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 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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University of Bath, Bsc. EJU Level 5 - Block 1, Day 2.  

Hello everyone!
Hopefully there are a few more readers after my lecture today on coaching Digital Natives. But more on that later.

Today, we had two Judo practical sessions/lectures. One with Patrick Roux and one with Jane Bridge. Two people who I wish I could fight like they coach.
What they were trying to get across, in two separate and quite independent lessons, was simple, elegant and stylish Judo; all based on fundamental principles.

I think yesterday I wrote about how I enjoyed watching Patrick's Judo in Randori. Something that struck me today is that his Randori style is the same as what he is coaching/teaching. Which is less common than you think after you see such a good example of it. Patrick's session was very much about fundamental body movements and good posture. Things we talk about but he showed well and demonstrated even better in his Randori.

Jane's session. (Did I mention I really respect/admire Jane?). Working again on fundamentals, body movement and simple things. Footwork and posture, applied in the correct way to the correct situation. Specifically, sode tsurikomi ashi from heavy jigotai, both player pushing one another. Using good footwork and a good turn of the body to unbalance your opponent and throw them. IN THAT ORDER.

Both Jane and Patrick display and coach the sort of Judo I would like to do. More accurately, the sort of Judo I would have liked to do when I was young, lithe and supple. No really, there was once a time when that was at least mainly accurate. ;-)

I envy the players training in Bath. Between Jurgen, Patrick, Yuko and Jane they have the most amazing opportunity to train. Mike is doing a great job at creating an environment of excellence, the coaches and others involved in Bath are pretty darn impressive when you look at it from a more isolated view.

On that subject I am really chuffed that a fellow Kiwi is now training here in Bath whilst doing their PHD. The last time I saw them was in Derry at the Commonwealth's and the change is readily apparent, strides ahead of where they were IMHO.

We also had our second lecture with Lisa about planning. And planning here we are talking large scale performance plans, not athlete planning. The project/assignment we have to complete is a plan for a project. So we need to basically do a business plan for something Judo related. So pick a pet project and develop a professional plan to develop and deliver it. Harder than it looks and I must say, it really highlights how talented those people who do this in our sport are and how big a debt of gratitude we owe them.

The other lecture today, was my Keynote lecture on "Coaching Digital Natives". I think it went well and that people got something out of it. I am presently uploading the slides to and once it's been processed and I have checked with the Uni it is ok, I shall make it public. The slide deck ended up being 48MB, it's 12mb as a pdf without videos!! I tried to keep it pretty high tech given the topic and I hope people found it interesting and that they took something away that might help. A few people spoke tome afterwards about setting up blogs for their clubs and so forth, so that is great!

To everyone reading this who attended the lecture, please do email/comment and tell me how you found the lecture. As we all know feedback is key in learning, so let me know where I hit the mark and where I missed it. Tell me what bits you found most relevant.

To those same people, thanks for your attention and questions and comments, I am not a professional public speaker, but you were a good audience in my book.

I have to give a big thank you to Alex for his time last week helping me put this together. His IBM/Cisco corporate perspective/experience really helped me keep the presentation on subject and relevant I think, cheers mate!

As always, if anyone is looking at the Web and Judo, please let me know.
I am happy to help explain things, setup things, etc etc.

Okay... well till tomorrow !


P.s. presentation attendees, here is the link to our EJU Degree group on Facebook.

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