No Sunday training, and Hampshire Closed entries

February 19, 2015

Hi folks,

There will be no Sunday session at the university this week – we will be away at the University Championships in Sheffield.

To save you missing out, why not head down and visit the folk at the Solent Uni club instead:

Finally, if you intend to enter the Hampshire Closed and have not yet got your entries in, make sure you get it sorted ASAP. Entries close on Monday 23 Feb. Details here:


Warwick University Student Tournament 2015

January 24, 2015

Despite having been aware of it for a couple of years, this was the first time we had managed to attend Warwick University’s student judo tournament. With everyone done with exams and BUCS looming in just a month’s time it was well timed to get a feel of what we need to work on and to start the final block of training with a bang.

So a small but keen group of people met on University Road at stupid o’clock on Saturday morning, climbed into a clean car and hit the road. Just over 2 hours later, a filthy car pulled into the car park at Warwick University, defeating the pessimistic forecast time from the sat nav and the need to take a long diversion after some fool closed the A34 near Oxford by parking a lorry in the ditch.

James - first up for SouthamptonAfter a chilled out start to the day, with everyone making an appropriate weight, the ladies kicked events off with some great contests and then James was the first Southampton player in action, fighting in the u90 novice kyu grade category. Despite a few nerves at his first competition in a few years, and losing the first contest to the eventual gold medallist, he kept his composure and pulled off two nice wins with throws and ground work in the following contests to take the silver medal in the category.

After a break while the intermediate team category pools were fought, our team was in action – the 3 Southampton players augmented by the addition of Ellis in the heavyweight slot. Uncertain about the level of the teams in our pool, we got off to a great start with a 3-2 win against Strathclyde – Ben scoring ippon with soto maki-komi to take his first 10 points towards his 1st Dan and Marc flattening his opponent with the first of several big hip throws.

Next up was the Coventry team who along with Nottingham were starting to look like the strongest teams in the pool. A win and a bye put Coventry into the lead but a bye for Callum and another solid performance from Marc evened things up at 2-2.

Marc - Harai goshi for variety

It was all up to Ellis and he put in a spirited performance but was not able to break through the Coventry player’s defence and conceded the contest by 2 waza-ari scores.

The machinations in the pool meant that a win against Nottingham would most likely put us through to the finals. Unfortunately their team was just as strong as Coventry and they took a 3-0 lead with 2 strong throws and a bye. Marc completed a great day with another cracking hip throw, switching to harai goshi for variety and we were done for the day.

We had expected a tough day having arrived with a 3 man team, so all things considered it was a good day out with some nice confidence boosting wins ahead of BUCS. Unfortunately the pattern of byes meant Callum only got a single contest but everyone else was showing improvements since the London University tournament. Now we have 3 weeks hard work to get everyone into the best possible form for BUCS
Silver in u90 kyu grade for James

You can see all the photos here :

London University Open 2014

November 30, 2014

After a year out, we were back at the London University Open on Sunday Nov 23. This year had Marc, Szymon, Will, Ben and Callum taking part. As ever the level of the competition was high and was great experience for everyone in advance of BUCS next term.

Ben and Will got things started in the u60 and u66 categories respectively. Unfortunately despite some spirited fighting Ben was not able to proceed from the pool stage. Will did not have much more luck in his contests despite some strong tomoe-nage attacks.

Marc was in action next at U73, having had his preparation for the competition hampered by an injured hand. A slightly shakey start in his first contest saw him in the repechage stage earlier than planned but he stepped it up in the following contests to show good fitness and tactical awareness. The effort took its toll however and in the fight for a place in the bronze medal match he lost out to a much fresher player to finally finish in 7th place.

Finally Callum and Szymon were up at U81. For Callum it was a new challenge as the grade banding meant he was one of the lowest graded players in the category. There was not a lot of sign of that in his first contest as he showed a great level of fitness to dominate the contest and proceed to the second round. Szymon also fought well to take his place in the second round.


Things got a lot harder in the second round with both facing strong players from Oxford University and being relegated to the repechage. Szymon continued his habit of meeting favourites early by meeting the eventual gold medallist while Callum’s swiss opponent eventually ended up with bronze.

Callum was unable to progress after facing a much more experienced opponent but Szymon got right back in the mix to make his way to fight for a place in the bronze medal contest. After a tough contest he was leading with a few seconds to go but a momentary loss of focus saw him caught for ippon and a final position of 7th.


A long and tough day but a lot of valuable experience for everyone to build on for the competitions coming up in the new year.


Another academic year gets underway

September 22, 2014

Start of another academic year and the club is waking up from a nice relaxing summer to welcome new and old faces onto the mat.

If you are new to Southampton, come on down to the Bunfight on Wednesday 24 September to meet some of the current club members and find out what we are all about. We are also running taster sessions on Sunday 28 September at 4pm or you can just come on down to our first beginners session on October 2 at 8pm and have a go.

We let everyone come along and try a couple of sessions for free so that you can make an informed decision about whether Judo might be the sport for you. You can find lots more information about the club on our website at

Hope to see you soon!


BUCS photos

March 8, 2014

Rather slow turnaround this year, but here are my favourites from the photos taken at BUCS.


BUCS Wrap Up

February 24, 2014

Another good weekend at BUCS. A single bronze medal perhaps doesn’t really feel like a fair reward for the efforts put in over the weekend because everyone put in some great performances but it does underline how the quality of judo at the event is continuing to rise.

The good news is that most of this years players will be with us again next year and those who were making their BUCS debut know what to expect next year and will have a better idea of the level they need to aim for to be able to improve next year.

Well done to everyone that attended for their efforts in their own contests and for supporting your team mates. Apologies for the contests I missed seeing – it seemed they managed to schedule even more of our players in parallel this year than ever!

See you all on the mat soon!

BUCS 2014 – Day 2

February 24, 2014

Day 2 at BUCS and aching bodies get dragged back to the venue for the team competition. With a stronger team than we have been able to field in recent years we were hopeful that we could improve on recent results but still very aware of how strong the competition has become.

The draw was held first thing in the morning and we were rewarded with a place in the only 4 team pool, facing Edinburgh, Imperial and Warwick. None of the teams were outright favourites but all very strong – getting out of the pool was suddenly looking like a bigger challenge than anticipated.

Edinburgh were on the mat first against Imperial and it was a bit of a surprise to see Edinburgh lose 5-0 and they were suddenly very interested in the outcome of the other matches in the pool!

Southampton vs Warwick

Our first match was against Warwick and with lightweights fighting first, Will was our first man. In a very close fought match, he just failed to convert opportunities for an armlock and strangle and was robbed of a hold by a hasty refereeing decision but was holding a slim lead in penalties. Then as we headed into the end of the contest he conceded a yuko and was behind. With a great display of determination he kept fighting and scored his own yuko with tomoe nage with only seconds left on the clock.

Marc was the next man out with a cagey contest against a strong 1st dan. Eventually he was able to pin his opponent for ippon with 20 seconds remaining.

With a 2 win lead, Szymon was facing Warwick’s strongest player, Thomas Grandjean. He put in a very solid performance, taking a lead by penalties earlier on but struggling to convert his many attacks into a score. At just over 3 minutes a tomoe nage attempt was countered with a strong pin for ippon.

4th man in our team was Callum, feeling good after a strong performance on Saturday but well aware that he would be facing much stronger opposition in the team event. That proved to be the case here, with his much stronger opponent throwing for ippon in 14s the fastest contest so far.

That left the result 2-2 as we headed into the final contest with Alex fighting up a weight in the over 90 category. With instructions to keep the pace fast to play to his size advantage he did exactly that and was able to pull off a lovely ippon throw to give us victory in the match.

Warwick were then straight back on the mat against Imperial who showed they were clearly on a mission also beating Warwick 3-2.

Southampton vs Edinburgh

Next up was the match we expected to be hardest with Edinburgh having brought Roy Shepherd, silver medallist from the previous day back into the team to replace a player injured in their previous match.

Will was clearly not in a losing mood today and this time he opened our account with ippon from a counter in just 20 seconds.

Unfortunately the strength in depth of the Edinburgh team meant that we were unable to make any further inroads ending up 4-1 down.

Southampton vs Imperial

With Edinburgh having defeated Warwick they were now on 2 wins and very keen to see what would happen to the overall result after our match with Imperial who also had 2 wins.

Once again Will fought a blinding match and reversed his opponent’s attack with a powerful ura-nage style counter after 1m20s. After a little referee debate and video review he was awarded the contest and we were off to another strong start.

Imperial were also determined however and despite strong attacks Marc was not able to get close enough to their second man who eventually won with 2 waza-ari throws.

Szymon then threw everything at his opponent and clearly wearing him down eventually secured a strong reverse juji gatame armlock to win by ippon and put us into a 2-1 lead.

Callum then faced his toughest contest so far against the u90 individual silver medallist. Unfortunately it wasn’t a huge surprise when Imperial evened the score to 2-2.

That left us with everything to play for in the final contest. Alex was sent out with the same game plan but faced with an o100 kg player while he had weighed in at 86kg it was a big ask and this time despite some strong attacks he was not able to dictate the fast pace that might have helped him to win and was eventually overpowered and thrown for ippon.

That left us 3rd in the pool with Edinburgh and Imperial going through to the knockout.

In a reversal of fortunes from the pool, Edinburgh were able to secure a bronze medal while an unfortunate draw put Imperial into matches against first Bath and then Anglia Ruskin.

Final team result:

  1. Heriot Watt
  2. Bath
  3. Anglia Ruskin, Edinburgh

Full team results can be found here :

BUCS 2014 – Day 1

February 24, 2014

It was a typically hectic start to the BUCS weekend with 7 players in action across various categories.

U81 Dan Grades

First action of the day was with Marc and Szymon in the always large u81 dan grade group. Both had similar experiences in their pools, winning one contest but losing to a stronger opponent but it was enough to take them to the knockout stage. Rather cruel luck with the knockout draw meant that each drew the player the other had lost to in the pools. Both stepped up to the challenge,  Szymon taking an early yuko lead in his contest but unfortunately getting caught for waza ari and a hold down with around a minute to go. Marc had the tougher draw against Roy Shepherd from Edinburgh and though he fought well was caught for a big ippon hip throw to leave him waiting to see if he might come back into the repechage.

U90 and U66 Dan Grades

Meanwhile various other categories had been kicking off. Will had drawn a tough pool in u66 kg dan grades, with 2 experienced players. Despite some strong attacks and determined fighting he wasn’t able to get the win he needed to go on to the knockout stage. Alex was making his BUCS debut at u90 kg and also drew a very tough pool and was not able to make his way to the knockout.

Kyu Grades

In the kyu grade categories, Dan was up first in u73 and though carrying a knee injury from his last training session he recovered from the loss of his first contest (to the eventual gold medallist) to win his second contest and move to the knockout.

Helen was seeded in u57 kyu following her silver medal last year and despite limited training opportunities after her time in Spain, she fought in her usual determined way to win the pool and make her way into the knockout.

Final player to get on the mat was Callum fighting at u81 kyu in his first BUCS. With a pool of 4 he had 3 contests to take care of in order to secure a place in the knockout. With some very assured fighting he won all 3 contests by ippon with a fine variety of technique (strangle, o uchi gari and tate shiho gatame).

Moving into the knockout phase, Helen decided to stop using the full contest duration and won the first round in just 2 minutes with a hold down. Unfortunately she came up against tougher opposition in the semi final and despite fighting to the bitter end she lost to a yuko hold down. This put her into the bronze medal match but despite another persistent full length contest she was unable to get the better of her opponent who held a waza ari lead to the end leaving Helen in 5th.

Dan was feeling the effects of his knee injury and the challenge fighting at u73 near the bottom end of the weight range, and he was held down for ippon in the first round with his opponent not able to bring him back into the repechage.


Meanwhile, Marc’s last opponent had moved into the final bringing him back into the repechage. A cagey tactical first contest saw Marc edge out his opponent on penalties. The next contest was for a place in the repechage final to fight for bronze; it was another cagey contest but unfortunately ended in a loss to a strong ippon throw. But a 7th place finish is a respectable result in one of the toughest categories of the event.

That left just Callum in action with another large knockout to work through. Making short work of the first round with another ippon throw, in the second round against a Bath player Callum made the mistake of underestimating his opponent and in a momentary loss of focus was thrown for ippon. Fortunately the Bath player then carried on through to the final giving Callum the chance to work through the repechage and fight for Bronze.

Winning the first round with another hold there was just one fight left to secure the bronze medal. A final focussed performance was rewarded with a final ippon throw and a well deserved bronze medal. Having fought 7 contests, 6 had been won by ippon with just one loss.

In a nice piece of symmetry, Ilya from Southampton Solent took the other bronze in the same category.

A very impressive and determined performance from everyone; with lots of lessons learned to apply next year.

Complete breakdown of results is here :

Sun 23 Feb – No Judo

February 21, 2014

No session this sunday as we are away at BUCS. Normal service again from Tuesday!

Session details

November 28, 2013

Hi folks,

A quick round up of what is happening over the next few sessions:

– This Thursday (tonight!) Owen will be recapping the techniques that people need to demonstrate to grade this term

– On Sunday 1st there is no session as I am on holiday but the next round of the Hampshire Team championships is on so you could either take part or head down to watch. Chat to Josh for details, see the post below

– Thursday 5th will be the main day for gradings, primarily for beginners grading to 6 Kyu. Make sure you have reviewed the syllabus and asked about anything you are not sure about.

– Sunday 8th, I am back and there will be a session at the normal time

Would be lovely to see more people at the remaining Tuesday sessions of the year – the BUCS championship is going to be on us very quickly in the new year!

See you all when I get back from holiday!