The book project continues.

OK, so everything people say about writing a book is true. It takes ages and even as in my case you are basing it on a blog there is so much to write and it takes a long time and you make lots of mistakes and take ages to “get around” to doing things.

Even so, it have been amazing that three people have already bought the book via LeanPub already! I hope they enjoy it and I really hope they provide some feedback so that I can add, correct and remove content to make the book an even better resource for parents of children in Judo.

I have basically finished removing the blog posts that were included that are not relevant to a book format and done some structural changes. I have also cleaned up a large number of spelling and typing mistakes that come direct from the blog. I have started expanding the BJA Mon grade section as I know that the subject of belts and how to help your child get new belts via the British Judo grading system is an area that people value and that the resources to help are few and not very good at times. Writing the pages it is highlighted to me that this blogs pages on the syllabus are some of the few resources for parents available. As I finish typing up the pages, I will transfer it back into the blog I think so that as well as the book format the web format is available for you.

I would like to ask you all for your assistance, please let me know what content you would appreciate having in a book for parents. If you are a Judo coach, what would you want parents to know when they come along to the club? If you are a parent, what do you wish you knew before you took your child along for the first time? What did you learn early on? What advice do you give other parents?

I shall try and include (and reference you if you would like that) all the advice and tidbits of information you all share. It all goes towards making the book a great resource for other parents, so please add your two cents worth!


And then came the book….

The popularity of this little website about Judo aimed at parents has always amazed me. It is a pleasure to receive emails from parents thanking me for some post I wrote that they found valuable. So, I have decided to take the experiment one step further and turn the ideas from this site into a book about Judo for parents.

I have started by importing the content from this site into the book and am re-writing it and adding to it to craft a good set of pages for your enjoyment.

I have also decided to use LeanPub to write and publish the book.
LeanPub lets me do some really cool stuff. Firstly it takes care of most of the tricky stuff like formatting to specific layout and allows me to just write. It also allows me to easily publish to ebook format which allows me to publish early for you and to give you free updates as I revise the book based on your input.

It also lets you pay what you think the book is worth. On LeanPub you can buy the ebook at whatever price you think you should pay, which is useful for you and me. You get to pay a reasonable price and I learn what the price people think the book is worth. Once we are all done, I will also publish in paper form.

So, please take a look at the book over at buy a copy if you’d like to. Comment on the book and watch me revise the book to cater for what you say; you’ll get the updates for free of course. The more people comment on this blog and on the book and the netter the book will be in the end!


Judo vs. Zombies a short video from the kids at Vale Judo Club.

Below is a short video from the children at Vale Judo Club here in the UK. I love this video!

This video is a bit of fun, filmed at the Judo club, by the children in the club. What a great diversion from “normal” lessons this must have been.

Choosing to focus on one sport, a parents guide to specialism in sport.

In this post we shall be exploring the subject of when, why and how a child becomes a specialist in a single sport. We shall discuss some of the reasons it happens, how it happens and the implications that you as a parent need to consider.
Choosing one sport.

Almost every child involved in sport will at some stage (especially if they show themselves a talented player) will be asked or will choose to pursue one sport over others they may play. Sometimes it will be a natural choice made entirely by your child and the way they develop. Often however, it is imposed by circumstances or by pressure from outside influences like the coaches of the sports.

Why one sport? Why many sports?

Choosing to practise one sport is a sensible decision, there is an old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”. By focussing on a single sport, your child will spend more time developing the skills and athletic abilities required for that sport. So rather than being good at several sports, the idea is that your child will become excellent at one sport. Your child may also be great at one sport they play and below average at the others they play. So choosing the one sport they are good at makes sense again. Equally (or even more so) they may enjoy one sport more than the others and want to spend more time enjoying themselves at this sport.

The otherside of the coin is that by playing a variety of sports your child develops a broader range of physical skills and ability. If they run and swim and play a ball sport and do Judo (of course); then they develop a wider range of abilities than if they only ran.

Is specialisation bad?

Specialisation in a single sport is not inherently bad, there are some substantial positives to doing it. We all do it, there are not many of us that have multiple jobs or on the sporting side played multiple sports to high levels. So choosing one sport may well be the first step towards your child becoming and elite athlete.

The opposite view of this is that if your child focuses purely on sprinting from young age and stops swimming, doing gymnastics and of course Judo; then as an adult they may not be a strong swimmer or be able to play the odd game of tennis with friends.

Of course there is also the benefits of “cross-training” in children to consider if elirte sport is the objective. Doing Ballet will develop flexibility and strength that will help an older Judo player. Swimming and Running develop the aerobic system, which will help any sport. A Judo player who is an accomplished swimmer or runner will have an advantage when it comes to supplementary fitness training over the Judo athlete with poor swimming or running skills.

A gymnastic background will help a Judo athlete; equally a Judo background will help the swimmer, runner and gymnast.

When should my child choose one sport over another?

This is the hard part of this discussion and requires knowledge of two factors (at least). It also requires thought on what you want for your child and what they want to be/do.

The first factor to consider is the age at which athletes in a sport reach their peak. We have all seen the very young gymnasts at the Olympics and the much older footballers, rugby players and Judoka. Each sport has a different age range at which the athletes seem to peak. In Judo we can say that players peak at around 25 years of age (based on figures from 2009 World Cup events). If we use the now commonly figure of 10 years development to reach your peak, then the average Judo player needs to be specialising in Judo at around 15 years of age. We also need to consider the physical development of each child, for example if your child is a late physical developer, then specialisation in a single sport could be done later in life than the early physical developer. Equally, emotional maturity needs to be considered.

The second factor that affects when a child specialises in a single sport is the business of sport and the talent model employed by many sports.

By this we mean that most sports (at least in western countries like here in the U.K.) use the pyramid model for talent. This model works on the idea that if 1 in a hundred children doing a sport are going to become elite athletes then by increasing the participation base (base of the pyramid), then more elite players will rise to the top of the pyramid. So if a sport has 1000 kids doing the sport they might get 10 elite players where as if they have 10,000 kids doing the sport they believe they may get 100 elite players over time.

Also, Judo like many sports, relies on the large childrens participation to survive financially as well as competitively. Each childs membership fee helps pay for the elite programme and each child in the sport is another potential elite athlete.

Lastly, there is the competition between sports for talent. If your child is athletically gifted I want them in my Judo class, as does the swimming coach, the gymnastics coach and the tennis coach.

Gymnastics here in the UK is probably the best example of how the business of sport affects specialisation. Children can start in gymnastics from the age they can crawl. So by the time Judo clubs were ready to accept my children, they had already been doing Judo for a number of years. We as parents had invested many hours and money in gymnastics. Gymnastics was already part of my kids lives and they had friends in the club. This continues as they get older and moving to another sport becomes harder and harder.

Gymnastics trumps Judo, because by the time the British Judo Association starts to be interested in your child, your child has been courted or engaged by British Gymnastics for a number of years! When it comes to specialisation, the same thing happens; gymnastic clubs start trying to get kids doing more and more gymnastics well before Judo clubs, so by the time Judo wants your child to “take it a bit serious” they may well have already been lost to swimming, gymnastics, tennis or other sports.

This business model affects when clubs start asking parents to choose one sport over another. These pressures or norms for each sport may mean that your child is being asked to specialise not so much to match their development as an individual or even for performance in the sport but because it feeds the sport as a business. I do not intend to paint this as a negative picture; personally I think gymnastics here in the UK have the right idea. They have classes for all ages and abilities and the good clubs provide excellent facilities and coaching and develop your childs potential well; be that towards a Olympic medal or just being a physically capable adult.

So how do I decide when my child should choose a single sport?

I hope that the text above has given you an understanding of the reasons your child should specialise in a single sport and that it has also given you insight into the other factors that will affect when clubs start asking/expecting your child to do more.

My personal view is that the mid to late teenage years is about the right time for a child to start specialising in a single sport. Up to that stage the benefits of cross training are very valuable and on the whole specialism gives to little to make it worth doing. 12-18 years would be the age range where I would want to see a child start moving from multiple sports for fun to multiple sports with more of a developmental focus, then moving in the older end of that age range to choosing a sport to focus on and become an athlete of that sport.

I do see it as a 6 year process, which goes from multiple sports to a single sport. If you 10 year old is only doing one sport (or two) then perhaps you might involve them in more sport. Especially if the sports are not broad in scope. So for example if your child plays football and cricket (two ball sports played in teams), you might involve them in individual sports that do not involve balls. Your child may find they prefer individual sports. Even if in the long run they return to football (for example) the physical development and skills they learn from the other sports will make them a more rounded football athlete when they do eventually choose to be a footballer.

I hope this article has given you some food for thought as a parent (or coach or player), being narrowly focussed is the path to high performance in any area (including sport). The timing and the reasons for making the decision to focus on one sport need to be made with an understanding of the various factors involved; and as always with a view to what is best for your child in the long-term.

Please do comment on this article if you found it interesting or email me at

Lance Wicks.

Judo is not just about Judo.

In this article we shall talk about why (especially with younger children) a Judo class is not solely about Judo and why this is a good thing and something that as a parent you will want to see happening.

100310 miles at his first judo tournament

If your child is attending Judo lessons, some of what they learn will be Judo throws and other techniques. However a large (if not the larger) proportion of what goes on at this age is not Judo techniques rather developmental work on general motor skills and areas such as general health and fitness, self confidence, self discipline and providing opportunities for social interaction and improvements in interpersonal skills.

As a parent, it is important that you understand the risks and benefts of organised sports and of Judo specifically. In this article we shall talk about some of them and how they affect you and your child doing Judo.

Under 10s:

Back in 1997 the WHO (World Health Organisation) published a report which recommended that Sport Specialisation should be avoided under 10 years of age. As such a good Judo club will ensure that the young participants are not being pressured to only do Judo. The club will also include activities and skills that are beyond the specific requirements of Judo perhaps. For example ABC (Agility, Balance and Co-ordination) drills may be used in a Judo club that may include skills/activities that are not used in Judo. For example throwing and catching or kicking of balls etc. This is done so that the children develop a well rounded set of physical capabilities. In an ideal world perhaps kids would be members of multiple sports clubs and each club could focus on the skills associated with their sport. But a good club knows that children do not necessarily play multiple sports so shall try to deliver a variety of skills so that all the children in their classes get exposure to a wide range of developmental opportunities.

As a parent, you should be able to see multi-sport skills and general physical literacy being developed within classes. Not necessarily all the time, but across the duration of say a school term. We want 10 year old children who have been involved in Judo for a good period of time to be able to run, jump, skip, hop, throw, catch, kick, roll and of course do fundamental Judo skills like breakfalls and basic throws and holds.

Within in sport generally, but within Judo specifically there is a focus on developing the person rather than producing champions. As a parent, you want to feel comfortable that the Judo coach and Judo club is trying to develop your child not just as a Judo player but as a young person.

WIthin Judo, we have an emphasis on self-discipline, self-respect and respect for others. We have retained and incorporated bows and Japanese cultural artifacts in the culture and practice of Judo. These artifacts are tools that a Judo coach will use to help develop your child.

Training and competition is also focussed (especially with younger children) on providing positive experiences that promote healthy lifestyles. For example, fun is incorporated via games so that children have positive experiences with exercise. This in turn leads to exercise becoming an enjoyable part of a childs life, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

The self-discipline and respect elements of the culture of Judo, develop social behaviors that arepositive both for the child and for others who interact with your child; be that other children or adults. Many a school teacher has noticed the improvement in a students classroom demeanor after the child enters into the Judo community.

Socially, Judo provides a chance to play with children from the wider community and this is good for their social development. Clubs will generally have multiple classes one after another, which provides children the chance to see and interact with older children which can lead to friendships and also identify rolemodels.

Also the close physical contact involved with Judo can be very important in developing social skills and being comfortable with physical contact with other children. It can be very good for helping establish boundaries on what is and is not appropriat elevels of physical contact. Children learn quickly that Judo can be physically tough and that working together with their partners is better than against.

Judo coaches will try and interact with parents to develop the children in their care. Sometimes this is meerely teaching Judo skills; sometimes it is addressing aggression issue in the child or similar personality developmental changes. As such you as the parent should take advantage of the opportunity and communicate with the club coaches about any issues in your childs development that they may be having.

A good Judo club and Judo coach will welcome the input from you as the parent and work with you to help ensure that your child enjoys all the developmental benefits of being in a Judo club. You and your child should feel that the Judo club is a safe, fun place where your child is been given opportunities to develop as a person both physically and mentally.

The words “Safe”, “Fun” and “Development” are key. Your child should be safe and feel safe. The classes should be safe and your child should not become injured at Judo. There will be the inevitable bumps and bruises, sadly there may be the very infrequent accident. But a child should never develop a over-use injury at Judo. A kids class is not a elite sport training session, so although sometime sthe intensity needs to be high and perhaps stretch your child. It should not be heavy work every week.

We do want to introduce children to hard physical exertion and develop strength, but this should only be part of a wider programme to expose your child to sport.

An Introduction to Judo Etiquette

Final da Copa do Mundo de Judô por Equipes

Judo is, as the European Judo Union put it, “More than Sport”. Judo is a mental and physical education where the larger goal is to improve society by improving individuals within that society. And important aspect in achieving this key aim of Judo is the ettiquette and culture of Judo. In this post I want to discuss how the ettiquette, manners and culture of Judo will be seen by you as a Judo parent and also the benefits it can provide your child.

Recently, I helped deliver a coaching course for Judo coaches working towards their Level 3 qualification in the European Judo Union ( Part of the assessment and work was around the ettiquette of Judo and a podcast on this subject is available at from three of the coaches who attended. This module and the podcast form much of what is included in this post.

Ettiqutte in Judo is often most visible in the bowing that takes place in clubs and at competitions. The “Rei” (bow) is often the first experience of the culture of Judo that children and parents have. When people step on the Judo mat they bow, when the class starts their is one (or more) bows made, when we practice we bow, when we compete we bow. The bow (rei) is a safety feature, a matter of manners and also part of the culture of Judo.

In Judo there has been much debate, discussion and even legal cases involving the bow.

The outcome of which has been that the Bow in Judo has clearly been identified as a cultural element of Judo that is not religous in nature. It serves many purposes and it will help if you as a parent understand some of the merits of the bow and reinforce the importance with your child. The bow is often first described to children in Judo as how we say “Hello”. It is comprable to the handshake in western culture.

The bow is also an important safety feature within a Judo club. The initial bow, done with the whole class and instructor serves as an opportunity for everyone to “switch on” and focus in on the class ahead. The instructor/coach also has an opportunity to look at all the students and ensure that they have removed their jewllery, are clean and tidy and that there is nothing visibly of concern.

At the start of any period where two partners work together, they will typically bow. This signifies they are ready to work. If they don’t bow, you know they ar enot ready.

Similarly, at the end of a practice, they bow tells both parties that they are finished and that the other person is not about to attack them. This extends to contests or Randori, the bow at the start can act as a trigger; from that point on the other person needs to be aware that the match has started and they need to defend themselves. Aggressiveness can be expressed/released during this time. At the end of the fight/randori the bow identifies the end of this period where being aggresive is acceptable. Players turn of the attack mode and all emotional content stops. Think of it as a off switch to the required aggression required to fight with another person.

At the end of a class, the bow closes out the learning. It can be a mental flag that the class is over. Everyone knows that between the start bow and end bow, they behave as Judoka. menaing they show good concentration, obey the instructor, respect their partnerd and display good manners (no swearing etc).

This “showing respect” element of the bow and of Judo culture in general is expressed in the bow. This is both in terms of the Judo use of the bow and the cultural meaning of the bow as inherited from Japanese culture. In Judo respect for ourselves and others is integral and the ettiquette of Judo expresses this culture of respect.

The bow is not the only expression of this culture. The rules of our sport are also shaped by the Judo culture of respect. Unlike other martial arts, Judo’s rules restrict most “dangerous” attacks such as kicks and punches, knee and elbow strikes, etc. We play our “game” in a way that is respectful to our parters, we do not allow behaviour that is “against the spirit of Judo”. By this we generally mean, actions that are agianst the respectful culture of Judo.

In Judo this culture of respect is apparent in our high personal standards for appearance, hygiene and behavior. We expect Judo suits to be washed regularly, finger and toenails are kept clipped short. Judo students are clean and tidy and listen quietly when being taught. These ettiquette elements serve to help children develop into good members of society; and also help with important health and safety issues. Hygiene is important to protect one another from the spread of diseases for example. Similarly short finger and toenails prevent scratches and cuts.

As a parent, you can observe and ask the club officials about the ettiquette standards expected and displayed in the club. You can then help your child learn what is expected of them and how they can live up to the expectations. This makes the job of the coaches easier and also engages you as the parent in the establishing of ettiquette standards in your child. Often, this process started in the Judo club extends to the home and we see the high standard of behaviour and ettiquette adopted at home, school and elsewhere.

This general increase in ettiquette beyond the Judo club is one of the benefits of Judo that parents enroll their children into Judo to receive. If you as the parent learn about the ettiquette of Judo and help your child abide by it, then you encourage the same standards be applied at home or school.

In this way, the culture of Judo becomes a positive part of your childs character; giving them an advantage in later life.

Winning is not everything.

As a parent of a child in Judo, There will come a time when it is suggested that your child enter competitions. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child and may be the start of a long sporting career for them. However, it is important to put the competition element of Judo into context and consider it also in relation to your childs unique character, their needs and their desires.

Competition has been a part of Judo since almost the founding Judo. Kano (founder of Judo) was the first to introduce competitions (ref… podcast with yves) and was an active member of the International Olympic Committee, promoting the ideals of sport around the world as well as in his native Japan.

That is not to say that Professor Kano did or did not want Judo to be a sport.

Since the 1964 Olympic games, where Judo was introduced as an Olympic sport, the sporting element of Judo has grown in popularity and importance. The way we practise Judo today is considerably different to the past, both because of the rules of the sport and also because of the knowledge we have gained from the sporting world.

Judo is one of those few sports where it is played on every continent and medals at high level are won by a wide variety of countries. Judo is done from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe and if your child enters into the sport of Judo they may find themselves competing all over the world with people of virtually all nationalities. They may well become an elite level athlete and have the opportunity to represent their country on the worlds biggest stage… the Olympic Games.

They may also decide that they don’t want to be an elite athlete and endure the sacrifices and hardships required at that level. Judo is fortunate that there is competition at all levels, from children’s novice events, through to masters events for those upwards of 30 years of age.

As the parent of a child in Judo, you have a strong influence on what competitions mean to your child and also as to whether your child will be competing at all.

Some clubs and some parents choose not to allow children to compete; this I think is a great mistake. Competition when done appropriately is a great learning opportunity for your child. Competing is, to be honest, scary. Your child may have fears of getting hurt, of embarrassing themselves, of losing. However, facing these fears can be a huge benefit to your childs development.

What needs to be kept in mind is that competitions should be a challenge that your child is able to overcome. Be that winning the event or winning one fight out of many. Your child should not be thrown into the deep end, or made to fight in events beyond their capabilities. Nor should they be competing in events well below their ability as this is not giving them any benefit and is potentially ruining the experience for others.

Competing as a child should be about your childs development, not about winning at all costs. Winning does matter, but only within the confines of the development of your child. As they grow and mature they may become athletes, but until they are in their late teens Judo competitions should be about their development as individuals.

As a parent, you need to be careful not to place unhealthy expectations and pressures on your child. Similarly clubs and club coaches should not be placing undue pressure on your child. You and the club need to ensure that your child is entered in competitions where appropriate.

We do not want to see children competing for the glory of the club, or competing with parents threatening to punish them if they lose. Equally, inappropriate rewards for winning can be just as damaging when offered at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons.

Your child will ideally, enjoy the experience of competing (and you can help with this by expecting it to be fun). You and your child should attend competitions expecting to win some and lose some. Your child should be expected to do their best and no matter the result of the competition, if they have done their best you and the coach should be happy and express that to your child.

In the long term, we want to see your child lose fights and learn from the experience. Then we want to see them come back and do better as a result. We want to see them grow in ability, confidence and character. We want to see them learn through competition that they are the masters of their own destiny, that their hard work equals good performances… a valuable lesson for any person.

We also want to see a child struggle and overcome; be that a physical challenge or a mental one. You should be equally proud of your child if they win with a big throw or if they lose with grace; especially if previously they have lost in the past and not been able to handle it emotionally. A proud moment for any parent in Judo is when your child loses and is able to maintain their composure for the first time.

What we do not want to see, is children competing with undue pressure put on them to win. We do not want children competing because they “have to” or because the club or club coach wants more medals. We also don’t want to see children competing because Mum or Dad wants an athlete in the family or for any other reason than that competing is good for the development of their child.

It is a subject worth discussing with your child’s coach.

How fast should my child go through the Judo Belts?

A really common question parents ask is how fast their child should progress through the Judo belts. It is a difficult subject to cover, as the answer varies person to person, club to club and belt to belt.

In Judo, we have a number of coloured belts which indicate grade. Each club/nation/organisation has a slightly different system, but on the whole the all follow a rough progression like follows (novice to experienced):

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Brown belt
  • Black Belt

Typically each grade takes a longer period of time than the previous one. Your Yellow belt may take only a few months, whilst Orange should take longer. A Brown Belt in Judo might take as long as several years before earning your Judo Black Belt.

In the UK (Extracted from the British Judo Association Junior Grading syllabus 2009), the restriction for grading in children is:

Novice up to and including 6th Mon ages 5-7

Candidates may be promoted one Mon every 3 calendar months.

Novice up to and including 6th Mon — ages 8-17

Candidates may be promoted one Mon every calendar month.

This allowance for ages 8-17 is because it is known and accepted that at this age range young people have a greater capacity for learning and therefore more able to undertake examination at shorter interval.

From 7th Mon and above — all ages

Candidates are limited to one promotion every two calendar months.

The recommended minimum time period between attempts at any promotion for 7th Mon and above is four weeks, however, there is no limit to the number of attempts to gain promotion. A month is a calendar month e.g. a candidate can be examined any date in January and then any date in March. This means a candidate can enter a maximum of six gradings per year, following a learning pathway of continuous progress however it is anticipated they would go up 1 belt colour per year

These are of course guidance numbers of course, each club will carefully watch the students in the classes and try and progress them steadily through the grades. Each grade is awarded based on the ability and attitude of the child. Sometimes a child though technical not as good as others in a class might receive their next Judo belt as quickly (or faster) as a more technically skilled child, who works less hard.

As a parent, you should try and communicate with your club coach about how your child is progressing and help your child work towards their Judo Belts. Remember, the idea is to give your child targets to work towards along with rewards for their effort.

What qualifications should a Judo coach have?

gifted & talented students @ elgar college: april 2008As a parent, you want to ensure two things when you enroll your child at a Judo club. First that the coach keeps them safe and second that the coach knows what they are doing and can help your child learn, develop and earn their grades and belts. In this post I want to outline a little of the qualification process here in Europe. It is different in every country, but they all follow a similar structure.

( Disclosure: I am involved with the delivery of the European Judo Union’s Level 3 qualification via )

Judo as a sport is unusual in that we have more than one qualification system. By this I mean Judo has a Judo qualification system and a sport of Judo qualification system. This normally manifests in the requirement for all instructors/coaches to be at least Brown Belt or Black belt before they can start qualifying to be coaches. It is important to appreciate that being a skilled or experienced Judo player is NOT necessarily an indicator that someone can teach Judo to others.

Black Belts are indicators of someone’s personal ability to do Judo, not an indicator of their ability to manage a class, or help others learn Judo and improve.

Coaching certifications are generally apply to an individual organisation, normally nationally. Though increasingly there is progress towards qualifications that carry across sports and across national borders. Here in the UK for example, the system starts with the UKCC certifications. Level 1 being for assistant coaches, Level 2 for coaches running clubs and level three for more advanced coaches. It is then followed by the EJU (European Judo Union) qualifications. This starts with the EJU level 3 and follows onto the level 4 and 5 Elite Performance Coach qualifications.

As a parent, you want your child to be taught by people that have these certifications, as well as Judo ability and grades… as appropriate.

This does not mean that your 5 year old needs to be coached by a 7th dan EJU level 5 coach. A Brown belt coach with UKCC level 1 is more appropriate for novice children than an elite performance coach whose focus is on developing high level athletic performance perhaps more than ensuring your son or daughter enjoys them self and learns good technical fundamentals. That said, many high level coaches are excellent with kids!

Many clubs have the certifications of their coaches on display at the club, or stored in a folder. If not, they should at least be able to bring them along if they are stored at someone’s house or the coach has them on the wall at home.

You should not feel uncomfortable asking about the qualifications of the coaches at you kids club. Good Judo clubs understand your need to know and also should understand that coaches need to continue to learn and stay up to date.

If you have issues seeing this sort of documentation, you should definitely contact your national governing body and express your concern.

Every Judo journey starts with a first step.

On December 18, 19 & 20th this year (2009), the Hampshire Judo Academy, will with the support of the Hampshire Judo Association be holding a development camp for young Judo athletes from Hampshire. The preparation for the camp is starting in earnest now we have official support from teh association and I, along with the other volunteers working on this exciting project are looking forward to it all immensely!

I am bringing up this camp on this website because I believe that the audience of this blog is one that will appreciate the concepts behind the camp.

The camp, is a beginning for the Academy project; it will also be a starting point for some young Judo athletes in Hampshire. Hence the blog post title, this is a small step that I hope will take the Academy project and the young Judo athletes in Hampshire down a road on a journey that starts now. This journey I hope will take these young 12-18 year olds on a path to their greatest potential. I also see that journey being one that they are on for the rest of their lives.

The camp is aimed at young Judo athletes; those young people who have an inclination to try the competition path.
The camp will for some be their first introduction to the concept of being an athlete, as opposed to simply doing Judo. It will appeal for some and not for others; some will flower as athletes, some will not. But time will tell.

In the UK, Judo athletes reach their competitive peak in their mid to late twenties, so for those coming to us as 12 year olds have a long exciting journey ahead of them. Within the Academy they will have at most 6 or 7 years with us, before we pass them carefully onto a more appropriate environment. We are only a stepping stone along their journey.

The camp and the academy is very much about inspiring these young people, showing them what is possible and the avenues they might pursue; and educating them so they make smart decision for the long term objectives they might have.

The camp, is also a starting point along a journey for those of us helping bring it together. For us it is the physical manifestation of a shared vision that has become apparent within the Judo community in Hampshire. That vision is to make Hampshire a place where young athletes are cared for and nurtured and once they are ready, passed carefully to other places for them to strive for gold.

Of course, we also envision these young athletes coming back to Hampshire after they have fought and won, or fought and lost. We see them coming back and taking their place within the volunteer base of the academy as coaches, mentors, support staff, etc. This si true also of those young athletes that become involved, but decide not to try for Olympic glory. Those that decide that for them Judo is perhaps something they do in the evenings only. Those that later in life might be lawyers or accountants who “did Judo”. These people too we see as part of the project, we look forward to seeing them return to the Academy years form now and being able to use their unique talents to help nurture a new generation of Hampshire Academy players.

It is a long circular journey we envision for young athletes who become involved in the Hampshire Judo Academy.
We look forward to helping train, educate and prepare athletes not only for competition and the training for competitions; but also for life.

It will be a long journey and it starts with this first small step, our Hampshire Judo Academy Development Camp!


For more information please visit where you can find more information.
If you would like your child to attend please contact us. If you would like to help, again please contact us; all volunteers will be appreciated hugely!!!