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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An idea for an Open Source Judo system. 

I took a little time this morning to visit the BJA forum. Mainly because I was getting some good traffic to from them as "Features" posted a link to the latest episode where I discuss the new rules being tested at the Junior Worlds with Luke Preston from Camberley Judo Club, who is there as one of the British coaches.

Anyway... after having re-requested my password yet again, just so i could have a look around, I spotted a thread started by "BobC" about a system to manage the 2012 Olympic Judo. So I posted a reply in the thread (included below).

Now, to be frank "I went off on one" a bit and it was only partially related to the topic. What I describe is an idea that has been bubbling around in my head for a while. I have even spoken to people in the EJU about it and got a little support. The idea is to build a Open Source Judo management system.

It has been higher up on my agenda partially because of a podcast by Mike and Gene ( ), where they discussed Dojo management software.

What I would dearly love to see is a single modular system that any club, governing body or event organiser could use. Something that was FREE, both as in beer and as in Freedom. An Open Source software solution for what I like to call the Open Source Martial Art.

What do you think?


My post from the BJA forum is below:

Hi all,
sending text messages is not that far out there. It is dead easy in fact to do from software. It's just a matter of if you/we are willing to pay for all those text messages.

My opinion would be to build a web based system (with iPhone and Mobile support of course). Registration, draws, results, scoreboard all driven from same system. All with RSS outputs etc. so it could be syndicated easily.

Ideally... and this is my "pie in the sky" idea, it should be part of a larger project to develop a federated Judo management system. One that would be suitable for clubs and smaller events also.

So you could have a installation on you club site which manages your membership, class register, fees etc. From there the BJA would have an installation with different modules. They would be "pushed" (or possible pull) membership details as appropriate and approved by the club system.

Events would again have an installation, clubs would push from their system entries to that event (this could be tied to the BJA system, so that valid membership etc is confirmed by machines). During the event the software does what is suggested in this thread so far. It creates a RSS feed that other sites like the BJA, EJU, IJF, PlanetJudo, BBC, local papers, etc. could parse and include automatically.

Obviously, the BJA system could federate to the EJU and a EJU installation could federate to the IJF. And vice versa. So perhaps the IJF installation pushes the rules as a XML file. The EJU and IJF systems could receive that and use it.

The system(s) could be used to link into/from sites like JudoInside or my own

If effort is put into creating connectivity between the systems it would mean amazing possibilities. For example, if all the clubs automatically told the BJA system how many people they had on the mat, and the BJA and other NGBs aggregated that info together and pushed it to the EJU and the same is repeated to the IJF you could have near realtime statistics on how many people do Judo worldwide. Equally the IJF data could be accessed by a club installation to show that data on their sites.

Returning slowly to the topic of this thread. Building such a system for 2012 would be great as part of the "Legacy" of the games. To make it happen I would say we would want to develop this as an Open Source project that anyone could contribute to.


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Videos on coaching Judo from Bob. 

My fellow student at University of Bath, lecturer in Coaching Science, and coach at Comberton Judo Club, Bob has a terrific Judo coaching website which I recommend you check out. I worry shall overcome my website in a very short period of time. :( Bob is a smart guy and he has started posting video of games and drills for Judo.

Just visit the site and click on "Games & Drills". He has done several videos recently on strength training for juniors, check them out. Once you have done that be sure to browse the site and read some of Bob's excellent work.

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Things others do well. 

Today I was cleaning out my study (and in the process turning my home Dojo into a home office ) I came across a CD of photos from my days with Capoeria Scotland.

The photos (now on Facebook and Bebo) were from a workshop I organised with a Capoeira Mestre from Rio, Brazil. Back then, we were a small organisation, probably a membership in double digits, maybe 50 if we were lucky.

Yet we organised to have an expert instructor visit us from Brazil. We paid not only for the Mestre's flights but for his time also for the weekend. Hundreds of pounds were spent and obtained from the members. In Capoeira, workshops are really common, getting Mestres to come to workshops is common too.

In Judo, not so much.


I have been to Judo workshops, but with much less frequency than in Capoeira. It is something that a club is unlikely to do. Clubs are more likely to attend events from the National Governing Body; but unlikely to organise their own events. Why?

I think it is something that we could do better.

Thats it, goodnight
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New Rules from the IJF... thoughts? 

Hi Everyone,
I have received copies of the proposed new rule changes that I gather are to be trialed at the 2008 Junior Worlds in Bangkok.

I could not find the information on the IJF website, so I can't post any links to the documents... sorry. I have some PDFs but shan't post them as I might get in trouble. :(

Anyway... here is a summary of what is going on, I would love to hear your opinions in the comments. I am also interested as to who's been consulted on these rule changes, if you were, let me know.

Yuko, Wazari, Ippon only.

Osae komi
Ippon - 20 seconds
Wazari - 15 seconds
Yuko - 10 seconds.

Golden Score
Golden score will be only 3 minutes.

Border line rules
All the actions are valid and may continue (no Mate) as long as either contestant has some part of their body touching the contest area. (Similar criteria than in Ne-waza).


refusal of Kumi kata grasp - Shido.
When gripping the player seeking to grip is safe, the one "Preventing the grip" will be given Shido.

block by Kumi kata by repulsing - Shido
If you block your opponents attacks by pushing with the arms - Shido.

blocking by kumi kata with crushing - Shido
If you dominate the grip and prevent the other player attacking, pulling them doy. Shido.

excessive defensive posture - shido
Defending by basically bending in half, preventing your opponent form attacking. Shido.

grasp of trousers - Shido
Grabbing the trousers to attack or defend, shido.

False Attacks:
Sutemi - shido
Dropping into a sutemi attack without breaking the opponents balance. If there in no "intention to action or projection" Shido.

with the knee - shido
Dropping onto the knees (drop seoi) without unbalancing or intention of projection.

My initial thoughts are this...
Koka is gone, will this mean that small throws go without score, or will Yuko become the new Koka?

Osae Komi duration... shorter shorter shorter. The moment the duration was changed from 30 seconds to 25 I knew it would eventually become 20. So the question is where does it stop? And do we want to further shorten ne waza when MMA is full of ne waza and is growing so fast?

Kumi kata penalties. Well we'll see, maybe they are going to prevent excessive gripping and negative play... maybe.

Penalties for "flop n drop" seoi. Well it was there already, but being highlighted is probably good. Ditto for the penalty for dropping into sutemi waza with no intention of throwing.
These two I suspect are designed to "manage" the strategic play of Judoka who are up on points. A specific example would be the Fallon vs. Paischer match in Beijing. In that match Paischer played an excellent strategic match, dropping into a sumi gaeshi-like position over and over, preventing Craig Fallon from getting into the fight and securing him the win.

Hopefully these rule changes are designed to, and will help promote more positive throwing Judo. Of course as an old friend said via Facebook recently:
"...the reason the rules change is nothing to do with the progress of judo but rather to justify people meeting on a regular basis on expenses paid by members what would be the point of them meeting if they did not change the rules..."

Time will tell I suppose, please do comment on these rule changes and let me know what you think.


UPDATE: October 21 2008
I have posted a podcast you can listen to on this subject over at

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British Judo Association (BJA) disaster of the day... "Technical Update" 

Okay... maybe the title is wrong and this is not a disaster. Maybe this is just the BJA succeeding in it's evil plans to assassinate "The World of Judo" (or perhaps I am just a conspiracy theorist).

Over on the BJA side they have released/launched "Technical Update" ... Issue1.pdf which I think is supposed to replace Matside; the glossy magazine that (argueably) helped to kill Bob Willingham's "The World of Judo".

***Update: Okay, so this was not "Matside" the new magazine, it was a smaller coaching thing. Still the comments above and below remain valid.

Well, it's a complete mess. Go take a look. I think it was thrown together by someone from the 80's!!! It just looks terrible, the "articles" are tiny and pointless. I have no idea what they this was supposed to achieve.


I know I am a "BJA basher" (like a growing number of people), so I'm negative. But I am going to throw out some ideas here that could I think make this positive.

1) Drop the PDF format.
PDF just makes it harder for everyone involved, don't use it. Look, PDF is great if you have content you'd like maintain the style of the layout of a quality layout. This text is ugly as it is, so you would be better leaving it as another format, HTML anyone. Which leads to...

2) Turn it into a blog.
A blog would be index-able by Google. It would be able to be subscribed to via RSS, so people could get updates in their browser or RSS aggregator. It would also be able to be linked easily to in emails and from other websites. Of course I could include it on where a lot more people would see it.

3) Expand the articles fully, so they have something more useful. Those snippets in the PDF are useless. Have the full information available in seperate posts (on the blog) share more, get more people.

There are three positive spins on "BJA Technical Update", see I am not always negative.

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