Tag Archives: Comberton Judo Club

Littleport championships…..

This weekend was the Littleport championships, we only had five players fighting. Rosie won silver, Harry, Orestis and Adam all won bronze whilst Rowan had the best fight he has ever had despite not winning a medal – for me this is more important 🙂

Another interesting thing was that one of the torch bearers – Dave Hereward brought along his Olympic torch for people to have a photo with, I think this is really good and 100% in the spirit of the Olympic movement. There are some photos below.

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45 sec rule….

Just a quick post, following on from my last one really. Whilst teaching undergrad sports students to teach in schools I made a rule – you can only talk for 45 seconds at a time!

We timed people talking/demonstrating and observed the children to see when the lost interest, 45sec was about the max time. Last week when I spoke to my coaches about the session I mentioned this, the idea is the children spend more time doing and less time pretending to listen!


I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

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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

EJU coaching session by Craig Fallon…

This week, as part of the European Judo Union level 4 performance coach award, we had Craig Fallon for three sessions and I thought it would be good to briefly outline these sessions.

Craig’s first session was in the classroom to our year 2 students who are learning about talent development models. According to Bruner et al (2009) there are two clear talent development models outlined in research, one of these is a transitional model and we had asked Craig to teach about his transitions in his career. This is particularly pertinent for him now as he is in possibly the biggest transition of all – retirement. This is a hard time for any athlete but for a world and European champion it is even harder. The aim is to teach our students, who will be (or already are in some cases) decision makers for national federations how to manage these transitional phases.

Craig’s second session was on yoko tomoe nage, I had asked Craig to teach this and to discuss how he had developed this technique over time. This is so that students can see how techniques for talented players have to be developed over a number of years. Hatsuyuki Hamada (coach of Ryoko Tani) will be showing the same technique next week so that students can compare methods and see there is no right or wrong way.

His final session was in ne waza, and he showed how he developed his famous turn over. It really is amazing to see how he understand every detail and how he has a solution to almost every problem.

When I speak to people in the UK and say Craig is coming for a session, they always say “that’s good” or “it’s great” etc but the reaction I get from foreign judoka is completely different, I told a French guy a couple of years ago Craig was coming over to coach and I thought he was going to fall over! When I told one of our German students Craig was coming on this block he just stood still and said “this is fantastic, he is an absolute genius!” My point is that Craig is one of only three male world champions this country has ever had, he is also the most recent, add to this a European gold, world silver and the fact he has never lost in a world cup at u60kg and he really is something special.

As a judo coach I have been to many workshops, coaching courses and seminars with world and Olympic medallists and for me Craig really stands out, I have been fortunate enough to see quite a few of his sessions, they are always different, he has an amazing attention to detail, he understands how to adapt techniques for heavy weight and females and he emphasises with players. For me he is one of the UKs most under used resources.

Below are some pictures of the session he did on the EJU coaching award and also some pictures from the dojo opening at Comberton Judo Club where Karina Bryant and Craig led the opening session.

I would strongly urge any coaches reading this who are looking for someone to run a session to contact Craig, regardless of what country you’re in. If you need to you can contact him through me.

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Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Coach Education, Coaching Judo, Comberton Judo Club, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo

European Judo Union Level 4 performance coach award – Week one

A very busy first week of the Easter block of the European Judo Union Level 4 performance coach award. This award is split across six two-week blocks over a three year period and is arguably one of the best coaching programs in the world, across all sports.

Over these two weeks our two year groups will take three module. Year 1 students are doing a 30 credit module called “Applied pedagogy in Judo” and the year two students are doing two 15 credit modules – Sports Development and Talent Development Pathways in Judo. After th block each group will also have an online module each.

Lecturers this week have included….

Bob Challis (Pathway Leader & EJU level 5 high performance coach)

Dr Mike Callan (Director of judospace and President of IAJR)

Nuno Delgado (Olympic Bronze Medallist & EJU level 4 performance coach)

Dr Lisa Allen (Judo event manager London Olympics 2012)

Kat McDonald (Presented on Athletes in Education and works at TeamBath)

Matt Divall (England Excell coordinator and EJU level 5 high performance coach)

Craig Fallon (World and Olympic champion)

Our mat based sessions have been at Comberton Village College who Anglia Ruskin already work closely with for their judo program. These sessions have been world class! I will post more information on some of them in others posts.

It was also god to see some of our judo players from our full-time program making the most of this special environment and coming along to the sessions.


Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Coach Education, Coaching Judo, Comberton Judo Club, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo

Performance determined funding in judo

I had a conversation today that made me think about player funding. In the ideal world we would be able to select our players for the next Olympic games four years out and fund them all the way up to the Olympic games thus providing financial certainty but is it really possible to know four years before who will perform? You would think that if you selected 4 players in each group you would have you Olympian within the four but is this really the case? Lets look at the current British team who MIGHT go to London:

Sophie Cox – who could have predicted her coming out of retirement?

Colin Oates – Who would have predicted his amazing rise over these four years?

Euan Burton – Many might have guessed Euan, but many would have bet against him because of his age

Hayley Willis – no-one could have seen this coming, not for London anyway

Whether you agree or disagree the point is it is very hard to determine four years before and I am not saying any of these players deserve or don’t deserve etc it is not about that, it is about predicability and judo is very very unpredictable.

So if we cannot know who is likely to be going how do we fund them?

Weel under the current system players are funded in many ways based upon performance and world and Olympic level but there are many grudges about funding so I thought I would put an idea forward.

Player Determined Funding

This is in many ways similar to what we have now, you perform well you get money but instead of the complex system we currently have it would be much more transparent. I would distribute money in much the same way as world ranking points, you would get money for a fight won, 5th, 7th, bronze, silver and gold and the money would be fixed for an entire Olympic cycle.

You would need to start low down in order to create a developmental ladder, lets say the trials. I would then ward fixed price prize money at European cup, World cup, Grand slam, European, World champs and Olympic etc So if you win the trials, for example, you would receive £1000 on the day, on the podium. Maybe European cup is £2000 for gold etc etc

One issue is the financial certainty of the players, if you ward prize money they never really know what income they have and when, this is an issue. Maybe you could say that players who win a world cup medal or European champs medal, world medal will receive £500 per month for x months on top of the prize money.

I would most definitely give prize money for the trial, probably even medals at ranking events. This would mean the top players attend and fight which would create more depth in domestic events.

Tesco Points cards

The other thing I wold consider is is system like tescos vouchers, for example if you spend £10 of your reward money on a European cup the BJA will make it up to £15, if you spend £10 on a World cup the BJA make is £20. This way players can realistically self fund world cups and European cups. You might also include other things player regularly have to pay for.

Players already can win prize money at world cups etc and it is common in other sports such as tennis, I truly think we have a problem with the way British judo players are funded (and this is in many cases because of UK sport not the BJA) and we need solution, this is just an idea off the top of my head, any other ideas would be more than welcome, please comment……..


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I have just realised……

I have just realised I haven’t posted about the national teams. It was an interesting weekend really.

I met up with the combined services team on the Saturday morning as I arrived late at the hotel. We went to weigh in with no problem and the team fought pretty well. They ended up with a bronze medal. The semi final went 2-2 and with Lewis Keeble as our final fighter we were pretty confident but it wasn’t to be. Lewis threw his Scottish opponent and scored but landed in an arm lock and his opponent was quick to slap it on.

Unfortunately by this time one of our players, Johnny Morris, was suffering and we replaced him with the reserve. I think it is unfair to say the team was weaker though, as I looked at that team that faced Scotland 4/5 had fought in a world championships and the other was u23 European Bronze medallist. Not a bad team for a national team championships.

I also had Natasha Collins fighting in the u52 category for the eastern area women’s team. It is very interesting to see how the teams contrast in term of the management yet both teams secured bronze. Natasha’s first fight was a bye, the second fight she won by ippon and the third fight went 4 mins before she lost to a second wazari, to be fair she was fighting the European u20 bronze medallist. She was happy with this fight though, in fact she was happier with this one than the one she won. I think it show a maturity that she is looking at the quality of the fight rather than the outcome.

The national teams this year didn’t have the atmosphere as previous years, I am not sure why this was, maybe it was just me.

On Sunday I have seven youngsters fighting in a local age banded, they did pretty well, we got three golds, a silver and a bronze. Two things about this competition made me really happy. The first is that the two older boys were given specific things to work on, to the point where if they went into newaza and were pinning their opponent they would let them up. They both worked hard to develop their new techniques and both secured gold.

The really great thing about this weekend was one of out new players Rosie, she also won gold but this is insignificant in relation to how confident and cheerful she was through the day. At Comberton JC we have a blog that the children write on competition day to keep them entertained, improve their writing and encourage reflection. You can read what Rosie wrote here: http://combertonjudoclub.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/littleport-age-banded-by-rosie-aged-9/

It is interesting working with such a variety of players day in day out. On Sat I was with a team of full-time judo players and on Sunday I was with a group of predominantly red belts. Most weeks I coach a huge range of players like this which is interesting but has its challenges.

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