Monthly Archives: August 2011

Great Britain at the World Judo Champs 2011 Pt 1 – How bad is bad?

After much consideration I have decided to split this post into several shorter posts. It is no secret that I am hugely disappointed with the performance of the British Judo team over the 2011 world championships in Paris. With only 332 days to go until our u60kg player steps on the mat in the London 2012 Olympic games how can we have our worst world championships since 1969? Who is to blame?

Firstly I want to consider how badly we performed this year, was it really worse than previous years? I have made a table to show how bad our performance was (see below) in comparison to previous world championships.

Championships Gold Silver Bronze 5th 7th
2011, Paris 1 1
2010, Tokyo 1 1
2009, Rotterdam 1 1
2007, Rio 1 1 1 3
2005, Cairo 1 2 1
2003, Osaka 2 1 2
2001, Munich 2 1 2 1
1999, Birmingham 1 3 1 2
1997, Paris 1 3 2
1995, Tokyo 1 2 2
1993, Hamilton 1 1 2 2 3
1991, Barcelona 3 2 3
1989, Belgrade 2 2 5 1
1987, Essen 2 1 3 1 4
1986, Maastrict 3 1 Women Only
1985, Seoul 2 1 Men Only
1984, Vienna 1 1 Women Only
1983, Moscow 1 Men Only
1982, Paris 2 1 Women Only
1981, Maastricht 1 Men Only
1980, New York 1 1 3 Women Only
1979, Paris 1 2 7 Men Only
1975, Vienna 2 Men Only
1973, Lausanne 2 Men Only
1971, Ludwigshafen 2 Men Only
1969, Mexico City 1 Men Only
1967, Salt Lake City 1 Men Only
1965, Rio

This table clearly shows that the last time we didn’t medal in a world championships was 1975 but in 1975 we did secure two 5th places. In 2011 we got one 5th and one 7th place, to find a result this bad by British Judo at the world championships you would need to go back to Mexico City, 1969! That’s 42 years ago! So here we are 332 days away from a home Olympic games with our worst performance in 42 years.

Over the next few posts I am going to analyse this performance and where appropriate I will attribute blame, I don’t like pointing the finger and blaming people but enough is enough! In separate posts I will consider the players, the staff, the BJA, UK sport and the culture of judo in Great Britain.

The next post will be on the players, see you then and please add you comments….



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Great Britain at the World Judo Champs 2011 Pt 2 – The players

My first post on the World Judo Championships in Paris described pretty clearly how our results at this years world championships were below par in terms of comparison to previous results from GB judo. It should also be pointed out that the goals set by UK sport were a minimum of one medal and a maximum of three medals and considering this is what we have consistently achieved in the past I do not think they were asking for too much, especially considering their £7.5m investment of tax payers money/lottery money for this Olympic cycle. But if UK sport are going to improve British judo they need to target their efforts in the correct place, make the correct changes etc so over the next few posts I will consider this from different perspectives.

A good place to start the analysis of our performance is the players. So lets look at the team that was taken and their past achievements according to a brief look at judo inside.

– 60 Ashley McKenzie (u23 European champions 2010, World cup gold, 2011 (Warsaw) and some European cup golds 2010/11)

-60 James Millar  (7 world cup medals, most recent 2011)

-66 Colin Oates (Bronze European Champs 2011, 3 world cup medals)

-66 Craig Fallon (European Champion 2006, World Champion 2005, World silver 2003, 8 world cup medals)

-73 Danny Williams (European cup gold, 2011)

-81 Euan Burton (World Bronze 2010, World Bronze 2007, 3 x European Bronze, 6 world cup medals)

-90 Winston Gordon (5th Athens Olympics, Bronze Europeans 2006, 11 world cup medals)

-100 Jame Austin (3 European cup silvers in 2010/11)

-52 Sophie Cox (2 European Silvers & 2 European Bronze, 10 world cup medals)

-57 Gemma Howell (1 world cup bronze, 3 European cup golds in 2010, 2 u23 European Championships Bronze)

-63 Faith Pitman (2 world cup medals, 7th in world championships 2007)

-63 Sarah Clarke (15 world cup medals, European Gold, silver and bronze)

-70 Sally Conway (3 world cup medals, 5th in World Championships 2009, 2 European cup golds in 2011)

+78 Karina Bryant (7 times world medallist, 4 x European champion, 16 world cup medals)

+78 Sarah Adlington (7 world cup medals, 2 European cup medals in 2011)

Just to summarise, this team had a world champion and 10 other world championship medals, 5 European championship golds & 12 other European medals as well as around 90 world cup medals. I haven’t compared this to other teams but to me it seems like the players are, or at least were capable of medalling at a world level.

Maybe now we should look at how the team did in this years world championships.

– 60 Ashley McKenzie – two wins

-60 James Millar  – two wins

-66 Colin Oates – four wins

-66 Craig Fallon – no wins

-73 Danny Williams – one win

-81 Euan Burton – one win

-90 Winston Gordon – one win

-100 James Austin – no wins

-52 Sophie Cox – one win

-57 Gemma Howell – two wins

-63 Faith Pitman – one win

-63 Sarah Clarke – one win

-70 Sally Conway – no wins

+78 Karina Bryant – two wins

+78 Sarah Adlington – no wins

This gives us 15 players with 18 wins, or an average of 1.2 wins per player. Not only that but we should consider the countries we got some of our wins against. Colin Oates had a tough draw in places (FRA & BRA) but in many respects had an easy draw beating MDA, and GHA (the GHA boy trains in the UK and only 2-3 times per week). Sarah Clark’s win was against SEN, one of Ashley’s wins was against MLT, Winston’s win was against PAN and Sophie’s win was against MAC. Please beware I am not slatting the players for this, all I am saying is that we should be beating countries like SEN, MLT, PAN, GHA and MAC with the judo history and funding of Great Britain.

Some players had some fantastic wins, Colin Oates beat former European silver medalist Zagrodnik from POL in his first fight, he also beat Larose of France in his fifth fight. Karina Bryant beat Sadkowska of POL in her second fight. For me the British player of the week was Gemma Howell, she beat the former world champion, Ribout on home ground, she then beat world bronze medallist Karakas of Hungary in her second fight before she was beaten in fight three by the infamous Isabella Fernandez of ESP in a tactical fight and lets be honest, she can play tactics with the best!

I think it is fair to say we have a fairly old team and although many of them have world and European medals some of them haven’t medalled at this level for a while. But I also think if you took Euan, Sarah C, Karina, Craig, Winston you could/should expect one or two medals. I also think Gemma, Sally, Sophie, Ashley, Sarah A, Faith could have been expected to finish 5th or 7th and Danny, James A, James M should have expected to be around 9th.

Is this a fair expectation looking at the medals they have already achieved? I would be interested to hear if I am expecting too much, please comment.

If this is what could be expected then  even  performing below expectation should have brought home a medal (maybe two) and 3-4 5th/7th places but we didn’t.

I don’t think we should make excuses, I have read that two players in each weight group causes issues (Nicola Fairbrother) and even our own performance director has said this  “We have to look positively because the Olympic tournament will be half the numbers, with only one fighter from each country, if they qualify, which will make it a much more level playing field.” (Hick’s, August 2011). I would ask this, does a confident country pray for half the numbers? Shouldn’t we be confident with our judo team and the budget we have? Also, lets be honest, every country has the same problem! They all have to compete against two French, two Japanese etc and they don’t have the budget we do, many probably can’t afford to send two players in each weight group, which brings me on to the next topic….

Why did we not send a full team? No 48kg player, no +100 player, no -78 player. We also only sent one player in many of the weight groups, what about Sophie Johnson or Siobhan O’Neil at u52kg? Why not another -73kg player – Jan Gosiewski, Owen Liversy, Lee Shinkin? At u81kg they could have sent Tom Reed, David Groom, I could go on but this post is getting long!

I know some of the excuses that will coming back, Tom, Jan and Megan were at the university world championships just before is one, well okay maybe that is fair enough but I am sure a program could have been put in place. The other excuse is money, well firstly Paris is very close, secondly if you don’t have enough money in your £7.5m budget to send a full team to the world championships then maybe we need to consider someone else managing the budget?

Last thing on this, three players were brought out at the end of the competition for the teams Siobhan O’Neil, Matt Clempner and Matt Purssey – none of their weight groups had two players in from GB so why not fight them?

For me the players aren’t to blame, sure they could have done better but I don’t believe any of them stepped on the mat thinking “I don’t want to win” or “I’d rather be on COD”  and I certainly don’t think they had been out the night before or anything like that. I think they didn’t win for other reasons. In the next post I shall continue this blog topic considering the high performance directorate in British judo and the system within the UK.

Please comment, sorry the post got so long :p


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International Association of Judo Researchers Symposium

Just a quick post about the IAJR symposium yesterday.


I previously posted on attending the IAJR conference this week in Paris. The conference went really well with lots of researchers specifically interested in judo all in one place.

I outlined the speakers in a previous post so I won’t go into all of them here again. The morning consisted of lecture themed around the historic development of judo and there were presentations from Professor Noriko Mizoguchi, Dr Mike Callan, Professor Michel Brousse, and Professor Yasuhiro Yamashita. All of these were very interesting and for me  Noriko Mizoguchi’s presentation in relation to the development of Women’s judo could be useful for my PhD work.

The afternoon consisted of more science based topics.Elena Pocecco presented a testing procedure for athletes, this was very interesting, it is always good to see what other countries are doing. Dr Luis Montiero presented on lower body explosive muscular action, he had conclusions in relation to the eccentric contraction specific to judo, this is very interesting but I will need to speak to our physiologist to get a deeper understanding before passing comment.

For me the most interesting presentation was by Professor Michel Calmet, he looked at gripping patterns in beginners, advanced and elite players. Some very interesting work being done at Université de Montpellier 1 on this and I wold love to look into this further.

There was also a presentation on judo being used for rehabilitation by Professor Takeshi Nakajima, this particular rehabilitation was with cerebral palsy. This isn’t really my area at all but Takeshi Nakajima presented very well and showed some very interesting video.


There were a lot of posters presented – Here they are with 1st author, title and institution. There might be some mistakes here as this is taken from the program issued.

  1. Bianca Miarka – A comparison of combat and pause in female judo matches University of São Paulo, Brazil
  2. Bianca Miarka – A comparison between numbers of attacks and directions in female judo matches University of São Paulo, Brazil
  3. Bianca Miarka – Cycles of temporal dynamic structure in judo matches University of São Paulo, Brazil
  4. Bob Challis – A temporal analysis of u48k women’s judo ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY
  5. Hans-Dieter Heinisch – Decision-making behaviour in specific combat situations in judo Institute for Applied Training Science Leipzig/Germany
  6. Emanuela Pierantozzi – Field Tests to evaluate the morphology and physiology of Judokas’ upper body during the training year. University of Bologna
  7. FABRICIO D VECCHIO – safe falling test duration among physical education students Federal University of Pelotas – BRAZIL
  8. Hidemasa Tokuyasu – An Opinion Survey of Judoists in the USA. Tokyo Ariake University of Medical and Health Sciences
  9. Hrvoje Sertić – Difference of Importance of Throwing Techniques in Junior and Senior Men Judo Faculty of Kinesiology University of Zagreb
  10. Husnija Kajmovic – THE EFFECT OF RULE CHANGES IN JUDO ON SITUATIONAL EFFICIENCY BETWEEN. Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
  11. Isamu Nakamura – Analysis judo contest bows in World judo championships 2010 and Japanese national championships. National Institute of Fitness and Sports in KANOYA
  12. Ivan Segedi – Assessment of perceived legitimacy of unsportsmanlike behavior in men judokas Faculty of Kinesiology University of Zagreb
  14. Keisaku Ikehata – Example of Judo Therapy Acquired from Makaiho (Kappo’s preliminary method) Japan Judo Therapist Association
  15. Lance Wicks – An experimental relative skill based ranking system for elite level Judo Judospace Educational Institute
  16. MARCUS AGOSTINHO –  Training load monitoring and specific judo performance in cadet and junior judo athletes.  University of São Paulo, Brazil
  17. MASAHIRO TAMURA -Changes in Judo Tactics according to IJF Contest Rules: A Possible Consideration forRules Revision .School of Health and Sports Science Juntendo University
  18. Michel CALMET Training in judo with simulated impairments: a link between moral and industrial values? Université de Montpellier 1 – FRANCE
  19. Paul Williams – Relationship between national achievement in Judo and lowered levels of homicide Judospace Educational Institute
  20. Ramdane ALMANSBA- Metabolic and Cardiovascular Responses of the CanadianWorld-Class Judoists at the Uchikomi Fitness Test (UFT). Laboratoire de Physiologie de l’Exercice
  21. Ramdane ALMANSBA – Effect of the Uchikomi Fitness Test on the motor abilities Laboratoire de Physiologie de l’Exercice
  22. Ramdane ALMANSBA – Is the Handgrip Strength Test sensitive in Judoist? Laboratoire de Physiologie de l’Exercice
  23. RJJM Pelzer – Revisiting Jigoro Kano’s Vision Independent scholar (Japanese Studies)
  24. Roland Oswald – Development and implementation of new methods for the analysis of technical- tactical actions in judo. Institute for Applied Training Science Leipzig/Germany
  25. Ryuji OKADA- Applied psychological survey on Judo-Comparison between an American Judo  wrestler group and a Korean Judo wrestler group.  Kinki University in Osaka Japan
  27. Tamara Dalponte –  2009 Italian Cadet National Team Competition Match Analysis: technical and tactical study. Faculty of Sport’s Science, Bologna University
  28. Wieslaw Blach- Somatotype Components in Judoists: a Contemporary Analysis University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw


I videoed most of the conference and will try to upload some of the videos if they came out okay.



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Heading out to Paris

Saturday I will be heading out to Paris for the 7th International Association of Judo Researchers symposium. The event is looking good with presentations that cover a wide variety of topics.

The history of Dan system for female Judo
Presenter: Associate Professor Noriko Mizoguchi. Shizuoka University of Art and Culture. Japan

Gunji Koizumi
Presenter: Dr Mike Callan. Anglia Ruskin University. England

History of International Judo
Presenter: Professor Michel Brousse. l’Université de Bordeaux 2. France

Dr Shigeyoshi Matsumae
Presenter: Professor Yasuhiro Yamashita. Tokai University. Japan

Disabled people and the Potential of Judo
Presenter: Professor Takeshi Nakajima. Kokushikan University. Japan

Specific Exercise Testing in judo athletes
Presenter: Ms Elena Pocecco. University of Innsbruck. Austria

Modelling judo grip contest and simulations
Presenter: Professor Michel Calmet. Université de Montpellier 1. France

The performance of Explosive Muscular Actions of the Lower Body in Judo Athletes

Presenter: Professor Luis Montiero. Lusofona University. Portugal.

There will also be around 30 poster presentations. Anglia Ruskin has representation in the presentations from Dr Mike Callan and two posters, one from me and one from Janaina Magalhaes, who is a student on the EJU level 4 coaching award. Janaina is presenting on ‘O Soto Gari: the Role of Renrakukuwazas to this Major Throw’ and I am presenting ‘A temporal Analysis of the u48kg Women’s Judo at the 2010 World Championships’.

I’ll write more about the conference and, of course, the world championships when I am in Paris 🙂


If there are any of the presentations you’re particularly interested in let me know by commenting below and i’ll blog as much info as I can.

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New Judo kits and youtube video

Anglia Ruskin University have received their new judo kits – the new fighting films superstar kit with out logo on. All players that fought as part of this years British university championships received a blue and a white kit.

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We have also finished our vide of the British university championships, the quality isn’t great but the judo is 🙂

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