Monthly Archives: July 2013

Anglia Ruskin Judo

The recent agreement of the university to fund a full-time judo coach post has got me to think more about the structure of the judo programme. It is a pretty large programme now and I have always envisaged it as a circular model where everything is even but now I feel I need to consider it from a more hierarchal perspective. This has also allowed me to consider how many people are currently involved in the judo programme and to consider where gaps are.

Here is how I have seen it previously…..

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Now it is more hierarchal in nature…..

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Some of these posts are not quite in place yet, for example the new head coach, the 10 postgrad students (currently two but will be 6-8 by Sept.), the two research assistant posts are probably a little way off although our current research assistant who is not a judo specialist is looking into some judo research. The AASE programme also doesn’t start until September (still time to sign up!).

The truth is that four years ago I went into the student union and asked to start a judo club, I new I wanted a holistic judo programme but I never thought it would grow so fast and this has only been possible because the university is so innovative and allows/supports it’s staff to develop their ideas.

From September the university should have roughly the following:

1 x judo programme manager

1 x full-time head coach

2 x assistant coach (one a member of lecturer staff and the other a Japanese visiting scholar)

2 x AASE coaches

15 x full-time athletes (Including those on AASE)

20+ recreational athletes

1 x judo programme administrator

150 kids being taught in our community programme

6-8 post graduate researchers (mainly doing PhDs or MPhils related to judo)

1 x team physiologist (intern)

1 x S&C coach

All of this in four years! Not bad 🙂 If you would like to know more about our judo programme then please have a look at our website or email


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Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Anglia Ruskin Judo programme, Anglia Ruskin Sports Coaching & Physical Education degree, Coach Education, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo

Some pictures from the last two week block of the European Judo Union L4 coach award

Here are  some pictures from the last block of the European Judo Union Level 4 performance award…..

Guest lecturers included Darren Warner, Neil Adams, Danial Lascau, Deborah Gravenstijn, Maki Tsukada, Ikumi Tanimoto, Mike Stocker (EIS) and the General Secretary of the EJU Envic Galea. Modules taught include performance analysis for judo, physiology for judo, Sports development and talent development pathways.



There is more information on this course at the Anglia Ruskin University judo pages –

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Filed under Coach Education, Coaching Judo, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo

Do judo coaches need to know about physiology?

On the next block of the EJU level 4 performance coach award the first year group will study physiology. When I was writing this course I constantly asked myself what do coaches need to know? Based upon my previous experiences as a coach, my academic knowledge and the literature on coaching knowledge I developed the model below, I probably read it somewhere and adapted it or maybe put several things I’d read together, I really can’t remember.

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Image taken from one of my powerpoint lectures

I think coaches can learn a lot from experience and reflection but I also think if they have an underpinning knowledge of the science this reflective process of learning can be much faster and more economical. As you can see in the figure above I have added sources to the types of knowledge a coach needs and the sciences generally come from universities.

When I did my first degree, which was in sports science, I had a biomechanics lecturer who always used to say “you cannot change the laws of the universe” and of course he is correct, for example we cannot change gravity but we can manipulate it’s affect if we understand it, take the fosbery flop for example!

So do judo coaches need to understand physiology? Well just like the “laws of the universe” you cannot change physiology but you can manipulate and you can gain huge advantages. In his speech in the film ‘any given Sunday’ Al Pacino says the game is “all about inches” and “taking the inches”. I think judo is the same, every inch matters and you can gain these performance inches in many ways – technical, tactical, psychological etc but also physiologically.

I am not suggesting coaches should be physiologist but lets be honest – they write the “periodised year plan” and most have no idea about the underlying physiology. In some countries they do, Germany, Russia, China and France for example. So if coaches don’t need to be physiologist how much physiology do they need to know? Well, in my opinion, they need to be able to understand physiological test results and apply them to their year plan, they need to be able to interact with the S&C coaches/doctor/physio etc but most importantly they need to understand the physiological demands of the sport so they can apply them to their mat sessions!

Can you honestly say you fully understand the physiological demands of judo? How much lactate would you expect your players to produce in randori? In shiai? How can you test recovery in the taper? Do you sessions mimic the physiological demands of shiai? How can you improve your athletes recovery?

Here are some pictures of our coaches developing their physiology knowledge so that their players can win their fights inch by inch.


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