Blog Archives

Typically a longer post on a single topic or technique.

When can we start training again?

We have been asked the above question a couple of times.

Our thoughts below:

At the moment, all we can do is quote the BJA’s statement (British Judo Association, 2020) published on 13th May:

Following the Government’s latest updates on the current situation, whilst it is clear that certain elements of the lockdown are being relaxed, British Judo still finds itself in an unpredictable scenario whereby we do not know when we can return to our beloved Dojos up and down the country.

It is clear that we cannot return just yet.

It is possible that within a “contained” environment elite athletes may soon be able to return to training and certain sporting events take place behind closed doors. Indeed, a Government document was published 13th May detailing how this could happen. As the BBC reported (Scott, 2020), initial phases will be for contact free training.

The next phase will involve some “social clustering” within training, with athletes able to engage in contact such as “close quarters coaching, combat sports sparring, teams sports tackling, equipment sharing”.

However, the protocols for this stage have not yet been finalised and will need government approval.

It will be interesting to see how this translates to reality – the March 2020 sumo tournament was held behind closed doors with precautions in place, but the May event has been cancelled following Japan’s extension of their state of emergency (AFP, 2020). The sumo community is currently mourning the loss of one of their rikishi due to Covid-19 (BBC, 2020). The UFC recently ran a tournament behind closed doors; however the New York Times reported there were numerous breaches of the protocols it had established in order to make it a safe tournament (Draper, 2020).

We must remain guided by our national association (British Judo Association, 2020):

…we are working hard behind the scenes preparing a detailed strategy and plan that will enable us to return quickly when that time comes. We are working with the Government to ensure that alongside other sports, we are returning to action in a safe and appropriate way as soon as we are able to. Please bear with us whilst we finalise this plan and please note that any premature return to sport will mean that you are notinsured.

For the sake of our sport, it is vital that you wait until the British Judo Association has endorsed the return.

The BJA recognises that how we come back may need to be a phased approach and judo itself may need to change all the time that social distancing remains the norm. They are seeking members’ input into how judo could return, at the web address referenced below.

We cannot see the club returning to the mats before the autumn term. Even if the Government and BJA do sanctioned a return to training, there may still be restrictions imposed by the school over external lettings and any additional cleaning regimes within the school may impact on the hours available to us.

There may be a possibility to run some outdoor fitness sessions (if you aren’t already sick of Joe Wicks style PE…) over the summer. The risks of transmitting the virus outdoors are reduced compared to indoors, and the children and any adults joining in are not as in close contact as they would be practising judo. Social distancing would be easier to enforce. But again we need to be guided by the BJA and the Government.

At the moment really it is still very much a case of wait and see.

Please keep yourselves and others around you safe, and if you haven’t already done so, please consider supporting the club through one of our fundraising initiatives – this will enable us to come back stronger when the time does finally come.

Works Cited

AFP, 2020. Virus forces cancellation of Japan sumo tournament. [Online]
Available at: https://news.yahoo.com/virus-forces-cancellation-japan-sumo-tournament-105537620–spt.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20vbmV3cy9zZWFyY2g_cT1KYXBhbmVzZStTdW1vJnFwdnQ9amFwYW5lc2Urc3VtbyZGT1JNPUVXUkU&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAADrurkG4wkg
[Accessed 14 May 2020].

BBC, 2020. Coronavirus: Japanese sumo wrestler dies at 28. [Online]
Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-52644424
[Accessed 14 May 2020].

British Judo Association, 2020. Input into British Judo’s relaunch strategy. [Online]
Available at: https://www.britishjudo.org.uk/british-judo-relaunch-strategy-input/
[Accessed 14 May 2020].

Draper, K., 2020. U.F.C.’s Coronavirus Plan Is Careful. Its Enforcement Has Been Spotty. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/sports/coronavirus-ufc.html
[Accessed 14 May 2020].

Scott, L., 2020. Elite athletes given government guidance on safe return to training during coronavirus. [Online]
Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/52652893?fbclid=IwAR3IFG-PodDEo3zT7bi4OGnzkWC7TpTpeeSPtPO2u2KM9qKjHAzmeEWtsEw
[Accessed 13 May 2020].

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Not the post I thought I would be writing

On the eve of the Hampshire Closed, I would usually be writing to wish our players good luck. Or to remind people that clocks change tomorrow and to not be late for the weigh-in.

But not today. Covid-19 has changed everything.

The Club is currently closed. Officially until after Easter holidays, but until at least June if we are being realistic. Personally, I think September is more likely by the time we add in summer holidays (remember those?).

We have not been able to say goodbye to John Luijken before he and his family move abroad.

We did manage to get in to clean and disinfect the mats before the school was closed. Thanks to Kev and Craig as always for their help.

The Hampshire Closed has been cancelled, as has the Southern Area teams tournament. The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021.

Thankfully as we only hire the hall on an hourly basis from the school, we are not exposed to the same cashflow risks that clubs who own their premised are exposed to. (And I never thought I would be grateful for not having our own dojo, but always something to be glad about if you look!).

If you are online shopping, don’t forget that you can raise funds for the club at the same time via Easyfundraising – use this link to register: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/courtlanejudoclub/?invite=3H5QVP&referral-campaign=c2s and we will receive an extra donation when your donations reach £5. We have 19 supporters currently – 8 of whom who have never shopped via Easyfundraising. It’s easy, free and doesn’t cost you a penny more.

Community groups are going to be vital as we go through this crisis. You can help to strengthen not only us but the wider community if you play the Portsmouth Lottery. Tickets can be purchased via this link, https://www.portsmouthlottery.co.uk/support/court-lane-judo-club

It is important that everyone stays fit and as healthy as possible – we have posted links in the Facebook group to various resources from Sport England and British Judo. No doubt some of you are working out with Joe Wicks every morning! Maintaining your physical health will help to keep you mentally healthy – again, a lot of support is being signposted towards support in this area.

To those who are essential workers, in the NHS, social care, keeping our food shelves stocked – we thank you for your efforts, stay safe, we will all do our best not to put extra stress on you.

Take care everyone, and we will see you on the other side.

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Judo and C-19

We are monitoring the situation regarding the spread of Covid-19 (the coronavirus) very carefully.

Latest guidance is that we are still in the early phases of the “containment” stage of the UK’s response to this global pandemic.

There has only been 1 confirmed case in Portsmouth at the time of writing.

Guidance from Sport England on 12th March was still very much that activities should carry on, with due regard to good hand hygiene and self-isolation if you are feeling unwell.

Domestic judo events are still running, although international competitions (Olympic qualification events, European championships etc.) have been cancelled or postponed. Our friends in France have been advised by their governing body to shut down clubs for the foreseeable future. Presumably other European federations are following suit.

If we can source hand sanitiser, we will provide some at the club. As you know, most of the shops have been victim to panic buying so this may not be possible.

However, soap and water is still a more effective barrier. Please make sure you wash your hands before and after sessions.

Guidance issued to schools today (16th March) repeats this message.

It is not feasible for us to disinfect mat surfaces every session. We believe that any transfer to mats will die out in between sessions as the virus has a short lifespan on hard surfaces.

Please make sure judogis are washed after every session.

We understand that many people are making their own decision to withdraw from activities ahead of Government advice, especially if they or members of their household have other underlying health issues, they are carers for people deemed to be vulnerable etc.

If you are planning on withdrawing from club activities, please let us know, so that we can gauge impact on the club, and plan accordingly.

Please make sure you are following us on social media (Facebook – either our Page or private group – and Twitter), subscribe to our email update service or check the website regularly for latest updates. Things are moving rapidly and these will be our primary means of communicating with you.

Posted in Announcements, Articles, Blog, Training
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Fundraising reminder

Just a quick reminder of a couple of ways that you can help us to raise extra funds for the club.

Use Easyfundraising… it’s quick, free and easy.

Simply register at www.easyfundraising.org.uk and nominate Court Lane Judo Club, or use this link:

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/courtlanejudoclub/?invite=3H5QVP&referral-campaign=s2s

Using the link above will trigger an additional £5 donation to the Club when your own donation reaches £5.

Every time you shop online, go to Easyfundraising fund and shop from their partners. We get a percentage of the nett price, with no additional cost to you! Online shopping has already £470 in donations for us, from partners such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Dunelm, Regatta.

Installing the Easyfundraising app on your ‘phone makes it even easier to support the Club on the move!

Buy tickets from the Portsmouth Lottery

Purchasing tickets from the Portsmouth Lottery means we get 50% of every ticket price, with 10% going into a charitable causes grant fund.

To buy a ticket to benefit the club, visit:

https://www.portsmouthlottery.co.uk/support/court-lane-judo-club

Buy a ticket now and you could win a Fitbit and Google Mini, as well as being entered into the weekly draw to win up to £25,000.

Currently we have sold 1,696 tickets raising £848 for the Club.

Why your support matters

There are a number of reasons why we value your support with our fundraising.

1. Most urgently, current numbers and mat fees do not quite cover the cost of hall hire. To give you an idea of costs, the total income from Easyfundraising to date does not cover the cost of one month’s hall hire.

2. To support the coaches. The club coaches continue to be unpaid, and fund their own coach development and revalidation.

3. Our mats are getting old. The 2×1 metre mats were purchased more than twenty years ago. The 1×1 metre mats were second hand from the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Whilst none need replacing yet, they are showing signs of wear and tear through constant handling. It would be prudent to start building up a mat replacement fund. At the last estimate, it would cost circa £5,000 to replace the current mats.

4. Ultimately, to have our own dojo (training hall), and be masters of our own destiny.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

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Learning from success and failure

I am a huge advocate of learning from experience. I have previously advocated the use of training diaries; the ease with which video footage can now be shot at competitions for post competition analysis is fantastic.

Learning from when things didn’t go right is great – what can I do to prevent that happening again, why didn’t my technique work… is it gripping, my entry, my stance etc.

It is easy to overlook the importance of learning from success also – and perhaps I am guilty of this. Exactly the same considerations as above apply – how can I make that happen again, why did my technique work – is it my gripping, my entry, my stance etc.

Never be afraid to go back and review, to reflect on your performance, both success and failure have much to teach us.

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The well dressed judoka

The grading assessment requires the candidate to identify the parts that make up a judo uniform.

The basic answer is

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • Belt (obi)
  • Zori (judo slippers – flip flops, sliders or similar)
  • Females should wear a t-shirt under the jacket (round neck, plain white only for competition)

However, there are other considerations that need to be taken into account.

Long hair needs to be tied up, with a non-metallic option – elastic type bands or scrunchies are popular.

Nails should be kept short, and a high standard of personal hygiene is expected.

Judo uniforms should be kept clean and in good condition.

Hard and metallic objects are not allowed on the mat, so make sure no mobile ‘phones or media players are lurking in your jacket. All jewellery, piercings etc., should be removed. Underwired bras fall into the category of hard objects, all female players should be considering wearing a sports bra. They offer considerably more support and reduce the risk of soft tissue damage.

Players are advised not to wear all in one, leotard type undergarments. These can restrict access to the body in the event of a serious injury.

Traditionally, male players wore nothing under their gi. Most players these days are going to wear undergarments, trunk type shorts are probably best.

Many players are now opting to wear compression tops and leggings – these are believed to offer extra support to working muscles and reduce fatigue and injury risk. These are not permissible in competition.

Consideration should be given as to what to wear to and from training. Ideally players would change into their kit at the dojo, however due to lack of changing facilities this is not always possible. Players should take care not to get their kit dirty en route to or from the dojo. We would recommend that players have a hoody, fleece etc. to wear home especially in the winter months, to avoid too rapid cooling of the body.

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Celebrating 25 years – Part 3

It wasn’t just as competitors that Court Lane started to make a mark in the late 90s.

Club coach Roger Spreadbury was already qualified as an Area Referee, and went on to achieve his National C.

John MacEnri also achieved Area Referee qualification.

Brett Caswell and Chris Batchelor undertook the Junior Referee scheme, frequently refereeing at the Mountbatten Centre, which then hosted all of Hampshire’s judo tournaments. Brett achieved the highest level of junior referee award, and passed the practical exam for Area Referee whilst refereeing at Crystal Palace.

The Junior Referee scheme is certainly something we would like to see more players explore – not everyone is a competitor. There are also always opening for time keepers and record keepers to assist with competition.

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Celebrating 25 years – Part 2

 

Competition success wasn’t immediate for the club, although players were competing from day 1 – Simon Brown was a regular early competitor.

The first medal came from Brett Caswell, winning the 1997 Hampshire Closed Orange & Under tournament. This was also his first competition!

Brett followed this with a medal at the 1998 Southern Area Open, and qualification for the Southern Area squad at the end of the  same year.

His main club competition came from Chris Batchelor, who took his first medal in 1998. The two became regular training and competition partners. Chris’ younger brother Tim also followed on the mat, before following a successful hockey career.

Success rapidly followed for the girls, with Kate Borland claiming a podium place. Brett’s younger sister Tiffany later became a fierce competitor for the club, including competing at the Kent and London Internationals.

1997 World Champion Kate Howey MBE visited in 1999, in the run up to the World Championships held in Birmingham. On the back of attending the 1999 Kendal Summer Camp and some crafty initiative, Brett blagged himself a volunteer role at the World Championships, meeting judo greats such as Ryoko Tamura.

At the end of the year, Brett secured a top two placing on the Southern Area squad, which gave him entry to that year’s National Championships. A bronze medal here meant a place on the Great Britain cadet squad, with his first overseas competition (and a fifth place) coming soon after.

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Celebrating 25 years – Part 1

You may have heard us mention that this year marks 25 years of Court Lane Judo Club…

It’s a remarkable achievement, but it seems only yesterday that the Club opened at Court Lane Junior School.

The Club was founded by Roger Spreadbury, Jill Brown and Tony Brown, in April 1993. We all met in  Cosham Community Association Judo Club,  but decided that we wanted to run our own Cub, free from outside management.

Originally lessons were held in the Small Hall, with mats stored in a shed across the playground – it was great fun carrying them in the wind and rain.

We then moved to the Old Dining Room (now demolished), where we put away tables and chairs to lay mats, then put them all out again at the end of the session.

Sessions were then split between the Old Dining Room and the Main Hall, with an eventual move to the Main Hall when it was redeveloped with additional storage, and the Old Dining Room demolished.

In 1998 we were able to purchase new 2×1 metre mats to replace those we had started with, these mats are still going strong today. (We still have four of the original mats in storage…).

We worked closely with Roger’s other club, in Havant, and players were able to attend sessions led by guest coaches such as the great Roy Inman MBE and 1997 World Champion and four times Olympian, with two  Olympic medals, Kate Howey MBE.

 

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Vision for success

Brett Caswell throws for Ippon at 2007 GB World Cup

Clearing out my old diaries and other accumulated rubbish in my locker at work, and found this note from Brett Caswell… He has attributed this to American judoka Kevin Asano, who won a bronze at the 1987 World Championships and silver at the 1988 Olympics.

It seemed an appropriate message to share as we end one year, and look forward to our 25th anniversary next year.

Vision for success

v – Vision. First and foremost you need a dream!

I – inspiration. Let desire fuel your fire!

S – Strategy. Develop a plan of action!

I – Initiate. Don’t be afraid of taking risks!

O – Other people. Surround yourself with others who can help you win!

N – Never give up. You need to persevere through the hardships!

…Success will not happen without a focussed, on-purpose, plan of action!

Whether you make it to the Olympics or not is not the main thing in life. When you come right down to it, judo competition is really just a game. Whether you win or lose in competition, life will go on.

The real issue is much deeper. If you have a clear vision for the Olympics, what you do along the journey is more important than the outcome. The lessons you learn. the experiences you gain, and the character you build will determine who becomes a real champion in life. A TRUE CHAMPION IS NOT SO MUCH ONE WHO WEARS A GOLD MEDAL AROUND HI SNECK, BUT ONE WHO WEARS A GOLD MEDAL IN HIS HEART.

 

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