I recently rejoined the gym on my work campus as running outside was just not happening any more. The current weather in the UK has put paid to that. I was soaked through just walking back from the gym to the office (30 seconds!) due to the lashing shower that suddenly appeared.
The adage which applies is “Get fit to referee, don’t referee to get fit”. Absolutely true and my ‘judo fitness’ has very much helped me hit the field of play running. I have yet to struggle to keep up with play but of course most of my games are at ‘parks’ level until I climb the ladder a bit more.
However, my body has not adjusted to the style of exercise too well. Lots of changes in speed (walk..jog…SPRINT…walk…stop…SPRINT) and direction have put quite a stress on my hamstrings and achilles. The achilles in particular forced me to rest but is now mostly under control. My hamstrings are tight as anything as it is due to my years of computing so this needs resolving. Some Asics Gel Lethal 11 boots are helping there!
Firstly, I’m working on running in the gym, working towards the Cooper test. I have no need to take this test for a long time but it is a nice benchmark. Starting point is 2500 metres in 12 minutes which I can manage fine on a treadmill but of course that is easier than doing it outside (even with a 1% incline). It’s good to start teaching my body the pace though. I’ll be mixing that up with interval training.
Secondly, lots of stretching. I’ve been neglecting this FAR too much. Obviously this is concentrating on my problem areas as mentioned above but I’m making sure I do EVERYTHING so I don’t just transfer the problem somewhere else. Early days but so important.
There we have a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise and stretching. I haven’t thought about core strength much yet but it will need to feature to help keep things balanced… hmm…
I attended the Hampshire Split Grade Open in the capacity as referee at the weekend. The venue will always hold a special place in my heart for various reasons: I got the final points for my Dan grade there, I have medaled there before, and I think I got my first referee qualification there as well.
There were plenty of people I knew there, including representatives from my own clubs (Which made me miss them terribly given my current Achilles sprain which stops me training AT ALL which is horrible).
It was a scrappy day for me to begin with. Our mat was delayed starting as the mats themselves had not been correctly laid out and this took time to fix. Then our team was in a state of flux anyway so no sooner was I on, then off again, and then having lunch! It worked out in the end as I stayed on to referee the Open and got some of the Finals to do as well.
Lance from the upcoming Hampshire Judo Academy was present to advertise and that is an exciting project in itself. The emphasis is on all the Good Things, and not just three days of Western-style Randori resulting in bits falling off the judoka who are present. Check it out.
Despite this being a low-level event in the big scheme of things, it was great to see judoka from Willesden and Camberley judo clubs. This meant that there was some great judo to watch, especially when they fought each other!
It was not my best day of refereeing. I didn’t get anything wrong or anything like that, but I did not feel in the zone either. I have had the opportunity to study some of my work on video. Essentially I look too ‘rushed’ so I just need to calm it down and take my time. Some IJF-level feedback I received was that I am ‘over-gesticulating’ which is a habit I’ve picked up from the football refereeing where you NEED such strong body language to sell decisions! Looks totally wrong on the judo mat though.
Essentially, I need to be serene and controlled, rather than somewhat fierce and controlled. Which sounds like good advice for judo in general, if you ask me…