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, FDSC Judo, Year Three, days 4 & 5 

Hi All,
okay this blog entry is a little delayed, primarily (and if you are listening University of Bath accomodation people, I am very VERY angry) because for some annoying and from what I can tell stupid reason, we are not being granted access to the internet access in our rooms like we had the past two years. (We also do not have a TV in the shared kitchen, but I seem to recall the price being as high if not higher than last time, how does that work?)

Anyway.... I don't want to dwell on that as there is much to write about and it is all excellent, like the course itself. I must make an effort not to let the niggles ruin what is a fine course.

Over the past couple of days, we've been really spoiled. The quality of what we are exposed to is simply amazing. We have spent quite a bit of time with a chap called Aurelian, from France. He is working with Jane Bridges' Judo team (professional team) and has shared his excellent performance model for Judo along with his ideas and experience on conditioning for high level Judoka. This covered both Flexibility and Strength.

His model is very interesting, not only because it is excellent, but also because he is not a Judo player as such. Yet, unlike probably most of us, he had sat down and considered what performance in Judo means. A lesson to all of us.

He spoke about the need for flexibility training and stretching in Judo athletes. He covered the types of stretching he thought should be done and when. He does not advocae for example trying to do any stretching for flexibility gains during a Judo session, he has that sort of stretching done in sperate sessions.

The stretching he does in warm-ups and at cooldown (which he considers important) are aimed at prevention and recurperation. I shall probably write more about the intracacies at a leter date.

He spoke also about strength training and again it was interesting.

Today he and Jane also did a practical session which was primarily about use of hips in Judo and included great fun with many games. The games revolved about instabilising athletes with various thinsg like wobble board type things, soft mats (crashmats etc) Then doing games where partners try to break the others balance.
Fun and practical, what more can you ask for eh?!

We had some heavy going lectures on Anatomy and body function. So skeletal and neuromuscular stuff. Also energy systems and the physiological makeup of Judo.
We also did a practical session with Stanislaw Sterkowicz' Special Judo Fitness Index test. Which was (on a personal level) rather great as a)I am fortunate enough to have spoken with him, 2)The video of the test being done, which didn't actually play, was the one from this very website!
It is nice also that I have been able to point my fellow students towards the resources that Stanislaw & I put together after hsis appearance on the podcast. I got a real "warm feeling" from actually having produced something (the podcast with Stanislaw) that produced some new materials (the video, spreadsheet, documents) that is now being used by real live sports scientists, lecturers and Judo coaches! Very cool!

There has been much more, but having missed a couple of days of blogging properly, I am forgetting them. Sorry!

A highlight for me to date, is that the assignment I am writing for next Friday is taking shape nicely. Not least because of the help and encouragement I have received from people on the course, the lecturers and from people I know solely from this website and the podcast.

I hope I can write it well enough to express the great ideas and help they have given me. I also hope I write it (and my other assignments well enough) to get a hieh enough grade average to be accepted back next year for the honours year (well 18 months). Which is a top-up year which I understand would earn me a BSC.

More improtantly for my personal desires, it includes a large research project and education on research methodology. Research is big motivation for me and I would like to do more of it and expand on what I have done and do it better, so I really want to make it onto the course. If only I can get my brain functioning at a high enough level!! (which is a struggle!)


till next time.

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Bath University FDSC. Year 3 Day 3. 

Day three was very good. I finally managed to obtain some good equipment for recording audio, so shall hopefully be recording interviews for the podcast from now on.

Today started with a highlight, George Kerr & Peter Seisenbacher!
George Kerr, 9th Dan I have met previously in Edinburgh (where he is from) and is a legend. He coached Austria and Peter Seisenbacher. Peter Seisenbacher is of course the forst person to win two Olympic gold medals in Judo.
George's keynote lecture covered a really long time period, from his starting in Judo to beyond Peter winning his medals.
It covered the interesting period in British Judo with the Budokwai in ascendance and the growth of Judo worldwide and the names and places mentioned are beyond amazing! From Geesink to Koizumi, From Japan to Autria via England, Mumbai and Edinburgh. It was one of those lectures where you realise that you are so fortunate to be there, that what you are hearing is gold dust!!! Much like some of the previos lectures from the likes of Syd Hoare, Tony McConnell, Neil Adams we are fortunate to be at that place at that time when these people share this information with us. It could so easily never be shared.

I am really pleased and honoured to say that I recorded the lecture (without the equipment I have now) and asked both Mike Callan & George if it would be okay to post it on the internet, where a wider audience might be able to share in the amazing lecture. They both agreed and I have now posted the interview over at http://www.the The audio is not great I warn you now, but be patient and try and listen to it all as the contengt is terrific!

Having spent so much time talking about the fist session, I must move on as they were excellent also.
Peter Seisenbacher continued imediately after George and did a practical session in the Dojo, which was both technically excellent and very humourously and honestly presented. Everyone I have spoken to today has commented on what an excellent session it was!

Later we had a very academic and worthwhile lecture on anatomy, which has improved my Latin no end! :)
Very dry and hard going, but exactly what is required when you are studying and trying to articulate your ideas in the assignments. You need the technical language (and understanding) to be able to get your Judo specific ideas across. It was very good.

Lastly we had a rather interesting Strength & Conditioning lecture with Auerelian Broussall, who is working with Jane Bridges in France with high level Judo players.
Aurelian is a conditioning coach and his lecture waqs very interesting, he covered primarily flexibility and stretching in Judo and when and where to use stretching correctly.
I personally, was fascinated by the early part of his lecture where he outlined his persinal view of Judo performance. His "Model" is based on performance, not results. Specifically the act of winning by Ippon, not getting medals. So a good performance by his view could be for example winning 4 fights by Ippon, and losing one by Wazari, rather than winning a gold with nothing but Kokas and penalties.
Mostly in Judo we are results oriented when we discuss performance, so winning. But Auerelian's model is performance based. So based on how well you perform actions rather than the results those performances earn you. Does that even make sense? I am not sure it does, sorry. It is a difference, it's (to me at least) about caring about how the athletes does things rather than caring about if they win or lose.
Outside of Judo it is the norm, so golfers care about making Par and measure their performance based on that, not on if they win. In Rugby, we care about the percentage of goals Johnny Wilkinson kicks successfully when we discuss his performance, not if the team wins or loses. In basketball it is the looking at the points, rebounds and assists not the outcome of the game. So I was very interested in this different perspective, probably more so than I was in the excellent flexibility information. I hope to speak in more depth with Aurelian over the next couple fo days.

The one thing he had not got to was a method of maesuring in a quantifiable way was player perfomance based on his model. Though he did say he had started/tried. My research at the Commonwealth tournament last year (and to a degree my assignment in year one looking at player selection based on medal tally) is looking in this direction to see A)if it it possible to quatify these elements and B)if it is useful.

After lectures the discussion and debate in the ba was as healthy as always!
I can not overstate how worthwhile these social converstations are. It is a great opportunity to chat and discuss and debate and outright argue with other Judo coaches. An opportunity that is offered almost solely by the course hear in Bath.

The learning opportunities outside of the formal lessons are as important as those inside the lectures. I value the arguments I try and stir up immensely!

Looking forward to Thursday!


P.s. Don't forget to visit and listen to the lecture by George Kerr, it is worth every second you spend listening to it. I am so honoured and privaledged to be able to share it with everyone who wnats to lesson. I realise how lucky I was to be there and hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.!
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University of Bath FDSC - Year 3, Day 2 

Hi again,

today was started by the rubbish discovery that my shower has only luke warm water!

Other than that it'd been a good day.

It started with Barry Edwards & Kate Howey showing is some great core stability exercises. We learned about some of the training Kate did prior to competing. Lets put it this way, she was one fit Judoka!

Later Densign gave us a lecture on the EJU/Norway "Judo for Peace" project which sounds interesting. Lots of working teaching judo in warzones such as Afghanistan.

I actually missed the lecture by Mark Earle as I spoke with one of the tutors instead, as our assignments need some attention. Happier now with the assignment (the bigger one especially).

Juergen Klinger gave a lecture on endurance training, which was interesting. Discussing (with real life examples) training both Aerobic and Anaerobic systems. Covering lactate testing and so forth, interesting.

About to relax now and get some food, yummy yummy.


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Bath University - Year Three, Day 1 

Hi All,

Well, I am back at the University of Bath on my Foundation Degree in Sports Performance (FDSC) Judo Block Route.

As always, I shall try and blog everyday to say what happened and share some of what I learn and experience on the course. There is some problem with the internet connections in our rooms, so all posts (for now at least) will need to be done in the library, so I may have some issues getting the posts out. (Also, no Skype allowed at the University, so I shan't be online in skypeland, try looking for me with any of my other instant messaging accounts, or email me.

Today was pretty easy going, after our initial get together and introduction we had an hour and a half light training with Juergen Klinger (who I might add has been a guest on ).

later we were fortunate to have a Keynote lecture from Juergen.
In his keynote he discussed working with elite (Olympic gold medal level) athletes.

It was a good lecture where he shared some great reflections on players and his relationships with them. He is obviously quite an ethical person I think and believes in being very close with an athlete and being involved not only in their Judo but in their lives as well.

He talked about the top players having a "NEED" to succeed, a NEED to win, a NEED to get the medals. He mentioned this in the context of that being what makes the difference between technically good and being the best.

He also spoke about players losing that need, be it through completion of their goals and career. Or through other aspects of the person filling that need, for example someones career satisfying them.

It was very thoughtful and insightful stuff.

We also were given some information on the Honours top-up year that some of us will be able to enroll for next year. This would give us (I believe) a full BSC.
If I can drag my grades higher I would love to do this, partially because I just want to keep coming. But mainly because a goodly chunk of the credits for the course would need to come from a research project, which is very much where I feel I want to be right now.

I would like to take the research I did at the Commonwealth Tournament last year, build upon it and perhaps repeat the work at more events and use that as my research project. Especially haven spoken to Emerson & Stanislaw on the podcast, I feel really enthusiastic and encouraged to do Judo research!

All I have to do is magic my way on the honours year now!!

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Podcast Episode 8 - Densign White, online now! 

Hi all,

Densign was really great and called me this morning to arrange this podcast, we were able to talk in agap in his always busy schedule.
As usual we start with how Design started in Judo, we cover his long and illustrious competitive career leading up to his present role as chairman of the British Judo Association. We talk about his role as a sporting director in the European Judo Union and what it entails.

We discuss his vision of what the chairman should do and the results of this.
We discuss the new technical restrictions in competition rules for under 12s, which includes not allowing drop and sutemi techniques.
This is aimed at ensuring that kids develop good technical skills before becoming to focused on competitive techniques.

We also discuss such topics as the new coaching structures (UKCC) and other factors such as the financial and commercial operation of a Judo association. We discuss the involvement of Group4 Security and Sir Clive Woodward with the British Judo Association (BJA).

I am really pleased to have gotten this podcast "in the can" before heading off to Bath next week, please (please, PLEASE!) email me your comments.
Just email them to me at

The episode is over here:
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