EJU President, Mr Sergey Soloveychik welcomed everyone to the Improve Your Club Seminar, the aim of this is to improve the ability to coach the younger generation of athletes. The theme for the weekend was to assist cadet level competitors and the first morning was taken by Mr Patrick Roux. The popular seminar saw the mat packed with coaches eager to learn from both the instructors and one another.
Initially, Roux discussed how games allow cadet levels to understand the greater purpose, using basic action and reaction movements, basic yet fundamental skills that the young competitors must have a complete grasp of.
Normandy-born EJU Expert Jean-Pierre Gibert delivered a terrific ne-waza session for the coaches, with many years of experience, the Tournoi De Paris Champion has coaching experience most recently with the Russian team.
The IYC Seminar proved too big for the original space and had to move in to the larger dojo, taking in an impressive 135 Croatian coaches, let alone the many coaches that have arrived specially for the advice from top instructors.
In the final morning session, a comprehensive presentation was delivered by author of ‘An Approach to Physical Performance Analysis for Judo’, Stefano Frassinelli. Currently working with the Russian team, Frassinelli discussed what it takes to be such an efficient judoka, focussing on the development of key motor skills.
He explained that each athlete has a different heirarchy of coordinations capabilities, depending on the character and combination. This combination is created during years of practice and is usually different in all top level athletes within the same sport. What this seminar focuses on is teaching the fundamentals for general development of the sports movement.
Following Frassinelli was the coach of the National Russian mens team Kodokan Institute 5th Dan, Evgeny Kuldin, covering the practical side of the morning. On the final evening, two guests delivered the session, both discussing movement.
Olympic Champion, Arsen Galystan of Russia, focussed on using momentum to unbalance your opponent. EJU Expert, Go Tsunoda concluded the Improve Your Club Seminar and spoke with us afterwards,
I think for 10, 11 and 12 year olds, movement is very important to learn, so if you learn this logic, how to move the body I think it will help you for life in judo. Now we look at 14, 15, 16 year olds, cadet level which is the competitive time where they learn and perfect technique and so it is too late, we have lost the time to teach them movement. This is why it is so important to teach this first.
I coach high performance and when you talk about kata they think of it like a ceremony and so they think they don’t want to prepare in this way. But in kata we can learn, it can be taught in a different style to engage them so that they find it interesting. I think we must find a way to merge kata with regular training to find a harmony so I try to explain to competitors and use these movements.
In almost all sports people want to use their hands but I think the importance is in the legs and hips, you can also use boxing as an example for this. We must learn to work most efficiently and use body weight to move.
Overall, the seminar was a resounding success, and will undoubtedly continue to grow next year.
Author: Thea Cowen