Monthly Archives: March 2013

Implementation of new IJF rules by British judo

Like many people I have some issues with the new IJF rule but I would like to see them in action a bit more before I post on that. This post is more about British judo’s announcement today (1st March) that they will now be using the rules at all national events from the British schools (9th March), I am sure the first thing that strikes you is that there is not a lot of notice!

In many ways I can understand why they have done this, there is a perception that if we do not implement them fast then we will fall behind the rest of the world on the international stage. Apparently the “Performance Management Group” or PMG has written a paper justifying this implementation, personally I would like to see this if it is so convincing.

Here are what I consider some ‘headline issue’

  1. The referees are not yet trained in these rules (let alone players, officials and coaches) and this causes a huge issue because what happens is people read the IJF handout, watch the IJF videos and then forge an opinion of what they are saying. These opinions have not been discussed so what you end up with is differing opinions and a bigger divide between referees, coaches and players – purely through the frustration of poor implementation.
  2. The British schools – really!! You’re not allowed to enter it if you are on the England squad, therefore you’re at least a year or 2 from competing internationally, what’s the point? We should also consider there are non-BJA competitors here
  3. We now have a national ranking system under two sets of contest rules

What I would suggest is a phased implementation starting next weekend with a series of rule clinics designed to bring coaches, players and referees together under a common cause. We must remember that the new rules are being trialled by the IJF and some might not come in after the Rio world championships. I think there are some rules that will definitely stay and they’re actually the ones that need very little training, practice or understanding –

  1. New definitions of score
  2. Golden score continues until either shido or a score
  3. New scoring system for shido’s (more about this below though)
  4. Shorter Osaekomi
  5. I would also introduce the no leg grabs but only award a shido if done in the context of the 2010-12 rules

The more complex skills that require training are also the ones which are more ambiguous to the referees and the ones the IJF are most likely to change in my opinion-

  1. Two hand grip breaking
  2. Taking the leg when transitioning to ne waza (this is particularly subjective – when does tachiwaza end and ne waza start? with no training we should expect issues)
  3. Cross gripping is fairly simple (all though did get a few questions and issues on it last night when we went through the rules) and I would probably implement that rule too but I am not completely sure

Implementing at all national events from now on is interesting and shows that the PMG don’t attend these very often! There were a few events last year where they didn’t even have the correct mat area, one where they didn’t have enough electronic score boards and all sorts of other issues. Not to mention most use the small electronic score that I would guess add the score for shido’s automatically and therefore all need changing or some sort of software update.

I would like to see the BJA use this rule change as a mechanism to bring coaches, players and referees together. A series of clinics that are interesting and innovative, working together to develop innovative ways to use these new rules as an advantage internationally and not see them as a hurdle.

I also feel there are other areas of the IJF rule/tournament handbook the BJA should consider more urgently – temperature regulation in venues, always have a warm up area, player brought from the warm up area to the mat, sokuteiki for judogi control (how is it a player can fight in a kit at world level one weekend and then the referee decides the next weekend it doesn’t fit only using his eyes!) and a CARE system.

Anyway, I have written this quite rushed and off the top of my head but this is my current opinion.

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Filed under Coach Education, Coaching Judo, Judo

Pre BUCS preparation…

I said I would blog about our pre-training and I wanted to do it before BUCS because I feel reflecting upon the training once you know the result sometimes affects you opinion but I can only do what time allows.

I would say I am very experienced in short term preparation for specific competitions. When I competed for the army it was common to have a 2-3 week intense preparation period for a specific competition and since these competitive days I have coached the army and combined services in a similar scenario, often for the combined services championships or the national team championships.

This year was slightly different in terms of our BUCS preparation. Firstly I now work with a group of full-time athletes, the train around 20hrs per week so their level of preparation is very different. Secondly BUCS was brought forward by two weeks to the end of Feb, whilst this doesn’t sound like much students generally do not return to campus until the end of Jan so that only really left about 4 weeks to prepare for some students. Most of the full-time players did return earlier though in order to prepare for the British trials and some local players train with us regularly.

When I designed the original plan it was very much around the full-time players so there was around 6 weeks of training prior to BUCS and I figured if the kyu grades dipped in and out of the training as much as they could then this would be more training than most kyu grades.

Inevitably things change though and the number of injuries meant I had to include the kyu grades more and more. To be honest I am surprised how much the managed.

Here is the overview of the training:

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To be honest there is no real secret, for me it is about mat time and volume of randori. I get as many dojo sessions as possible and just increase the volume of randori each each microcycle. I use both 7 day and 14 day microcycles in order to achieve volume, intensity and rest. The preparation ended in an overload week – the aim was for athletes to achieve 60-72 randori’s in the week. The most we did in one session was 13 x 5mins, I nearly always use 2 minute rest periods for hard randori, this is something I have experimented with a lot and I find after about 90 sec players are ready to go again and facing their partner, this leave 30 sec with them thinking ‘come on, i’m ready’ and this means they seem to always feel like they can do more.

Here is an example of a microcycle:

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I am fortunate enough to now be surrounded by some coaches and athletes who can challenge my thinking and during the overload week I was challenged by a few coaches who thought we were doing too much and people were too tired. I like to be challenged like this, it forces me to really reflect, a very deep and questioning reflection. I decided to persist, I expected more players to be struggling than were and although there was some emotion it just felt right to me. I have already thought about how I will change things for next year based on a conversation with Yasuke Hayashi (a Japanese judoka visiting us).

Anyway, this post is getting far too long! Next post i’ll talk about the competition itself 🙂

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Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Coaching Judo, Judo, Women's judo