Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The art of judo

One of the coaches furthering their education at Anglia Ruskin University on the EJU level 4 Performance Coach Award is Danny Williams. Danny is still an active player, and as part of his self-reflection as a coach he has blog at:

In his recent post he put forward some of his views on whether coaching is a scientific or artistic process.

I read his post whilst I was having breakfast at the Tokyo Dome Hotel, during a recent lecture tour to Japan. His post prompted me to reflect on my own views on the topic, and inspired, I wrote the majority of this post there and then at the breakfast table.

“When I think of an artist, I think of the artist with their tools, their easel, oils, brushes, palette, model etc.

But tools are not enough, they have to have technique, knowledge of anatomy, art history, composition, the skills and knowledge of the trade.

Those tools, skills and knowledge are the science that is required for a judo coach. The nutrition, periodization, technical and tactical understanding.

The artist then adds style, their own spin on things. It’s how art historians and forgery experts can tell the difference between a master and apprentice.

That’s what the artist judo coach does with their tools and expertise, spins them into something unique, something special for each athlete.

It’s why I love judo. To see two artist coaches pitched against each other. Picasso and Manet, seated just metres apart, battling with their canvases.

Best regards from Tokyo.”

As a judo coach have you studied enough to have the skills, tools and knowledge required?  How much do you reflect on your coaching to be able to add your own spin? To turn your coaching from a science into an art? Unfortunately too many players are poorly served by coaches who have not studied to better themselves, who do not have the skills, tools and knowledge required. Help ensure that your players are better served. Make 2014 the year that you learn the science and turn it into art.

To all the judo family who have taken time to read this blog over the years Good luck in 2014 with all your endeavours. Thanks from all at

The image for this blog post is a woodcut by Jane Veveris Callan. Check out her website

Her judo images are available as greetings cards from

No comments:

Post a Comment