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  • Ross Taylor

DJC @ UKCC/BJA Level 1 Coaching Course


Drake Judo club at the UKCC level 1 in coaching Judo course.

Myself, Mark, Corey and Kate met up very early Saturday morning to attend a BJA level 1 in coaching Judo course. Each one of pondered what would lie ahead as we had a very misty trip to Taunton. We arrived in plenty of time (thanks to Corey again for driving), and bumped into a few friendly faces. Steve and Lewis from South Brent and Devi from Quayside which was great. Dermot and Chris, our coaches for the weekend both made us feel welcome and quickly put us at ease… I for one was wondering exactly how I had ended up here as I drank my coffee settled in. Lewis joined us and the next few hours passed in a blur, Corey and Kate were certainly at ease in the classroom but it has been a while for Mark and I. After a quick introduction it was straight into various activities both in groups and alone. Goals and outcomes, hopes and fears, good coaching practices, safety, model sessions, session plans, refereeing… the list went on. Scribbled notes and another coffee and we seemed to be doing ok.

Then it was down into the Dojo for our first Practical session, led by our coaches - both of whom were wearing Red and White belts (I believe one was a 7th Dan and the other a 6th Dan) - we lined up in grade order. Mark and I were two of only three Blue belts on the mat which was the minimum grade, and I felt slightly out of my depth but if Mark felt the same he didn't show it. The session, Tai Otoshi (Body drop) into Juji gateme (Cross arm lock), made everyone work hard Judo wise but also try to think as a coach. The key points from the earlier class work started to be reinforced in the practical setting. A quick break followed by lots more group activities and the brains were certainly being stretched more than our bodies.

Lunch time came and went, followed by another lesson to give us time for our lunches to go down and it was time to go back on the mat. Less strenuous this time but much more technical. Shime-waza (chokes and strangles), Kansetu-Waza (joint locks) and Osae-komi (hold downs) were on the menu. We picked up some great tips as well as some in depth understanding of why these techniques work, not just what to do, and also the responsibilities of teaching them!. More group activities followed by more classroom work, and it was time to go home. The car was noticeably quieter on the way back and I for one, was glad to get to bed.

Sunday morning came around too soon and off we went again. The journey was broken up with Corey overtaking the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future! It was pretty cool if you like that sort of thing… Still trying to digest the information from yesterday we were once again grabbing a quick coffee and settling in for the lessons to come. Health and safety, risk assessments, safe coaching, illnesses and various hypothetical scenarios were just some of the subjects covered as our coaches guided us through the many possible ‘dangers’ we may face in the future… but this was mixed in was some great anecdotes to lighten the mood.

A revisit of our session plans from yesterday and it was time to deliver the goods in the dojo, so to speak. As fate would have it, the group of nineteen were split into two, with Corey, Kate, Mark (and Lewis) in one group and me in the other… No more help from my friends or relying on Mark to partner with, I was on my own. Luckily, I was up first, so not too much time to worry, and I ‘taught’ my throw to a bunch of Black belts…. Quite a strange experience and not the easiest thing to do, but it seemed to go well and luckily I have worked with some fantastic coaches to model it on. I received some valuable feedback, (apparently I talk a lot - yep, I can’t argue with that!) and certainly have a lot to think about as I move forward. Across the mat I caught a few glimpses of the rest of DJC giving their classes and from what I saw it all looked good. No doubt they all have their stories to tell too. Several hours passed and eight ‘mini’ lessons later and it was back to the class one last time. Last few points, a long list of things to do, a flurry of questions (this time from the students), and it was time to go. There had been a great balance of learning and enjoyment mixed together, and hope I get the chance to train with the coaches again one day. Thank you Chris and Dermot! The next few weeks at DJC will be a busy time of lesson plans, experience, portfolios and assessments and lots more….it’s a long list! I have met some great people this weekend and definitely learnt a lot, especially about myself, and what we can do if we persevere! Being apart of Drake Judo club and practising Judo is certainly taking me on a journey I could never have imagined a few years ago.

Dan Brown


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