This weekend was open national squad training. This is the GB squad training that is open to anyone who is at a suitable level and there were about 130 on the mat. The format is quite simple, predominantly randori. There is a picture bellow of the programme and this is pretty standard.
Who we took 7 players although unfortunately not all of them could be there all weekend – Michal Stewart, Glenn Miller, Matt Kavanagh, Natasha Collins, Tara Fitzjohn, Natasha Gregory-Waterhouse, Alex Hemming.
We also took a physiologist for the weekend – Vivian Merbach, volunteered to help us out. She tested the players lactate at rest and then after each randori. The aim is for us to collect data over a period of time (not only lactate) and then develop a better profile physiological of competition and training judo. We current have data from our players, some students and some Croatian players.
The weekend was good, a great atmosphere and some very strong randori. I would highly recommend this for all dan grades who want to improve their competitive judo, I believe the next one is in June.
Anglia Ruskin University delivers the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) in collaboration with the British Judo Association and SGS college. There is more information on the AASE programme at Anglia Ruskin University here.
This weekend was an England Talent Development squad assessment weekend and all AASE players had to attend this as part of their course. The assessments are split into physical and technical. The physical tests include the multi stage fitness test, a press up test, vertical jump and the sit and reach test. The technical test involves athletes doing randori and being observed by the coaches. Their is mrs information on the tests here.
We currently have five AASE players who train daily with the universities full-time athletes. These players are:
- Holly Newton
- Natasha Gregory-Waterhouse
- Sam Richardson
- Ben Caldwell
- Dan Webb
For me, the best judo competition of the year is the British University and Colleges Sports Championships or BUCS. You have around 25 sports competing over the week and once accredited you can go and watch whatever you want. The judo is fought on the Saturday and Sunday, individuals on the Saturday and teams on the Sunday.
One of the great things about BUCS is the variety in players, universities generally have a three year cycle so the players you see each year are always changing plus there is a lot more foreign players and every year at least one university turns up with someone special.
Last year Anglia Ruskin won the mens team event and got a gold and a silver in the individuals. of course I would love to win the mens team event again, we’ll see. For me the journey there is more interesting, last year we had to borrow white or blue belt off our opponent – how embarrassing going into the final of the team championships and having to ask your opposition (Loughborough) for belts! If nothing else we’re much better kitted out this year thanks to last years win, all players fighting in the team have two superstars fighting films kits with the uni logo embroider on it plus we have t-shirts etc
Our training has been very different too, last year we had a 2-3 week “beat up” where we intensified the training. This year we have been at a slightly lower intensity for about 8 weeks with a lot of competitions. The players have been very motivated and have bonded well. We have used video pretty affectively again.
Last year we had the British number one in the -73kg Danny Williams, he won every fight but we do not have him this year, he is in Japan preparing for London. We’ll see what affect this has.
Another development this year is that we have some women players, this is great and I am really hoping they do well.
We are at a new venue this year – Don Valley stadium. I really hope this venue is good, last year we were on the running track at the EIS and it was great. I just hope they haven’t ruined this great event by moving it somewhere poor.
So I guess we just have to wait and see, about 40 hours to the weigh in and the battle commences Saturday morning. I have looked at the teams and there are 10 on my ‘serious’ list and 4 of them go on my ‘seriously dangerous list’. Can we do better than last year? I’ll let you know 😉