Thursday, October 25, 2007

Could the UKCC be the demise of Judo?

Could the UKCC be the demise of Judo?

As I have reported before there seems to be some sort of unity happening in the Judo World, I refer of course to the fact that the British Judo Association has now opened their doors to all Judoka regardless of there Judo affiliation. This has been a bold move but it has also been a move born out of necessity as Judo in the UK is in rapid decline and Unity is the only way for it to survive.

This brings me on to the subject of the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC), this organisation has been set up to introduce some conformity and regulation within British Sport, which hopefully will improve Coaching Generally throughout the UK. This to some is quite a novel idea but it not really a new concept because that Great British Judo Coach Geoff Gleeson some 30 years ago formed the British Association of National Coaches, where National Coaches from all sports came to together to share their knowledge and experiences in Coaching. When this folded Geoff and I formed the Academy of Coaching, some of the members the AOC went on to form The Guild of Sports Internationalists, sadly to say both are now defunct.

So as you can see I am all in favour of improving our Coaching Skills but there are several things that worry me:
1) The price! although I have said that Judo is under priced and under valued, I wonder if the proposed pricing structure is just “the straw that broke the camels back” £200 for level 1 plus 30 hours learning requirement, Level 2 £400 88 hours learning requirement, Level 3 in excess of £800 plus 307 learning requirement. These figures are taken from an article written by Dave Duffy BJA National Coaching Officer. To be fair to the BJA they are looking for organisations to help fund this new UKCC but what if they can not get any help, can small Judo Clubs of 20 members afford this? I have my doubts.
2) What of Grandfather Rights (This is where people who have coached for many years are given the award). I personally started Coaching when I was 19 years that is a total 38 years in that time I was a member of BANC, NCF founded the A.o.C, member of BISC , formed IBF Coaching Effective Scheme along side Geoff Gleeson 9th Dan, was a KCC Coach for 9 years do all these qualifications and experience amount to nothing? For me personally I am not worried as due to injury I do very little coaching but I know of hundreds if not thousands of Judoka who have given up their time, effort and in many cases their money to teach and promote Judo. Can we afford to lose them? I do not think so.
3) Some people want the UKCC to become a legal requirement to Coach and the way this Labour Government obsession with interfering with our lives and bringing into legislation laws to control every aspect of lives also with Prime Minister Gordon Brown practically handing over our Nation to the EU this could be a very likely possibility. Some say that this is not possible as will infringe our Human Rights to choose, once again this could be a possibility but like most things if this Government & the EU want something like most dictatorship they normally get it. That way will be using Health & Safety legislation, you can just imagine the spin from some Government Minister her is an example of what they could say “Any one can teach Judo or Sport in the UK , we after all a free country, the only criteria is that they competent” . Great but what is competent? Of course a UKCC. Insurance companies will eventually insist that you have a UKCC.

The UKCC will not only affect Judo Coaches but all Sports Coaches, hopefully I am wrong and the UKCC becomes a symbol of light for Judo and sport. Yet one wonders with Sports participation in rapid decline in the UK shouldn’t we be trying to promote Sport/Judo rather then putting in obstacles. Sport/Judo in the UK has relied mainly on those volunteers who are prepared to help their sport without any pay or reward, will the UKCC stop this? That is up to you to decide.

Martin Clarke 8th Dan Judo Sittingbourne Kent
Grandmaster Sombo, World Masters Judo Champion
World Sombo & Jiu Jitsu Silver Medallist

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Colin Carrott World Bronze

47 year old Colin Carrott from the Sittingbourne Young Judo Club/Warriors Grappling Academy has just returned from the World Masters Sambo Wrestling Championships in Moudania Greece with a World bronze medal. Colin competed in the Men’s 45 – 49 years, u90 kilo class, in his Bronze medal fight of he had to take on a Frenchman in a very close match, the bout went the distance with Colin winning 4pts to 3pts.
Colin who trains at Sittingbourne and is one of the clubs senior coaches, lives in Folkestone where he runs family business DELMAINES electrical and white goods, the reason I mention this is because of his family he got involved in Judo. Both his sons are black belts in Judo and Sambo in fact his youngest son Danny has been selected for the World Senior Championships in Prague in November. Colin started Judo in 1194 at the ripe old age of 34 years; he started because his two boys were involved in the local Hawkinge Judo club, his youngest boy Danny started because he was bullied at school. Just a few weeks into starting Judo he severed a nerve in his ankle when someone threw him wrong, he was in plaster for months.
This did not deter Colin and he came back more determined and since then he has amassed the following:
3rd Dan Black Belt International Budo Federation, British Judo Association, British Sombo Federation
British Sombo Champions, IBF National and International Judo Champion
2 World Bronze Medals
Has competed in the following countries Scotland, Holland, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Malta, Czech Republic, Poland and Greece.
Senior Examiner for the International Budo Federation and British CombatSombo Association
Senior Instructor for the Young Judo Club and Warriors Grappling Academy
He also runs the Spitfire judo Club Hawkinge and the Capel Le Ferne Judo and Grappling Club

Colin is an example to us all that age and adversary should never hold you back.
For more details of Sombo/Sambo go to

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Steve Jacob has just informed me that he has had to cancel his competition this weekend in Bedford.
One must ask the question what has happened to Judo and Judo players in the last few years, why is there no support from at least our own organisation the IBF, are parents and coaches to lazy to travel or are they just frightened of competition? What about all those who took gradings at Summer Camp where were they?
This problem is not unique to the IBF Judo has been decline for several years but most of Judo Politicians have been in denial over this. Even the bigger Judo organisation i.e. the BJA/BJC has had to cancel events that a few years ago were attracting hundred of fighters.
The UK is in a pit of despair, rising crime especially violent ones, means of disciplining kids in school being eroded, parents refusing to take responsibility for the children, massive percentage of young people experimenting with drugs, alcohol and under sex. Can you wonder when you ask young people to try Judo they reply “What’s the point man, it’s not cool” The obsession with the celebrity culture does not help, every where you look or listen there is details of what celebrities do, these youngsters worship them like Gods in fact I would go as far to say it is there new religion. The great majority of these celebrities are terrible role models with their drug and drinking habits, with their low morals, with their total disregard of the environment, with their total disrespect of money I could go on.
I do not know the answers although I have some ideas but I do know this country in the last 10 years has lost its right to be called GREAT Britain. Judo has been my discipline since I was 5 years old, I hope it does not go the way of Amateur Wrestling which only has about 500 participants in the country