Tuesday, September 26, 2006

British Judo Association Affiliation


Over recent months there has been a lot of talk, letter, articles etc about the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate and the enforcement of every Judo Coach to have a UKCC by 2012. As In have said in the past as a country that believes in freedom I would normally have doubts about this ever happening but we have a New Labour government which does not believe in civil liberties and European Union which wishes to totally dominate and control our personal lives, so the possibility of UKCC by compulsion may not be so remote. My understanding of the UKCC is that it is not specific to any individual sport but a Certificate of Coaching; on completion you then go to your individual sport for level of competence. This concept could have been taken straight from The International Budo Federations Coaching Effective Programme, developed by 25 years ago by Martin Clarke and Geoff Gleeson. So I have no problems with the idea. I do question whether making it a legal requirement is right apart from the personal liberty factor, although I expect this government will turn round and say it is to do with the prevention of terrorism! It could lead to a dramatic loss of Judo Coaches and clubs. Many Judo Coaches will feel aggrieved that for many years they have coached given many years to help others only be told they are no longer competent, as with most things that are a legal requirement it will be costly to obtain how many clubs or coaches will be able to afford the cost?

The BJA has taken the blame for this but in reality it is a Government edict as the BJA are the governing body they will be required to implement the Judo section of the UKCC. So we now have a campaign to “Save British Judo” in the past I would be the first on the barricades but things have moved on since the days of Charlie Palmer former chairman of the BJA. So when the BJA through Dermott Hyslop contacted me and suggested we have meet I thought why not and I am glad I did. Dermott sat down for several hours explaining all they various concepts of the BJA and their hopes for the future which I have to admit were very exciting, he returned on one of our club nights to explain to our club coaches. The most important questions all my instructors wanted to know would we lose our identity answer NO, membership to the International Budo Federation is very important to us not only do we do Judo but we also practise many other Martial Arts and grappling sports, so would we have to give up the IBF answer NO, Could we still run IBF events answer YES.
So the most important things were not lost, yes coaches would have to attend a Coaching Course not re exam us but to show us what the BJA coaching system is and to show the differences in our view of the GOKYO, there will be a need for a validation of grades but unlike the past there would be a fair appraisal, In the 70’s I wish to try for the Olympics to do this I had to join the BJA, to enter the British Open which was my first test I had to be a Dan grade. The Charlie Palmer cabal refused to recognise my BJC 4th Dan telling me I was only worth a 1st Dan expecting me not enter I did and came 5th they then graded me to 3rd Dan at the end of the year after being in the BJA 8 months I won the National Trials. The recognition of Coaching award and Grades I suggest is standard I would not let anyone in the IBF without checking their standards.

So what will my club gain by being members of the BJA:
1) Member of the governing body
2) Access to all their events
3) Access to the UKCC
4) Contest Grades having the ability to get above 3rd Dan without having to leave the IBF or travel to Holland for gradings

What will the BJA gain from us?
1) All our Dan grades have a very high knowledge of Kata
2) More members
3) Proof that Judo can be unified
4) Expertise in other forms of Jacket Grappling

My club has organised a BJA Coaching and Grading Valuation in December and my son John and some of my other contest grades will be going to Budokwai end of October to get their grades confirmed and if they are good enough may even go higher. So my club has given the BJA a chance I would suggest others do the same.

Will I be attending the Course NO, will I go for grade recognition NO, this is not for any spiteful reason but as I have been doing Judo for 50 years in 2007, as I have been a Professional Coach since 1971 I do not think I need to be assessed my record speaks for itself. More importantly there are still people in the BJA who would object to my grade recognition and this could stand in the way of unification, it is my younger players who will take us forward.

Martin Clarke

Friday, September 22, 2006


This is an introduction to CombatArts I hope it will create some discussion between those who participate in CombatArts. My own expertise is in Judo, Sombo, CombatSombo, Belt Wrestling, Kurash and Jiu Jitsu plus i have an interest in all styles of Folk wrestling. for this blog to work it needs you to interact