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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Anton Geesink RIP 

Today the great Judo man Anton Geesink passed away.
This is a great loss to the Judo world and to all those who knew him.

I would like to send my condolences to his friends and family.
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EJU level 4 and 5 Coaching course content. 

Further to my last blog, Bob Challis over at has posted some info on the content of the European Judo Union (EJU) level 4 and 5 coaching courses.

I am taking the liberty of posting it here for you.

Those of you interested should definitely visit or ... judo1.html for more information.

Module: Applied Pedagogy in Judo

Session 1: Bob Challis
An overview of the coaching process and lessons to be covered
The aim of this presentation is to give you an understanding of the coaching process and its key elements. This Sessions presentation will also serve as an overview for the module and an explanation of the assessments.

Session 2: Bob Challis
Theoretical models of the coaching process
Various researchers have tried to model the process of coaching athletes. In this sessions we will critically evaluate these models and there worth to front line coaching.

Session 3: Bob Challis
Planning and implementing training sessions
Focussing on the process of delivery and planning using practical examples and real life coaching experience that takes into consideration aspects such as time to plan, coaches being volunteers, class management issues.

Session 4: Kjell van - Paridon
Goal Setting
As an experienced coach you will already have an understanding of goal setting from an applied perspective. This module considers the theories and research relating to goal setting so that you can back up your goal setting practices from peer reviewed literature.

Session 5: Kjell van - Paridon
Controllable and uncontrollable
This session considers the controllable and uncontrollable factors of performance and relates them to goal setting and the control of anxiety.

Session 6: Bob Challis
Styles of coaching and leadership
A style of coaching could mean the difference between athletes staying with a particular coach and/or leaving a sport altogether. There is no correct or correct styles of leadership but there are styles that are more appropriate to different genders, ages, abilities, sports and sessions. This lecture explores which coaching/leadership styles are most appropriate for you and your team/sport.

Session 7: Bob Challis
Learning Styles and differentiation
Understanding how an individual learns and how best to deliver sessions and feedback to the individual is an essential aspect of coaching whether and recreational or performance level. This session will focus upon the approaches to learning and learning styles.

Session 8: Bob Challis
Learning Styles and differentiation Part 2
Following on fromt he above session this one will focus upon types of intelligence and differentiation on the judo mat.

Session 9: Bob Challis
Feedback and delivering feedback
The coaching process is based upon a coaches observation of a movement and then then the intervention of the coach to elicit positive changes in performance. The type of feedback and the timing of feedback is essential to the economical delivery of performance changes.

Session 10: Bob Challis
Practical Sessions on Learning styles and feedback
This session will apply the knowledge gained in the previous sessions to a mat based scenario.

Session 11: Bob Challis
The reflective coach
Sports’ coaching is seen as an episodic process through which components of performance that require improvement are observed then developed. Despite the range of challenges, evaluation of sports coaching effectiveness is almost exclusively focused on competitive performance outcomes. One consequence of this is that sports coaches are rarely judged on the quality of their own practice, such that the understanding and improvement of this element of practice is often ignored. Côté et al’s (1995) sports coaching model suggests that sports’ coaching is determined by the way a coach evaluates what is required to enhance an individual or team. This lecture will consider the theory of reflection and it’s use in coaching.

Session 12: Bob Challis
The reflective coach Part 2
This lecture will consider how coaches reflect on their performance and how they can effectively reflect in a time efficient manner using practical examples.

Session 13: Dan Gordon
The physiology of the warm up
Coaches often understand the components of a warm but not all coaches fully understand the physiology of what they are trying to achieve. The warm up is an area of coaching that changes regularly, understanding the physiology of the warm up will help coaches understand the rationale of changes.

Session 14:
The warm up (Practical) Ed Hallam
This will be a practical sessions on dynamic warm ups for judo.

Session 15: Bob Challis
Coaching Female Athletes
Is coaching females different to coaching males? Why do more males than females participate in sport? Why are there less female coaches in sport? This presentation considers the difference between male and females athletes and coaches and goes on to consider strategies for males coaching females and vice versa.

Session 16: Bob Challis
Anti-Doping and the coach
The issues of doping in sport are rarely out of the media. This presentation looks at the history of doping and anti-doping, uses case studies, explains the different types of drug abuse and looks at what the athlete and coach need to know about testing and testing protocols.

Session 17: Emma Jagger
Gymnastics for Judo
As judo coaches most of us will expect our athletes to be able to do some gymnastics, this might be simple techniques such as forward rolls, backward rolls and cartwheels or more complicated techniques such as hand springs. These two sessions will consider how we break these down so that we can teach them efficiently.

Session 18: Emma Jagger
Gymnastics for Judo part 2
As above.

Session 19: Andrew Moshanov
Mens Judo Vs Womens Judo
The majority of session in judo around the world are mixed classes, this session will start to provide an understanding of the differences between male judo and female judo.

Session 20: Andrew Moshanov
Lightweight Judo Vs Heavyweight Judo
There are not many judo environment around the world where lightweight and heavy weights are kept completely separate yet most judo coaches will tell you there are huge differences between heavy weight and lightweight judo. What are these differences though? Are they just speed to power ratio or is there more too it?

Session 21: TBC
Mens Judo Vs Women’s Judo
Roy Inman has coached 8 world champions, 21 european champions and 5 Olympic medals, all of these were female. In this session Roy will outline what he perceives are the differences between mens and women’s judo.

Session 22: TBC
The coach-athlete relationship
Session 23 considers the theory of the coach athlete relationship. In this sessions Roy Inman discusses the same topic based on his experience of over 30 years coaching.

Session 23: Kjell Van - Paridon
The coach-athlete relationship
Understanding the coach - athlete relationship is important but you need to understand how these relationships are formed, why they are such strong bonds and how you can use these relationships to enhance performance. This session considers the theory of the coach - athlete relationship and provides you with research based evidence on the subject.

Session 24: TBC
The matside coach
Some coaches and athletes will tell you that the matside coach is pointless, some will tell you the matside coach is essential. The truth is for some it is essential and for others he/she is barley required. Roy Inman has spent a considerable amount of time assessing his and others matside coaching and in this session explains his system.

Session 25: TBC
Working with Referees
In 2003 Sir Clive Woodward took an international referee to the rugby world cup. Many thought this was extreme and he went on to explain that this referee had been working in the England training camp for sometime and that anyone who questioned the use of a referee in this way did not truly understand high performance. In this session a referee will explain how he feel we could integrate referees into our coaching structure and how this could improve our performance. He will also discuss how coaches and referees could work together more efficiently at competitions.

Session 26: Kjell van-Paridon
Sports Psychology for coaches
There is an entire first year module on this topic but in this session Kjell will introduce some of the key areas and topics whilst relating them to the pedagogical strategies of coaches.

Session 27: Kjell van-Paridon
Leadership in Sport
Leadership in sport is often associated with team sports but in this session you will consider leadership within the judo environment.

Session 28: Kjell van-Paridon
Group Dynamics in Sport
How are groups formed? Who are the most influential people in a group? How can groups be led to a singular objective? These questions will be answered in this lecture.

There are several judo specific lecturers on this two week block including Bob Challis, Dr Mike Callan, Dr Andrew Moshanov, Syd Hoare, Emanuela Pirentozzi, Daniel Lascau and many others.

Here is a pdf document showing all the modules for the course
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European Judo Union Coaching Courses. 

Hi everyone,
today I wanted to talk about the EJU (European Judo Union) Coaching Courses. The reason being that last week I spent in Malta helping deliver the EJU Level 3 residential course.

The Level 3 is currently the lowest level of coaching certification provided by the EJU. Although soon hopefully there will be levels 1 & 2 also. The EJU provide level 3 online with a one week residential.

The level 4 is provided at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge, England. And is a 3 year course delivered online with 2X2 week residential blocks per year.

The level 5 is at ARU also and is an 18 month "top up" to a BSc.

Level 6 is a masters degree, delivered by Tor Vergata University Rome and starts soon (I hope to attend this one, having completed the levels 4 & 5).

I was recently asked "Why?", as is what job do I think I would/will get from doing these courses? What am I going to get from it?

The answer in part is... nothing, no jobs, no benefits.

However that is only part of the answer. The fuller answer is that I have gained a huge amount from the levels 3 & 4 courses and am confident I will gain hugely from the Level 6.

What have I gained?
I know know more about the science and culture of Judo than I even knew I didn't know. I have met some amazing people too. I have also been able to explore some areas I'd never had opportunity to try if it was not for the courses.

Why do I want to do the next one?
Well... for me, I want to extend my knowledge as far as I can take it. I feel that it is my responsibility, if I want to coach, to ensure that I know absolutely as much as I am able to.

As a coach, I want to know that I have the highest level of knowledge available. That way, I can speak confidently to athletes under my care. If I don't extend my knowledge, how can I ask players to listen to me? Or for them to try and learn more?

Of course, the other reason is that I loved attending the 4 & 5 courses. I had a brilliant time and enjoyed it amazingly much.

Should you attend?
Yes, yes, yes!
You will learn more about Judo than you can imagine. You will meet lots of fellow coaches. You will become a better coach.

How do you learn more?
Level 3: Visit and take a look at the modules and the taster module.
Level 4 & 5: Visit ... judo1.html
Level 6 Stay tuned, further information will be available soon.

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Teaching using principles rather than techniques. 

Judo clubs all over the world are doing what you do, teaching people Ippon Seoi, O Goshi, O Soto Gari, etc. You'll have seen it, done it, got the tee shirt. But here is the thing, should we be teaching throws or should we be teaching USING throws?

Judo is fundamentally governed by mechanics right? Levers and all that good stuff, so do we teach how these things work in a Judo context, or, do we teach throws and hope the students learn the principles underlying?

Here is my practical example.

Tonight I was coaching at the HMS Collingwood Judo Club and what we covered was not any selection of throws. Tonight we worked on the idea that Many throws consist of stopping the lower body, whilst allowing and/or propelling uke's upper body onwards.

We started with some footsweeps. Moving forward, backwards, sideways, etc. Later we started doing some forwards and backwards throws.
Specifically we did Taio Toshi, Tsurikomi Ashi, Okuri Ashi Barai and O Uchi Gari.

But these were only methods of exploring the principle.

Yes, as we did Taio I helped them get the throw right. BUT... I was not focussed on the specifics of where the left foot goes or right hand goes. Rather, I tried to focus on if they understood that the the idea was that their partners upper body kept coming forward and they stopped the lower body from moving, bang!

When we worked on O Uchi Gari, I did not focus non the sweep or footwork. I watched to see if they tried/succeeded in stopping that leg going backwards and kept their partners body moving backwards.

The point here being that what I was really looking for was for the players to express physically their understanding of the principle.

In later classes I intend to explore other Judo principles. Of course we shall have sessions that are all about the specific techniques, but hopefully the players will have gained a personal understanding of the principles FIRST.

I'd be interested in your experiences, thoughts and opinions... Perhaps I am messing up these players? Please drop me an email to or pop a comment here on the blog.

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Reviewing Judo Performance. 

Hi all,
This week I had Judo to teach/coach at both Alresford Judo Club and at HMS Collingwood. Alresford was kids and we were lucky to have Ray Whitfield, Michael Pring and Steve Lainsley there. The classes are growing in size and the kids are adapting to the changes with me teaching there.

At the HMS Collingwood Judo Club, we had a light session.
The reason we started light is because we started by reviewing how one of the players there competed on the previous weekend. Sadly the battery on the video camera died, but we were able to go over how he fought and what worked and what did not.

This is what made me think about writing this post.

Judo coaching, is NOT about teaching people how to throw people; at least in my opinion. Judo "coaching" for me is about creating opportunities for Judo athletes to learn how to win at the sport of Judo and also give them opportunities to polish the required skills.

So, after a player competes I feel it is a good opportunity to help them learn. They learn from the event itself, reviewing it gives a second opportunity. If you have video, they may see things they did not feel on the day. You can rewind and watch the bits that matter to the player. Even if you don't, mental review is powerful too.

This review is a good opportunity to allow your players to share with you how they think the event went. Where they did well, where they did things wrong. You can take the opportunity to discover what your player's perception of their performance was/is. So you need to consider biting your tongue and listening to your player before sharing your perspective.

It is important that you look at the positives. I would tend to say that with most athletes you want to highlight what went well rather than what went wrong. Look for areas where the player did what you worked on in the Dojo.
Of course, you need to cover the errors, but positive feedback is normally better than negative.

Once you have watched and/or discussed the performance, get on the mat and do some Judo. Perhaps act out the match, and redo what they did right. Perhaps go to the point where it went wrong and get your athlete to do it the way you planned this time. Establish a good performance; so to speak.

In the longer term, you might want to use video analysis as a tool to help your player measure success. Video can be useful to give your player a visual library of their and their opponents Judo.

Start with your players training in the club. Pop a camera on a tripod and get your player to do their throw or ne-waza, a number of times. Do it regularly, preferably from the same angle and location. Then you can compare development overtime.

Next film them in competition, you can catalog the fights in a wide variety of ways. For a start, record the event (of course), date, location, record the name of the opponent.

Now you could start recording elements in the fights. For example, which way the players grip, what movement they show. What balance breaking occurs, what attacks/thows; what ne-waza.
If you can link (probably via software) the action to actual video and collate them by action, you have a great tool.

Then, you could click a few buttons and get everytime your player fights a lefty. Or see every time they had been attacked by an Uchi Mata. Or see everyone of their Juji Gatame attacks.

Overtime you shall grow a powerful reference tool for your players to use to learn from.

Give it a go; please let me know what you try and what results you start to see.

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