Blog Archives

Relevant to judo or not, this is where Court Lane Judo will broadcast their ponderings.

Sport & brain injury

Human Brain

We welcome the news today of the Parliamentary inquiry into causal links between sport and brain injury.

Triggered in part by the high coincidence of dementia in members of England’s 1966 football World Cup team, this is an important opportunity to make recommendations to keep sport safe healthy for all.

Concerns have long been raised about the effects of repeated blows to the head in professional boxing – these would also relate to the “ground and pound” of professional MMA, heading the ball repeatedly in football, concussion in rugby.

Judo is not immune to the effects of head injury, although they appear to be rare. Nekoda Davis recently announced her withdrawal from Tokyo selection to concentrate on her recovery from a concussion in 2019.

Our own experience of concussion and head injury is limited. We had an incident many years ago when we were based in Cosham Community Centre, of a player passing out on our mat after banging heads with another player the night before at a different club. More recently we had another player who had to take a period of mat rest after knocking themselves out at home when they banged their head. This was on medical advice and was managed in line with BJA protocols.

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Which sports bra is best?

Compression tops and leggings have become very popular to wear for all sorts of sports, and are often to be seen on the judo mat during practice sessions.

The question remains though, what sports bra is best for women? Natural inclination perhaps is to go for the compression option – this appears to the most widely available option.

This clip from a BBC programme offers some useful advice.

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A way forward…

Yesterday’s announcement from the Government gave us cause for hope.

11 months after we closed the dojo, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In a speech that emphasised data over dates, there were still several key dates. Below is our take on what these might mean for us.

8 March – schools return, outdoor after school sports and activities can resumePossibility of resuming outdoor training sessions?
29 March – Organised outdoor grassroots sports can resumeOutdoor training sessions can resume
12 April – gyms can reopenChildren can return to mat based training – no contact – although this may not be until 17 May
17 May – Indoor group exercise classes can resumeAdults can return to mat based training
21 June – most social distancing requirements removedReturn to some form of recognisable judo – uchikomi and kata, possible randori and shiai?

This is just our take – we are awaiting guidance from British Judo, who will be in consultation with Department of Culture Media and Sport. We are also obviously dependent on the school agreeing our return to the premises.

Much is dependent on the infection rate and hospitalisations remaining their downward trend, and the rollout of vaccines. Please remember to keep following the mantra of Hands – Face – Space to keep yourself and others safe – Portsmouth’s judo and martial arts community has suffered at least one loss due to Covid this year, we know of other people who have also died following infections.

Whilst we wait to return, don’t forget to make sure your licence remains in date so you can continue to participate in online training sessions organised by British Judo, and take advantage of other benefits. Your licence must be in date to return to the mat.

Posted in Announcements, Blog, News
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10 months and counting…

When we closed the club in March 2020, a week before the first national lockdown, none of us really envisaged that 10 months later our mats would still be empty.

We were lucky enough to be able to run some sessions outdoors over the summer, but our return to indoor training has been knocked back – first from November 2020 to January 2021, and now indefinitely in the third national lockdown. We remain committed to opening when it is safe to do so.

Like everyone else, we await the lifting of Covid restrictions. Infection rates are falling, but are still high; and hospital admissions and deaths show no signs of abating. Sadly, Covid related deaths have even affected Portsmouth’s judo community.

International judo has been affected, as has been the Olympics. It is probably 50-50 at best if the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Games will take place this year. GB’s Alice Schlesinger has announced her retirement, missing her last Games, and Nekoda Smythe-Davis has announced her withdrawal from the selection race for Tokyo as she recovers from a serious concussion.

We hope you are taking advantage of the online sessions organised by British Judo. These are FREE to licensed members – another reason to keep your British Judo membership in date. You can book on to these sessions here.

Thank you for your continued support of the Club via Portsmouth Lottery and Easyfundraising. With online shopping our new normal, this is a great way to generate donations to the Club, at no cost to yourself. Funds raised will help us to weather the current pandemic and return stronger when we can get back on the mats, with whatever restrictions may still be in place. Judo, martial arts and other indoor contact sports will be the last to return to normal.

Please remember it is OK not to feel OK! The last year has been extremely testing for everyone. British Judo has published a list of organisations who can offer support if you or members of your family are struggling. Alternatively, you may find suggestions in Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s book ‘Feel Better in 5’ helpful. The Morning and Evening Flows are great stretching and relaxation processes, whilst guidance on daily gratitude list, affirmations and breathing practices may also be of benefit.

Finally, stay safe, look after each other and we look forward to seeing you all back on the mat when it is safe to do so.

Posted in Blog, Training
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Supporting mental health

The past few months have been hard on everyone, and parents will have noticed the impact this has had on their children as well. For many, half term has come as a welcome break.

With the return to schools and colleges approaching, and cases of Covid-19 rising, it is understandable that some children might be feeling worried or anxious.

There are lots of things parents and carers can do to support their kids at this time. Find what’s right for your children – whether it’s listening to them talk about the challenges they’re facing, or helping them develop skills to cope with their emotions.

The BJA has published a list of useful resources to help support mental wellbeing.

The NHS offers some simple steps you can take to look after your children’s mental wellbeing.

Remember, it is OK to not be OK.

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Seeking your views on outdoor training going forward

As you will have seen from an earlier Facebook post, we have cancelled the Tuesday sessions in Drayton Park. We have made this decision based on the lack of attendance the last few weeks.

We are now seeking your views on Thursday sessions – is there interest in keeping these sessions going? If so we would look at starting at 6pm, as it is getting darker earlier.

Alternatively, we could look at a session over the weekend if that would be of interest.

Or would you rather wait until we can get back on the mats? Hopefully after the October half term.

Please let us know your views.

This has been an incredibly difficult period for everyone, and a 6 month break from our sport has been unprecedented. We appreciate the support from those who have attended the sessions and welcome your feedback on our suggestions above.

Posted in Announcements, Blog, Training
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No return until at least October

British Judo’s Return to Judo plan has been signed off by the appropriate agencies, meaning that Phase 1 of a return to judo could commence as of 25th July.

As previously noted, this is in the school holidays so we were cautiously looking at a return on 8th September.

We have since received the following message from the school,

I am writing to advise you that we are not currently inviting any after school or evening lettings to use our premises in September.  The Headteacher and Academy Trust have not taken this decision lightly but with so many of our children coming back in September we need time to ensure all our processes and procedures are in place and working before we allow additional groups to use our spaces. 

I completely understand that this is very disappointing news for you. However, we will be constantly reviewing the guidance and aim to open our spaces after October half term. 

On the positive side, hopefully this means that by the time we go back we will be a phase or two further down the Return to Judo plan – please take time to read this and see what the requirements will be for you as a player or parent. These requirements should be enforced by any other club you may visit in the meantime.

Outdoor training sessions will continue, using Drayton Park and Hilsea Lines. Latest guidance indicates that group sizes for organised activities can now be up to 30 (including coaches, players, spectators) but must remain contact free and appropriately spaced.

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Still no clear date for recommencement of indoor training

We still have no clear idea as to when we can resume indoor training.

The Government has given the go ahead for indoor training from 25 July, however despite repeated attempts to solicit a response from the school, we do not know if we can recommence any type of indoor activity when school reopens on Thursday 3 September.

We are provisionally working towards a possible return on Tuesday 8 September, however this is as always dependent on

  1. Approval from school
  2. Classes being financially viable with any social distancing requirements that remain

We will keep on endeavouring to get a response from the school. Please check back over the summer for latest updates.

In the meantime, outdoor sessions will continue to be held. Thank you to those who have attended, and parents who have joined in!

There are a lot of you who we haven’t seen – please do contact us if you wish to join in a session to make sure we comply with coach/player group size restrictions.

In the meantime, have a good, safe and healthy summer, and we hope to see you in September.

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A step closer to a return to Judo

It’s been an exciting week for Judo!

The country’s elite athletes were able to commence outdoor training as a group.

The government announced that indoor sports facilities could reopen from 25 July.

The BJA issued the following statement:

We welcome the Government’s announcement today concerning the opening of indoor sporting facilities.

This is a very important step on the journey to returning to the sport we love. We await the full, detailed guidelines from the Government that will enable us to update our existing plans. Once we have this we will communicate with clubs and members to start the process of a safe return to judo.   Please note this announcement does not mark a return to full-contact judo, but will allow clubs to re-open and start that process. Once our guidelines are finalised, clubs will need to complete and return the Club Declaration Form to British Judo before opening for indoor sessions. For all documentation regarding a return to judo, head over to our Covid-19 Information Microsite by clicking here.

As 25 July falls in the school holidays, any return to indoor sessions for us will not be until September at the earliest.

Any return then will be dependent on

  • The school giving permission for external groups to use the hall
  • Class sizes with any social distancing requirements being financially viable in view of hall hire costs.

In the meantime, outdoor training sessions will continue every Tuesday and Thursday evening, weather permitting.

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A safe return to Judo

As you may be aware, British Judo hosted a webinar over the weekend in conjunction with the launch of their guidance as to what a Safe Return to Judo could look like.

We are processing this document to see what it means for us, one take away point already is that on return to the dojo all players must have a current licence/membership. This should be a given anyway, but players will be asked to confirm and this will be checked. Players will be asked to confirm they are Covid free on return to the dojo.

As already mentioned, any initial return to the dojo is almost certainly going to be non-contact, with contact only allowed between members of the same household.

At present, we do not have a date from Government as to when our sport/martial art can recommence.

If and when this is announced, any return will be further dependent on the school giving us permission to return AND class sizes being financially viable with any social distancing requirements that remain in place. Distancing requirements for indoor sports are likely to be higher than they are for more mundane activities such as shopping, due to impracticalities of wearing a mask when training, and more powerful exhalation of air during exercise.

We are cautiously working towards a return in September, but this is definitely not a fixed date.

In the mean time, outdoor training sessions will continue as previously advertised. When the use of outdoor gyms is sanctioned again, we will consider a change of venue, but until then all details remain the same.

To mitigate the impacts of us on reduced class sizes, please support us via Portsmouth Lottery and Easyfundraising!

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