Category Archives: Anglia Ruskin Sports Coaching & Physical Education degree

Big changes……

Lots of people have asked me what is going on with “my job” at Anglia Ruskin so I thought it best to clarify my current position. I am a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin and was not employed for the judo at all, this was all something I did “as extra”.

In 2009 I started a judo club at Anglia Ruskin University, I remember telling the SU staff that I wanted it to be the best university judo team in the country and being laughed at. In 2010 the European judo union moved the performance coach awards to Anglia Ruskin with me as the course leader and this was the start of a “judo programme” that consisted of a high performance coach education pathway, full-time athletes, a community programme, the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence, recreational judo and a judo research group. I am quite proud of what was achieved here, predominately in my own time and with no extra pay. As much as I enjoy research and coach education my real passion is in athlete development and ironically it was this part of the judo programme that would prove its eventual downfall.

I set the target of providing 20hrs of training a week and we managed this with the same support as other clubs had (often less) for a sustained period of time but eventually things change. In my time managing and coaching the athletes at Anglia Ruskin they have performed very well in the British University and Colleges Championships, the results are shown below for this –

  • 4 x mens team champions at BUCS (the only Anglia Ruskin University team to win BUCS) plus one bronze
  • Women’s team bronze
  • 10 individual dan grade gold medals
  • 3 individual dan grade silvers medals
  • 10 individual dan grade bronzes medals

Over the years thats is 288 BUCS points for Anglia Ruskin University. Add to that around 15 peer reviewed journal articles specific to judo, three judo PhD students, countless students who have attended the university because of judo, income generated and the marketing i’d say it’s not a bad job.  Still the head of sport decided he didn’t want me involved in the judo anymore, this is his choice to make and I accept that decision.

So I move on! I will stay at Anglia Ruskin as a senior lecturer, a job I have enjoyed very much over the years to be honest and the one I am actually paid for. I think it is fair to say that my club that I have run for 18 years, Comberton Judo club, has suffered over the past 5-6 years with my main focus being on the Anglia Ruskin Judo Programme and the good news is that is changing and it is changing fast! Very fast! Comberton Judo club will now provide full-time training and many of the students who previously trained within the Anglia Ruskin Judo programme have moved to train with us.

I am now more positive and more confident in the judo I can deliver than I have been for a very long time, this might be a forced change but in many ways I feel it will be for the best. I would really like to thank the coaches and athletes who have stood by me throughout this two year period – Natasha Collins, Alex Hemming, Holly Newton, Ben Caldwell and Tara Fitzjohn have been particularly affected by all of this and have been strong throughout.

I will follow this post with another one about all the changes coming on board at Comberton Judo Club in the very near future (to be honest it might take more than one post!). In the mean time I wish the Head of Active Anglia and his new Head Coach, Michael Stewart, all the best for their venture into running a full-time training programme and we’ll see you on the mat!





Filed under AASE, Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence, Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Anglia Ruskin Judo programme, Anglia Ruskin Sports Coaching & Physical Education degree, British Judo, Coach Education, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo, Uncategorized

The importance of failure – Underground Athletics

An interesting blog post on the need to allow athletes to fail in order to learn…..

The importance of failure – Underground Athletics.

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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…..

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 23.28.24

Now it is more hierarchal in nature…..

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 23.20.54

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

Judo Scholarships at Anglia Ruskin

Anglia Ruskin University has confirmed that ten judo players will receive scholarships this year. The players, listed below, are a mix of players who train full-time at the university and players that are part-time students on the European Judo Union level 4 performance coach award.

Seven of the athletes train full-time at the Anglia Ruskin Cambridge campus, two of the the EJU coaching award and one studies at University campus Peterborough.

Name Year Course Results
Michael Stewart 3rd BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education Club president, Current BUCS champion u66kg, member of BUCS winning mens team 2011 & 2012
Glenn Miller 3rd BSc (Hons) Sports Science Member of BUCS winning mens team 2011 & 2012
Natasha Collins 3rd BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education BUCS silver medallist
Matt Kavannagh 1st BA (Hons) Law Current British junior champion
Tara Fitzjohn 1st BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education
Luc Bonnargent 1st BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education
Ronnie Plumb 1st BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education
Danny Williams 2nd BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching (European Judo Union) Selected to represent Team GB in London 2012
Adrian Markov 2nd BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching (European Judo Union) Current BUCS champion u81kg, member of BUCS winning mens team 2012
Josh Plant 3rd BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education Studies at University college Peterborough. Member of BUCS winning mens team 2011 & 2012

As well as scholarships all players will receive physiological testing, strength and conditioning, access to performance analysis, free gym access and two fighting films judo kits.

Four of these athletes will graduate in 2013 and are currently considering a masters programme led by Anglia Ruskin in partnership with Kanoya university in Japan, they will spend half the academic year at Kanoya and half at Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge.

Anglia Ruskin University also recently announced a research group dedicated to judo research that is linked to the International Association of Judo Researchers and hopes to forge collaborations with other universities around the world to develop judo research.

For more information on the judo programme at Anglia Ruskin, which includes coach education, full-time training, research, performance analysis and more please visit or email

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Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Anglia Ruskin Sports Coaching & Physical Education degree, Coaching Judo, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo, Women's judo

New class structure…..

I am currently in a very fortunate position to have 4 newly qualified level 2 coaches at the club. All 4 of them are technically very proficient and we run the class in a sort of “round robin”. We have a children’s class with about 30 kids in, we split the session so they all warm up together (normally some sort of game followed by gymnastics, ukemi and ebi).

Then we split them into groups and we have 2-4 “stations” with each group doing 10 mins at each station (for example one on kumi kata, one on a throw and one on a hold down/turnover).

This works great, the kids don’t get bored, coaches only have 10 minutes so if there is an annoying kid or it isn’t going well it’s not long. Also we normally have two stations running at once so each coach gets a rest session and we have a “policemen” who can go from group to group and help with coaching points or discipline.

We then move on to randori (nage waza and ne waza) before finishing with some sort of game and a cool down.

The cool down is normally taken by one of the sports leaders and this gives me the chance to quickly de-brief the coaches on their coaching.

Here are some pictures…


Ne waza with Mike, you can see me on the right watching both sessionsImage

In this one Glenn is taking the nage waza and I have come across as the “policeman”Image

In this one you can see the nage waza session and the ne waza in the background


Glenn with the little ones…


Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Anglia Ruskin Sports Coaching & Physical Education degree, Coach Education, Coaching Judo, Comberton Judo Club, Judo, Uncategorized

Second week of the EJU coaching awards – Easter block

Following on from my previous post  we have just completed the second week of the Easter block of the European Judo Union Level 4 coaching award. This week we also had some amazing guest lecturers.

On Monday we had the current performance director of British judo and Former world champion Daniel Lascau (7th Dan). He took the students through nage no kata explaining how coaches need to understand the underlying principles of judo in order to improve performance.

Wednesday we were joined by world and Olympic champion Maki Tsukada, she presented in the classroom on the talent development system at Tokai university before taking a mat session at Comberton judo club open to all players in the area, including juniors. There were around 70 people on the mat!

On Thursday we had double european and world champion Loretta Cusack (7th Dan). In her first session she explained how coaches can use drills to move their students from technique to skill; in her second session she presented on some of the difference between male and female judoka, she highlighted things coaches should be aware of when coaching females.

Throughout the week we Hatsuyuki Hamada (8th Dan) with us, he took many many sessions for us. Many people reading this would not have heard of Hatsuyuki Hamada, he was  the Japanese national coach for the Atlanta Olympic games and the personal coach of Ryoko Tani (7 x world champion and 2 x Olympic champion). Hamada sensei took too many sessions to discuss in one blog, his sessions were amazing and very good fun. On Wednesday he travelled to Dartford to see the England training camp as some of the players had previously met Hamada sensei not heir trip to Japan.

An absolutely fantastic two weeks that had a good balance of academic study and mat based sessions. I will try to post some more photos later. There is more information on this world leading coaching program run by Anglia Ruskin University for the European Judo Union at

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Some pictures from week one of the Easter block

Some pictures taken by our students…..


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