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  • Ross Taylor

Oates for Breakfast and for Lunch


Drake Judo Club hosted its second Master Class, coached by 2012 and 2016 Olympian Colin Oates. Whilst Colin has competed at Olympic level, he has won a Bronze and Silver at the 2011 and 2016 European Championships respectively and Gold in the Baku Grand Slam.

Master Class sessions are sought after opportunities for Judoka to gain knowledge and learn from the experience of athletes that have competed at the highest level.

Colin held junior and senior sessions on a full mat of 23 and 21 Judoka respectively. The players coming from local clubs South Brent, Hoshi and Plymouth, as well as players from as far as Bradley Stoke.

The session started with jogging, forward rolls, press up and sit ups, and that was just the warm up.

Today’s celebrity coach did not teach throws, hold downs or include any randori, but would teach the fundamentals for what would help the Judoka in competitions.

He was accompanied by his father wearing a black belt full of experience, who would help support and integrate the very youngest Judoka attending the session.

Two words would ring in the ears of the players, Posture and Reaction. The importance of having a strong posture whilst making your opponents posture weak and using your opponent’s reaction in scenarios that can easily be turned into an advantage and a potential win! Each stage from footwork, the body and throw was expertly and clearly presented by Oates for the Judoka to then repeatedly practice. The manner in which the Judokas attention was held is testament to their discipline and to the Olympian’s coaching skills.

The next part of the session would focus on how to turn around ground work scenarios when you are vulnerable and included ground control. Firstly to overcome your opponents weight bearing down on you and how to remove your leg from a broken hold.

With so much information crammed into the 2 hour sessions, it was appropriate for Oates to summarize all that had been learned and relay the key message…..Posture and Reaction.

Post the fantastically run session, there was the opportunity for the Judoka to question the experienced athlete and learn about his love for Jaffa Cakes, among other important experiences. There was time for Oates to sign some belts, books and have some photos with the players for them to remember the day by, but we think the day will last long in their memories anyhow.

What a wonderful experience for the Judoka on a well organised, run and coached session. A huge thank you goes to the club members for putting on a great event and of course to Colin Oates for spending his time to pass on his experience to the players; good luck with your future career and your coaching aspirations from all of the club.

Next (the day after), is the Peter Murphy competition, it will be interesting to see if any of today’s lessons will be put into practice.


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