Monthly Archives: September 2014

World judo Championships 2014 – Organisation

This post about the world championships is more about the event itself, I have been to every world championships since 1999 and I have to say this is probably the most organised one i have been too. Japan in 2003 and 2010 were obviously well run, Paris in 2011 too butt his was different, very different.


Fan zone

There was an entire street (like a shopping street with no cars) set up as a fan zone. This was a little way from the stadium but was a great idea. There were cafés etc all along the street, a stool selling official merchandise, a large screen showing the medal fights, all the shops had world champs branding on the windows and there was free wifi set up in most of the places there. Was a pretty good idea, made you feel like you were in a kind of safe zone.


Judo Park

At the venue was a judo park, this was the area immediately outside, yiu didn’t need a ticket to get in because you could download a poster from their free app, screen shot it on your phone and get in. There was a food court, judo stools and a kids area as well as some entertainment stuff.

The arena wasn’t as big as some I have been to but was very clean, very organised, security was quick, there was food on sale etc Generally the area was very good but could have been bigger and my biggest bug bear, no free wifi inside, I have yet to go to a world champs that has free wifi set up, for me this is a very basic need.

We stayed in one of the budget hotels on the official list. All of the official hotel had these volunteers in the reception areas, they all wore these red and white judo t-shirts and all spoke English. This was very helpful, they help sort hotel issues, transport, taxis etc I think there was also a policeman in every hotel, there certainly was in ours.

Also every day in the reception of every hotel was a newspaper about the judo the day before. These were actually quite a nice touch. The PDFs are below.

At all world there is transport between the official hotels and the venue (certainly the main hotels) but in Chelyabinsk there was a large minibus every half our to and from the venue and our hotel, I assume more regularly from the bigger hotels. All of these had world champs graphics all over them and were free to use.
Generally very friendly!

I have never been to Russia before, I don’t know what I expected but I have to say it was very friendly and generally very easy to get around and do stuff. Overall I was pretty impressed.


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World championships 2014 – Technical observations

2014-08-29 11.08.35

This post is about the observations myself and Glenn made during our trip to the world championships in Chelyabinsk. On the last day we sat in a cafe and discussed our observation and what we feel needs to be worked on within our training group (obviously some of these have not been included). Later that day we saw a blog post by Oon Yeoh that basically said pretty much exactly the same as what we had said, non-the-less here are our observations.

Edge play

Without a doubt there were a lot of shido’s given out by players not understanding the edge rule or not being able to use the edge to their advantage. I think years ago players could hugely use the edge to their advantage and eventually this will start happening again. There has been cries by coaches and officials to “fight int he middle” and i personally think this is a little naive, what athletes should do is understand the rule and use it to gain advantages, this doesn’t necessarily mean by forcing shido, the edge is a powerful tool for gaining the correct reaction to throw your opponent.


There were a lot of ura-nage variations, this happened across both genders and all weight groups. There is no evidence as to why this is happening more frequently but my guess would be that because of the new rules players are turning in for an attack when slightly more compromised than before because it is hard to dominate with the kumi-kata but this is just a guess. Obviously there is also the removal of leg grabs and maybe techniques such as te-gurma  might have been used before.


This was a very common technique, not really sure why but personally i think it is because of the new rules around kumi-kata and not being able to break the grip with two hands thus athletes are breaking the grip by turning in or have the sleeve already pinned.

Uchimata sukashi

A lot of the tradition kind of uchimata sukashi where the opponent avoids the uchimata and then steps across for a harai-goshi  or  tai-otoshi  type technique. There was also a lot of what might be described as the “ride and roll” technique. I would argue this is possibly due tot he reasons outlined above.

Completing the armlock when the opponent stands up

Despite the rule changes allowing the application of a ne-waza  technique once the defender has got to their feet and ippon rarely happened once they did. I feel this is generally because athletes hadn’t really figured out yet how to maintain the ne-waza  or how to get the opponent back to the floor once they got to their feet rather than the referees not giving enough time. This was most obvious in kansetstu-waza  and in particular juji-gatame. 

Shido game

Shido has pretty much always been the highest scoring technique in modern competitive judo and the rule changes do not seem to have changed this. Obviously there are now a lot more reasons to be given shido and some players have a great understanding of the “shido game’ and can really manipulate the contest. I would say possible the best player at this is Pavia (FRA) and this is not to say she doesn’t throw big, because she does! In fact i would argue she uses the shido game to make sure she can achieve the big throws.

Referees not as strict?

I am going to get some videos to highlight this point because i think it is very important. Although the referees are strict they are nowhere as strict as many of the referees in the UK, maybe somethings are simply missed but actually a lot of the time they basing their decisions on the philosophy of the rules rather than a black and white statement in the rule book. This is a big problem for us, we do not have referees operating at this higher level and therefore the manner in which the rules are being applied is not being filtered down to the national refereeing structure. This failure by British judo to get referees at this level is affecting the entire performance of judo in the UK and our international players often end up fighting a completely different type of contest here in the UK. The rules are about creating better judo not just using shido’s  and hansoku-make  all the time.

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