From the 16th July 2012 the Australian Olympic Judo team were hosted at the University of Wolverhampton for a Pre Games Training Camp before the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Arnie Dickens (-60), Ivo Dos Santos (-66), Mark Anthony (-90) Daniel Kelly (-100) Jake Andrewartha (+100) Carli Renzi (-57), Stewart Brain (Head Coach) Tom Hill (coach) and Dennis Iverson (coach) made up the team of coaches and players.

Daily training sessions were held at the Walsall campus dojo with lots of Uchi-Komi and Nage-Komi the main content of the training sessions. Myself and Fitzroy Davies the coaches at Walsall ensured that the team worked hard in their final preparations before the games.

Each evening we took the team to various clubs around the country for hard randori.

Monday evening – Ryecroft Judo Club – NOTTINGHAM



Tuesday – Hardy Spicer Judo Club – BIRMINGHAM

Wednesday – England ExCell open randori – WALSALL


Thursday – Bath University – BATH

Friday – Erdington Judo Club – ERDINGTON


On the final weekend some rest and relaxation were in order with a visit to the Black Country Museum, a tour of Wolverhampton Wanderers and a visit to the Perry Barr Greyhound stadium.




We depart for the Olympic Village today and I would like to send my very best wishes to the Australian team and hope they can do themselves proud. They were a pleasure to host and went out of their way to engage with the local community, signing pictures, doing school assemblies and judo demonstrations for children and promoting the sport in such a positive fashion. I would also like to thank all the clubs that hosted the team for open randori who did their best to ensure there were plenty of partners for randori.

GOOD LUCK TEAM AUSTRALIA – But not too much luck against TEAM GB !!!!!!


University to host international Judo team for Olympics

The University of Wolverhampton is delighted to have been selected as a training camp for the Australian Judo team for this summer’s Olympics.


The Walsall Campus is a British Judo Association High Performance Centre and has been announced as a Pre-Games Training Camp (PGTC) for members of the Australian team.

The team expects to have six players qualify for the Games and they will be accompanied by two or three coaching staff.

They will arrive in mid-July and stay in the student village, which is next to the Sports Centre where the team will complete their final preparations for the competition.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “We are delighted to be hosting members of the Australian Judo team at our Walsall Campus.

“Our elite sports facilities will provide an excellent training base for the team’s final Olympic preparations and we’re really looking forward to being part of this historic event.”

Director of Sport, Mike Chamberlain, a former British Judo Champion and international competitor, said: “The University’s Walsall Campus offers the perfect environment for the Australian team, with the best judo training facilities in the country complimented by modern campus facilities to give them a truly excellent experience.

“The University Judo Club and its national level coaching staff very much look forward to working with the Australians and helping them maximise their medal chances during the games.”

The Walsall Sports Centre is one of only a few High Performance Centres in the UK, as recognised by the British Judo Association, and it develops judo talent for players of beginner, intermediate, regional, national and international standard.

The Gorway Road venue has significant experience of hosting judo events since it opened in 2004. These events have included competitions to national level, training camps to international level, and other sporting festivals.

London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) Chair Seb Coe has announced that over 200 Pre-Games Training Camp agreements have been signed throughout the UK in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The camps are arranged through formal agreements between facilities in the UK and National Olympic and Paralympic Committees (NOC/ NPC) and international teams. They provide athletes with a base from which to prepare, train and acclimatise ahead of the Games.

The PGTC agreements represent an opportunity for cultural exchange, education and engagement alongside provisions for international sporting teams.

Quantifying effectiveness of training for judo

I was reading an interesting thread on the above topic on the Judo forum and came across the post below from a forum member which I thought was an excellent read and very informative and gave quite an accurate reflection of how complex Judo actually is.

Please read –

Your mixing a lot of different things in your post, which makes it difficult to give a focused response. The title of your post if about judo, but the contents talks also about MMA and grappling, etc. Thus, in order to remain efficient, I am going to answer your question just on the judo part.

The physiological requirements of judo are complex. Judo requires both aerobic and anaerobic endurance. Maximal strength is useful, but strength endurance is more important, and explosive power is probably the single most important quality for judo.

But, what judo makes judo, is its technical know-how and strategic insight. The technical skills rely on motor learning and skills acquisition, the strategic skills on a variety of things, including genetics, intelligence, experience.

Also build is important, with anthropometrically the mesomorph build being preferred.

Your question basically asks how each of these translated to contest. They don’t. They are all simply supporting components. A good engine and good tires do not give you a Ferrari, but a winning Ferrari will need a good engine and good tires.

You can only train those different skills in exercises to maximize each of them. But even that does not make you a superb judoka. To optimize training effect, training also has to be specific, thus unless that jûdôka with all those skills also practices them in jûdô he still won’t make a good jûdôka. While fitness sites may suggest whatever, really jûdôka overall do not train optimally. There is very little influx of science in jûdô. When I see Olympic jûdô teams train there is almost zero science in there, much less than in many other Olympic sports. Mostly jûdôkan and coaches have the tendency to believe that if something does not work you just have to train harder, more and with heavier weight. That is 1960s logic. Even simply applications like high-altitude training are still way too little used in jûdô and when they are used it is often not very efficient. I have seen federation magazines or documentaries apparently meant to impress the jûdô audience or sporters showing that they went on high-altitude training, when it was obvious there was no one involve who really knew high-altitude training. The schedules were wrong, the training made no sense, and it was schedules in such a way that the jûdôka would have returned with impaired physiological functioning. Training science is complex. It requires thorough insight into physiology, cardiorespiratory but also muscle physiology, motor learning, biomechanics, and specifically training and coaching science. You do not get that simply by having been successful oneself or by having 20 years experience as a coach, or by obtaining a coaching certificate after siting an afternoon listening to someone.

You give the example of a sprinter and measuring sprint as valid test to assess the outcomes. You can’t in jûdô, and this for a variety of reasons. Sprinting is far simpler in terms of physiological requirements. But you are also in control of what it is you do, and the number of variables is limited by weather, humidity, gear, quality of the track, number of the lane, and some biomechanical components such as centripetal force and velocity, stride length, frequency, etc.

Jûdô is infinitely more complex. This is part because it is a contact sport and so you are not in control. The same applies to any contact sport. The number of possibilities in a jûdô match is infinite. Someone has analyzed those possibilities once in a match and I think they amounted to something like 48,000. No one can memorize those and prepare. Thus strategic insight becomes very important. For that strategic insight, one can practice with different partners, situations, but still. The most effective is going to be the person who is the best jûdôka.

There is something else particular about jûdô, and that is its long learning time to acquire those skills. This is very different from sprinting. Generally the technique of sprinting it optimized somewhere in someone’s career. Sprinting performance will then deteriorate later because of age, loss of muscle mass and anaerobic capacity. But in jûdô that is different. A jûdôka often may be technically much better by age 40 or 50 and have much better strategic insight than at performance age. Unfortunately at that age, his performance capacity in terms of physiology will have deteriorated because of age and injuries.

To put it simple, the problem you raise is not solvable in jûdô. You can at the most create jûdô tests and they have been made, but they are hardly more relevant. After all, excelling in uchi-komi fitness does not at all guarantee defeating individual X who may excel less in uchi-komi tests. You cannot exactly replicate or anticipate a match.

Moreover, in jûdô there are other things beyond mere physical qualities and techniques, such as grips. Thus, in competition grips and “set-ups” are used to compensate partly for lack of strategic insight and enforce a situation or break an opponent’s symmetry around the center of mass. This is not ideal jûdô. Ideal jûdô would obviously be to not enforce anything and purely use the opponent’s strength against him. This, however, requires an infinitely higher level of skill that is rarely achieved at that age.

The jûdô athlete does not really quantify his effectiveness of training in jûdô via jûdô but in terms of wins and medals. For example, Riner’s effectiveness of training is measured in him winning and defeating others, not in terms of level of perfection of jûdô, number of throws he masters with exceptional skill or whatever. The jûdôka’s effectiveness also determined by the rule system. A jûdôka like Kashiwasaki might be less effective today because the rules have changed the ‘game’ disadvantaging his skills.

5 core techniques – Should this be the focus of your training ?

1,O-Soto-Gari      2,Tai-O-Toshi      3,O-Uchi Gari        4, Uchi-Mata        5,Seoi-Nage


I believe that young competitive Judoka should have a main focus to their technical training. However which techniques should the focus be on? I have selected the techniques above for 1 reason only – They are the throws that work at elite level. Set yourself a simple task. Take a copy of any competition DVD, watch all the contests and make a note of how many different throws are used and which throws win contests. I have done this many times by just keeping a simple 5 bar gate record for each technique and these 5 core techniques are the ones that appear every time I do this. This may seem really simple to think – Yep, I will learn these 5 techniques and I will be able to win more matches. The harsh reality is though that it may take you easily 10 years to become proficient in these individual techniques. Consider what you will have to learn for each technique?

1. Kumi kata for each technique.

2. The basic mechanics of the throw Inc. Kuzushi, Tsukuri and Kake.

3. Uchi Komi – static and on the move

4. Kata variations

5. Nage Komi

6. Competitive scenarios i.e. Left v Left, Right v Right, Right v Left

7. Movement and entry into the throw to make it happen

8. Counters

9. Combinations

10. Executing the throw in Randori

11. Executing the throw in shiai (competition)

12. Transition into Ne-waza

13. Special “Tricks” to make the throw work, feinting, twitching, scenario’s

As you can see (I may have misses other examples) there is a lot to consider when learning individual techniques and this takes time to become proficient. This is why judoka must be patient and not expect to be shown the technique a few times and then expect it to work. Maybe we as coaches dilute the learning process by trying to teach too much? You may find that when you become proficient in just a few techniques, others will follow more naturally and not take so much time to learn. To finish I will describe a scenario that gives you a taste of what I am talking about (not real but just something to think about).

“John” a young Englishman who is taking his training a bit more serious has been doing judo for 3 years and has managed to reach his 1st Kyu (brown belt), training regularly at his club and learning a new technique every other week and maybe knows 20 – 30 judo throws. He can demonstrate all the techniques he needs for the purpose of gaining his grade and syllabus. He feels really confident in his ability and feels good about his Judo. A visiting Judoka ” Kano” on holiday from Japan arrives at his club to participate in the class. John and Kano get talking in the changing room and John discovers that Kano has ben doing judo for around 3 years the same as him. He tells Kano that he is 1st Kyu and asks Kano how many judo techniques he has learned. Kano’s answer was “Just 2 throws” Seoi-Nage and Tai-O-Toshi and that he is still a white belt.

John is feeling good about himself and his ability as he knows way more throws than Kano and is looking forward to the randori session. However on the mat its a different story, Kano throws John all round the mat, using only 2 techniques, everyone of Johns many techniques is countered or defended or blocked.

So the old question remains – Is it all about quality rather than quantity ??????????



5th for Max at Junior Worlds

Lordswood Budokan’s Max Stewart, 18, won two contests before losing out to eventual gold medallist Shohei Ono of Japan. The Junior European silver medallist returned to winning ways in the repechage by defeating Georgian Mikheili Chokheli by a waza-ari and ippon. In the bronze medal contest Stewart lost out to South Korea’s Hae Joo Jung to finish a very creditable fifth-place.

He has now been selected for the European u23 Championships from 18-20 November in Tyumen, Russia so we all wish him good look for this event.:)

Breakercise & Judo


I thought I would post today about a really brilliant session at Judo today. We had a visitor “Kiddo” who was a member of Wolverhampton’s famous BBoy  breakdancing crew. He came a few weeks earlier to look at some ideas around incorporating breakdancing movement into Judo to see if anything could help improve the players ability on the mat. Thinking outside the box can sometimes throw up something new and also gives the players a break from the normal routine. During the session we looked at ways of transitioning in ne-waza from an all fours kneeling position facing the floor (which is a poor defence in Judo), to an upright defensive position facing your opponent. I reckon we cut down this movement by at  least 1 or 2 seconds, which could prove crucial in a contest scenario. We also picked up some fantastic wrist strength and balancing exercises which I had never seen before. I have posted a video – OLD SCHOOL ! of our breakdancing friend in action, I wont tell you which one he is though 🙂

I feel that you should always be willing to try new ideas and look at other sports and activities to find a new edge. One other interesting sport that I feel would help Judoka is Boxing. Their direction of movement and they way they move their feet is definately something I want to have a look at in the future, so if there are any Boxers out there willing to offer some free advice, post me a message 🙂

Max Stewart takes silver at Junior European Championships

Three-time Junior European Cup winner Max Stewart showcased his precocious talent at the Junior European Championships as he surged to a highly-impressive silver medal in Belgium.

Stewart, who also took bronze at the German Junior European Cup, was dominant as he coolly dispatched his first four opponents by ippon.

The -73kg judoka from Birmingham opened his campaign with a win over Tigran Galstian of Lithuania before overcoming Fagan Eminoglu from Azerbaijan.

A win over Tomer Zakeim followed and Vladimir Zoloev was Stewart’s next victim as he marched to the finalimperious fashion, winning by the maximum score and avoiding a single point being scored against him.

The final was a close contest as the British starlet met Ukraine’s Rufat Magomedov. Stewart searched for an opening and after falling behind by a waza-ari continued to press. The Ukrainian judoka was able to defend his lead for a narrow win as Stewart once again showed why he’s one of the most exciting and talented junior judokas in Europe.

Stewart said: “I’m pleased to win my first European medal and the fact that all my wins come by ippon and to get to the final has really given me confidence. I am slightly disappointed as I think I could have won it but overall I’m pleased.”