

The more I learn about Juergen the more I am impressed by his approach to Judo and helping athletes.

Afterwards, we had an interesting talk and demonstration by Jon Moore on the Sportscode which is a great piece of video analysis software. Which got everyone's imagination fired up. It is interesting o me as I am a computer person of course and also interested in statistical analysis and simulation.

Jon covered some of the larger picture ideas around using the software for video streams etc. Which were great, but a little one sided and as he openly admitted, he is not a computer guy so I felt a bit worried that the enthusiasm for his ideas might be a little dangerous if not reviewed and considered carefully. I have asked a couple of influential people to make sure they talk to me before they look further at what they are proposing as I worry that a lot of money could be invested in better ways with a little imagination and IT literacy which I would hope I could help ensure were considered along with a purely commercial offering.

The afternoon sessions were fairly uneventful, lots of more "nuts and bolts" of getting the specific assignments we have to complete done and dusted.

It is Friday here, so many people are escaping for the weekend. I sadly am staying here all weekend for a variety of weekend. Not least of the reasons is the amount of work that needs to be completed in the following week. I am hoping to really get most of it done over the weekend.

Many of us have the impression that this block will be quite difficult to get good grades on, so I am nervous as I need to ensure a suitable grade average for the year to make it through to next year. Grades is a bit of a sore point at present as with the returning of our last set of assignments there were some fairly annoyed people, a couple of cases people were very upset with some harsh grading. One tutor in particular seems to have been "the culprit". This tutor did throw some comments into my assignments that I was not sure where they were coming from and in places I did not agree with. But, I did okay so i am not in the camp who are considering asking the tutor on the tatami for a quick Randori. :)

Anyway.... week one down, one to go!
[ view entry ] ( 2167 views ) permalink

FDSC Year3, Block 2, Day 4. 

Hello all, please forgive me if this post comes about negative, it's not what I plan to write. But it may be what comes out as I am feeling a bit low at the moment (more on that later).

This morning we had Kat McDonald on video research, and more specifically on how to create a video analysis system. This was the subject of a 15,900 word dissertation/thesis she did for her degree here at University of Bath. So, she really knew the subject and the fact she had spent many MANY hours considering and working on it showed.

Given my interest in this area I was fascinated, and I think we were all impressed with the model she has developed and showed. I really liked the potential for the data it would collect and immediately my IT head started to see the potential to use what she has done to do some awesome visualisation and creating things like tagclouds of a players data would be both easy to produce, easy to use and powerful.

It also gave me some ideas in terms of my much neglected e-judo project and how I could more accurately model a Judo fight and do some simulation on player behavior in a fight.

Given a solid database of notation from matches, you could generate predictions on how a player might behave in a fight against another player. How powerful might that be for players and coaches. You receive the draw, then are able to enter it into the computer, it then generates a report, or if you are really clever a video or slideshow of photos of your opponent, showing say that they are likely to attack with a left OSoto in the first segment of action, then there is a say 70% chance of the next attack being Harai Goshi. And so on....

So the player and the coach could use these probabilities to prepare. Imagine the power of that in your mental rehearsal? Having a programmatically generated simulation of your opponents most likely actions!

After Kat, we visited the big coaching event being hosted at the university for SportsCoach UK. We were able to listen to Steve Backley speak, which was really good. he has obviously moved into the motivational speaking arena!

Afterwards we had Tracy Rea again, this time speaking on anxiety and relaxation techniques. Afterwards, Mike got our assignments and grades back from the last block in April.

I did pretty well, my grades are consistently improving overtime, block to block. It's not easy to take emotionally I think. Obviously, the marking can be very critical and negative comments outweigh positive ones. Which is the way of marking. But, when you have really worked hard on something any negatives hurt don't they.

I should not be grumpy, my grade average is now definately high enough to theoretically qualify to attend the BSC. top up year (18 months). But for some reason I am in a dark mood! I suppose it's because you wait so SO long to get the assignments and feedback. Maybe.

Anyway... not as negative as I suspected I might be. I suppose writing this has reminded me about Kat's lecture, which has been a highlight in many ways.

So, I think I'll finish on that positive. Lots of work to do! First assignment due tomorrow.

[ view entry ] ( 2051 views ) permalink

FDSC, Year 3, Block 2, Day 3 

Evening all,
well another good day here at University of Bath, despite appearances. The day started with a whole morning dedicated to our presentation posters, which despite being a brilliant project is not that... well energetic or awe inspiring.

The after was a bit better with a session with Jon Rpbinson on video analysis tools and a further session with Sara Hale on notational systems.

Jonathan's session wa intrigueing as the level of video analysis in Judo is pretty low compared to say Rugby or Soccer. But it really was good for leading some thoughts in really positive directions.

Sara's session was pretty cool, she prepared a lecture which included loads about wrestling, which is easil;y translated into Judo language and thought processes. Which the more easily accessible rugby, football, hockey stuff is not for us. So I suspect she earned serious "brownie points" by taking the time and ebergy to find some reference material that was easier to digest, cheers!

Again avoided the training this evening pleading ankle injury. More to do with wanting to work on assignemnts however, if truth be told. I now have my first assignment at the review phase, the second well underway and the poster for the conference well on it's way.

This evening, I met up with Adrian which was really good. he is a podcasting guru so I found his view of what is happening really interesting. Discussing things like this blog and was really fascinating!

In the morning we have some amazing lectures, I am buzzing already, partly because on the way back to my room I met up with Daniel Lascau, who has just arrived. He is many ways is the heart and soul of our year. Weird how it now feels like Bath again now I know he is here and that I can expect abuse, torment and inspiration for the next week and a half!

[ view entry ] ( 1950 views ) permalink

FDSC Year 3, Block 2, Day 2. 

Today was sunny! Brilliant change of weather given the recent rubbish rain and flooding etc here in the UK. So I spent almost the entire day indoors in lectures!

Today started with Kate Eddy on mental skills development (sport psychology). It was a good session which I enjoyed. We did quite a bit of group work in threes and fours, discussing the topics around mental skills for Judo athletes. About the demands on a Judoka mentally speaking. Really interesting topic, with great discussion.

An interesting area we discussed and perhaps it was off topic was dieting and eating disorders in Judo. It was around this thing that we talk a lot about how crash dieting and losing weight through dehydration etc is bad. Yet, as one person said "..I've never met an Olympic medalist who has not lost weight (crash dieted) to make weight...".

The train of thought it led me along was, that perhaps we (judo generally) talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. In that we (again speaking generally here) say that crash dieting and weight cycling is bad and invite nutritionists etc to tell our athletes not to do it. Yet, it would appear that A)its not working as athletes are still doing it and B)The elite players do it and succeed.

So... What to do? Do we do more to tackle the problem and change this? Or do we perhaps classify it as a risk of the sport and educate and monitor our athletes as to how to do it with the minimum of risk?

If we are going to stop it, then perhaps we need to get rid of weight categories? Or have several weigh ins over a period of days/weeks/months to ensure that athletes are not losing excess amounts of weight.

or...And I don't suggest that this is the right thing to do.
Do we accept and develop our weight management strategies with our athletes? Do we be honest about the situation and tackle it openly, perhaps embrace it?

I don't have a clue how you might go about this alternative approach, personally I think it's better to change the way the sport is structured to prevent the need/urge to diet.

So after that we had Sara Hale again, who continued our lectures on Notational analysis. Specifically covering some notation systems for Hockey and Rugby. Fortunately for me (or perhaps not) I knew much of what she was covering as I had done lots of reading last year before doing my notation research at the commonwealths. So perhaps I found it a bit dryer and harder to stay focussed on than perhaps everyone else.

After lunch the day continued with an interesting session with Tommy Mortenson about fight analysis. He had some really interesting things to talk about and I really enjoyed speaking with him afterwards as we were able to talk in a little detail about what sort of data he had examined and what he thought was useful. Which again fitted well with my interests in statistics for Judo. Unfortunately he was not able to share some of the spreadsheets and the data he had collected in the past as at some point in the past his computer had been infected and it was all lost! :(

Finally, Steve Gawthorpe took a Ne-Waza session, which was excellent (although I decided to stay off the mat as I am trying to let my ankle recover from the sprain I received during the Winchester 5KM last week).

Steve, is one energetic guy and his ne-waza looked scary! Glad I was not his Uke! :) It would be excellent to see more of his work and to prise more of his thoughts out of him.

This evening I am trying to stay in the room and get some work done on my assignments, it's pretty darn crowded, our first piece of work is due in on Friday, then we have assignments due in everyday next week!!!! :(

My brain may expire!

[ view entry ] ( 2365 views ) permalink

FDSC Year Three, Block 2, Day 1 

Hi all,
well it's terrific to be here in Bath again, weather excluded of course. :(

Today is the start of the final block on my FDSC adventure, which as I've indicated in an earlier post is tinged slightly with the sad realization that this is the end of this course.

Today was a little different for me, as along with attending some lectures I took one also.

Today started with Sara Hale, who is taking our Performance Analysis module. Today was a generic history of performance analysis and notational analysis. So covering from ancient Egypt through earlier musical notation (11th century), to Dance (15th Century) through to today.

I am really interested by this subject as I have been down this path myself. My research in Northern Ireland last year was notational analysis.

This lecture was followed by my lecture on the e-learning system MOODLE. As a keynote lecture it means I stood there and spoke to all three years of students, ulp!
Hopefully, I got the message across about the potential benefits Moodle has to offer us all. Mike Callan took some notes and is going to implement some of the ideas that were suggested by my fellow students.

After lunch, we had Tracy Rea. Tracy is taking our Mental Skills Development module. She was great and has got us thinking about what we are going to do for our oral presentations at the conference next week. She was immediately in my good books as one of the things she handed out was a psychological skills training handout/booklet from Sport Science New Zealand.

After this we had a session with Mike Callan discussing our Learning in the Workplace assignment and how the assessment will work. Also discussion ideas of how to tackle the task of doing our presentation posters.

So in summary, not bad all in all. Rooms... well I LOVED the heat and pressure of the shower I had this morning! Shame I had to climb up a couple of flights of stairs to get to the communal shower and WC. Dude... wheres my ensuite!

One of the things we have to do this block is revise our Judo CV. Today has added "lecturer" LOL :) Gotta love that! Right, where's the bar!
[ view entry ] ( 1883 views ) permalink

<<First <Back | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | Next> Last>>

Powered by Simple PHP Blog Get RSS 2.0 Feed
Powered by PHP 4.4.9-8+hw0 Get Atom 0.3 Feed
Powered by Plain text files Get RDF 1.0 Feed