Judo In Holland Report

Fri 10th February 2017:

Venue: Sportschool – Fitnesscentrum, Richard De Bijl & Chita Gross

11:00 – 13:00: Private coaching, Richard gave private class to Irish judokas

    1. Judo etiquette:

    2. TShirts under suits; No! for men and Yes! white t shirt for women! . Belt; keep the tips up :”) until dead

    3. Standing rei and kneeling rei, hand position, feet position and separation of the knees (one fist for women and two fists for men).

    4. Tsugi ashi steps, ayumi ashi steps, yoko tsugi ashi steps

    5. Ukemi: side breakfall, judo roll (back on to both feet, not over one knee!)

    6. Ouchi gari: tsugi ashi, tsugi ashi with circle reap, footwork with kumi kata, uchi komi, side step to draw uke step and apply ochi gari – execute throw with perfect timing to reap before uke places foot on the mat.

    7. Ne-waza sequence: kesa gatame, uke tries escape, tori counters with ushiro kesa gatame, uke frees trapped hand, tori switches to yoko shiho gatame, uke grabs skirt and trousers, tori switches to tate shiho gatame, uke wraps one of tori’s legs with legs, tori frees leg and applies kata shiho gatame, uke pushes trapped arm across toris face, tori applies kesa gatame on the other side from the start of sequence.

    8. Ne-waza demonstration: Tori Ronan – Uke Johnny, Richard emphasises Uke must look to escape and tori must react to counter escape.
    9. Wrap up: Shuhari concept (teach by instruction, set up and step back, self learning)

16:30 – 18:00: Observe coaching

    1. Childrens class ~U12’s approximately 25 children on the mat.
    2. Young Japanese coach gives class. Sara, Mina and Nana assist with coaching. Children have good discipline and are attentive.
    3. Games involving groups of three, 2 players either side of mat, other player in centre. Players rotate leap frogging on one side and throwing from the other side of the mat.
    4. Ne waza turn over technique, uke on all fours, tori kneeling from front grips collar back of neck and takes underarm while forward rolling to turn over uke. Nice technique and children demonstrate proficiency. Large mat area and Irish judoka practice technique among themselves!
    5. Randoori tachi waza: similar to children’s randoori in Ireland.

18:00 – 19:00: Randoori

    1. Young Japanese coach gives class supported by another young local dan grade.
    2. Hard randoori class with young (late teens and early twenties, mix of dan grade and higher kyu) competitive judoka with Irish judoka mixing in. Young teens also on matt and play randoori with each other. Total judokas ~20
    3. Warm up: pull/push down tatami with push ups and run back. Uchi Komi with sit up mixed. Leap from and nage komi in groups of three.
    4. Randoori: In general Irish judoka largely competitive in randoori. However, young japanese coach (de ashi barai, tai otoshi) & one of the heavier dan grades (ko soto gari) are both players we can learn much from
    5. Technique: Same ne waza turn over technique as U12’s class but includes progression to shime waza

19:00 – 20:30: Technical class

    1. Marcel takes class supported by Richard. Older judokas on tatami, large class total judokas ~40
    2. Tsugi ashi steps, ayumi ashi steps, yoko tsugi ashi
    3. Ukemi: side breakfall, judo roll (back on to both feet, not over one knee!)
    4. Moving uchi komi, emphasizing drawing on style as in harai goshi in 3 set of Nage No Kata
    5. Randoori: Ne waza randoori, irish judokas competitive in randoori.

Sat 11th February 2017:

Venue: Yuwa Sport, Kortestede 2-c, 2543 VK Den Haag (The Hague)

10:00 – 11:00: Observe and participating in coaching: Sebastiaan coaches young children. Small class

11:00 – 12:00: Observe and participating in coaching: Sebastian coaches U12’s, approx ~12 juniors

    1. Irish judokas mix with children.
    2. Forward rolls over sticks
    3. Push pull hopping games, for balance and strength
    4. Technique: Tachi Waza – Hop into harai goshi, harai goshi with collar grip, round the back grips
    5. Technique: Ne Waza – escape from guard, sweep from guard and come on top.
    6. Randoori, tachi waza & ne waza, irish judokas mix with children
    7. Game to finish: make circle, start with piggy position, dismount, run around, piggy back. Last couple out!

12:00 – 12:30: Private class: Sebastian coaches Irish judoka

    1. Technique: Tani Otoshi – arm across abdomen, outstrech leg, sit down. Throw in diagonal direction. Key aspect is grip to set up throw. Same sided grip with Uke arm lock up. Tani Otoshi as counter to Seoi Nage, short side step is key for making throw effective. Tani Otoshi variations including trousers grip (not for competition!). Switch from tani otoshi to kata guruma.
    2. Technique: roll over from guard position. Similar to juji gatame from guard but involving sweeping leg action. Push over from guard – bend leg into abdomen post up on arm on same side as bent leg and drive hip through to push uke over.

12:30 – Evening: Sight seeing with Sebastian in the Hague, Escher museum and pizza!

Sun 12th February 2017:

Venue: Sporthal De Walvis, Van Loenenlaan 1, 1945 TB Beverwijk

10:00 – 15:00: The National Kata Championships.

Katas included: Ju-No-Kata, Kime-No-Kata, Goshin Jitsu and Katame-No Kata.

    1. Morning: Kata elimination rounds. 5 mats all katas demonstrated.
    2. Midday: Judo show – teams of 6 mixing judo and dance. A very interesting opportunity for deeper engagement for our young judoka.

Full Demonstration of Itsutsu No Kata by Richard as Tori.

    1. Afternoon: Kata finals in all kata categories.
    2. Irish judokas meet and greet many of the Dutch judo officials. Corr talks fondly of Terry Watt!

Venue: Sportschool – Fitnesscentrum, Richard De Bijl & Chita Gross)

19:30 – 21:30: Kata training

    1. Tsugi ashi steps, ayumi ashi steps, yoko tsugi ashi
    2. Ukemi: side breakfall, judo roll (back on to both feet, not over one knee!)
    3. Irish judoka split from dutch judok and receive kata training from Richard
    4. Kata training 1: Nage No Kata – Okuri Ashi Barai emphasing tori and uke roles
    5. Kata training 2: Ju No Kata – Ikkyo sequence
    6. Irish judoka partner with dutch judoka and practice kata of their choice
      1. John and Marcel – Uke otoshi detail on throw and breakfall landing.
      2. Please add your kata notes everyone

Suggestions for improvement:

Promotion of summer school – greater attendance of senior judoka and coaches mentioned many times by both Richard and Sebastian.

Indeed, Richard remarked that when he comes to Galway he would like to see coaches from all around Ireland attending to the summer camp in order to teach/learn the katas. He promoted the katas to be the way to go as senior judoka.

Richard spoke about two trees and a ladder in the middle. The ladder is the way of acquiring strength and knowledge from both trees to go higher in judo.

One tree Good Second tree

randory judo katas


Overall, I had a great judo learning experience, we validated our skills as coaches of junior judoka, my eyes were opened to Kata as way to stay with judo till my senior years and we strengthened our relationships with Dutch judo. Richard and Sebastiann are looking forward to coming over for the summer school. Both requested on several occassions for greater senior and coach attendance – we will need to promote the summer school starting from now to make that a reality-Jonh

It was very positive experience; exiting, interesting and great opportunity to develop our Judo a bit further in randori, katas and competition techniques.

The interaction with the judokas in Holland at both centres: Sebastian and Richard, was stimulating and inspiring for both sides. We were very well welcomed and looked after.

They showed great attitude to one another really helping each other with judo.

Richard gave us a pin symbol of SATORI; union of body, mind and spirt.

We got time to do judo, watch their national katas competition, eat (Asian, Japanese, Italian and Dutch food), visit museum, sight seeing, and snow ball fighting …it was cold! -Sara


First of all BIG THANK YOU to John Creaven for all his work during the years with the Judo club in Galway. Thanks to his dedication and passion for judo we were able to attend to this inspiring trip.

Thanks to Brian for his great work and organisation during this trip as well as his easy going attitude. Also thanks to John Milroy for his disposition for driving and organising the van at the airport also for his input in organising the trip schedule. Thanks to all for creating a great team with good coordination and cooperation.

Next steps:

Develop knowledge in performance and integration of the katas in order to be part of European Kata tournaments.

Stimulate children with music performances during their building up judo techniques. This can also be used for promoting judo among young children and fundraising.

Initiate and promote small tournaments of randory competitions in Ireland with the purpose of training technique practice to achieve confidence judokas with higher levels of judo without injuries. From there promote attendance to higher-level of Real competitions in and outside Ireland.

Looking at the future:

Maintain our good relationship with Holland.

Nearer future: Visit Connemara Centre at Luigui’s Judo club.

Further future: Visit Judo Kodokan, Japan

We may look into ways for making the future plans affordable welcoming new ideas!

Report on trip to Holland 8th February – 13th February 2017

The purpose of the trip to Holland was not to learn about how to do Ogoshi or Newaza escapes. It was to observe and learn the methods from the way Judo is taught in Holland. This is by no means a reflection on how judo is taught here in Ireland, but by taking a closer look at the methods of the Dutch we can be more objective and self-critical of our own systems. We can take the best of what the Dutch do and tailor it to suit our systems. Our group consisted of both players and coaches. What they saw and learnt we hope to integrate into our classes each week.

Another development to be considered by our club is whether we send a group of our young players to Holland in the future.

For those who did go to Holland I believe has enthused them to look beyond Judo as a mere form of combat but as a cultural ethos. GJC need to decide, do we prepare our players for a life of judo rather that just a sport to achieve limited goals such as black belts or championships.

Our players have different goals and the club for the future needs champions, black belts, referees, coaches, organisers, etc. A whole set of skills other than Judo performance only are needed for both the sport and the club to thrive in the future.

For the above to happen young players will need to devote more time to learning judo beyond grading and championship requirements. That will entail coaches in Ireland upping their coaching skills. Traditionally here in Ireland players when they achieve 1st Dan they rest on their laurels and make presumptions about knowing all there is to know about Judo. In a rare instance I heard one very good Irish Judo player admit that it took longer to be a good coach that to be a good player. Our coaches need to invest in their own learning. Simply watching judo on YouTube is not enough.

Our own club will need to approach the teaching of judo to children with less emphasis on winning and more on technical accomplishments. This will mean putting on not just competitions but Randori events where players can display skills of judo.

Also we can introduce gym judo where the players can execute the skills in groups. Music and Judo together can be good both to observe and listen to. The player should devise their own kata movement e.g. combating Nage Waza with Newaza etc. I loathe to use the word “fun” but for the participants it should be at least enjoyable. Through enjoyment players will proactive more, get better and we will have greater results.

Historically young players in all sports seem to disappear between 14-18 years old. If we can solve that problem we will have crossed the Rubicon most sports are unable to do. If we can at least keep 50% our numbers will grow and judo in Ireland become a popular rather that a Cinderella sport.

In defining the best way forward we have to include improved judo that a) involves coaches and players spending some time abroad learning and b) bringing in more EU coaches. I use the word EU rather than the word foreign. In so many ways Ireland is benefiting from our membership of the EU so why shouldn’t judo also benefit.

The problem encountered by coaches whose player’s present stiff arm is a worldwide problem. Defence is given a higher premium than offence.

During the club training the coach should encourage both players to expect to be thrown and a way of demonstrating both good Nage Waza and ukemi. Both Tori and Uke have similar roles. Each is meant to help the other. Tori and Uke are interchangeable and compliment each other. Obviously in tournaments the circumstances are different but good throwing in the club situation will produce good results in tournaments.

The big question then is are we prepared to be patient and develop players for the long term or do we see the win at all costs after 6 months of judo.

From evidence I’ve seen in our own club the players who spend more time at judo are players you would watch all day as their skills set is greater.

In summary Galway Judo Club will adjust its coaching model via the following:

  1. a) Put a big emphasis on ukemi, rolls etc.
  2. b) Will think long term as a mechanism of getting the most of our young players
  3. c) Develop links with coaches from other countries
  4. d) Integrate both music and gymnastics into our training schedules – particularly at Easter, Summer and Autumnal camps
  5. e) Provide more Kata training for young players
  6. f) Encourage our players to develop their own Kata
  7. g) Encourage our young players to train more often, even if it means going to other local clubs. Players must be encouraged to go where the best coaches teach.
  8. h) Encourage our players to a greater participation and not necessarily of the competitive nature. You need to help of your fellow players to develop your own judo.
  9. i) Organise Randori events as distinct from competitions.

I would like to acknowledge the input of the following in the preparation of this report:

Brian Conway                                      Paul Neville

Nana Tanaka                                       Mina Ishiharo

John Milroy                                         Sara Sedanobalbas