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Facing a black belt line-up

After a little over a month as a 1st kyu/brown belt in Judo I decided to sign up for a black belt grading. I’ll take you through my experiences of it which will hopefully help prepare you if you’re going down this route. How kyu grading progression works In the British Judo curriculum initially there’s […]

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The different levels of Judo and why it matters

Every endeavour involving significant skill acquisition there will be different levels of mastery. You won’t necessarily fathom the different levels unless you’ve been immersed in it for some time. Judo is no different. Our perceptions of skill development are more often than not moulded from our experiences in randori and shiai (competition). The argument I’m […]

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The Death of the Casual

I have been a martial artist for over 20 years, I have studied over 13 styles and even taught. I went to the extent of learning random rare styles to be outside of the norm, but in recent years I have seen a paradigm shift back to what was probably the norm in the 1970’s. […]

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The wonders of Koshi Guruma

If you’re a recreational player like me, you’ll probably be dabbling in a technique or two for a short period of time. Judo is great for exploring a set movement or technique and then losing yourself down the rabbit hole. Of late, I’ve been dabbling with Koshi Guruma (English translation: Hip Wheel). It might prove […]

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Using ChatGPT to determine the future direction of Judo innovation

How does AI tie in with our popular past time of Judo? How can it help us get better? What could the future hold for Judo as a sport? Read on and I’ll give you my quick take… Shu Ha Ri There’s a popular Japanese martial arts concept known as Shu Ha Ri. In brief, […]

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Why the new guy in your Judo club is harder to throw

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The inevitable plateaus in Judo development

Recently I entered the Kent International Judo competition here in the UK. It was a hot day, a busy competition and I came in with the worst possible mindset. What followed was a mediocre event for me which led to some rethinking and much needed soul searching. Allow me to elaborate.. The mindset before the […]

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Distal Bicep Tendon Rupture – A year on from post surgery

When I first ruptured my left distal bicep tendon I scoured the internet for details of what recovery involved. I found a dearth of information about what recovery for a recreational Judo player looked like after a year. This article aims to address that. Time heals all wounds Time heals all wounds provided you undertake […]

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Why your choice of training partner(s) is so critical

I was recently involved in yet another club randori night (as one does). Going hard. Giving as much as I was getting. I eventually changed partners and moved on to one club mate who I’ve always had a scrappy randori with. This chap has a poor tani otoshi in the kenka yotsu (right vs left) […]

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“Just relax” he says. The case for relaxing your grips.

Recently a Judo coach I have the pleasure of working with told me I need to “just relax” when I’m doing randori. We’d recently had a 5 minute practice together and he elaborated that I needed to take it easy a little on the grips. I found this comment both surprising and amusing at the […]