Ben Fletcher Judo Team Bath Member Interview

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Ben Fletcher Judo

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: Hi it’s Chris here from Enso Martial Arts. Today I’m at the University of Bath – Team Bath with Ben Fletcher who is one of the Team Bath Athletes. Good afternoon Ben

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: Good afternoon.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: Thank you for doing an interview today for our martial art of the month, Judo. Could we start with you both telling us a little bit about yourself and your background and how and when you started in Judo?

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: I started when I was five in judo. I started in my local club at the time, which was Parma judo club near Reading. I started there because the other members of my family, my sister and my older half brothers had done judo; I naturally just followed into judo after them.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: Ok. Have you studied any other martial arts, if so how has it affected you and would you recommend it?

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: I haven’t actually, I’d like to give it go, I’ve done a couple of sessions of BJJ but nothing particular. When we did it the other guys more notable and stuff they said no leg locks, no wristlocks and that sort of thing so we basically just did judo rules with BJJ guys.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: How does a Team Bath athlete qualify for the Olympics?

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: With some difficulty. I’m one of the lucky ones I can’t complain too much. I get tournaments from British judo, so I get taken away from some tournaments and stuff. I don’t receive any direct funding so day to day I have to find the money myself I do that from working, working for my parents, other little bits of casual work I can do and through other sponsorship which I get through a company called “Bags for Sport” I try to get it through there. They basically try and find local sponsorship for me.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: What’s the worst injury you have received through Judo?

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: Dislocated kneecap.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: Oooh nasty.

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: Yeah it was pretty horrible.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: So was that in a tournament?

Ben Fletcher Judo

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: No, in a training camp. I was in a training camp two weeks before the Commonwealth Games last year, unfortunate timing. Somebody went in for a tackle and my leg got locked and then jarred and unfortunately dislocated my patella. In a way it was quite lucky because it went straight back in, I didn’t have to get somebody to put it back in for me, but then had a bit of a long time trying to get back into competitions.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: What are your biggest achievements and the highs and maybe some of the lows if you have had any?

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: So the highs will go through first. Junior world bronze medal in 2011, that was one of my best results. This year I got my first grand prix medal in Ulan Bator in Mongolia that was definitely a high, I felt like I really stepped up a level in judo, felt like I could compete at this top level. Lows would be getting injured before the Commonwealth Games was really a bad one and also I was selected for the last Olympic Games for 2012 and then because of basically an admin error so they selected me when I didn’t have the criteria to be selected so then three or four weeks down the line after being selected realised and then go “oh actually you can’t go to the Olympic Games”, so that is definitely one of the lows. I’ve had my highs; I’ve had my lows but you get that in sport, the lows make the highs even better.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: What would you say is the biggest positive influence Judo has had upon you?

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: Confidence I’d say. Socially when I was younger I was a very shy kid, that’s one of the reasons why my parents thought they would definitely take me to judo, because I was a very shy kid, I wouldn’t talk to anybody, I would sort of cower behind my mum and stuff. It definitely brought me out socially, just to talk to people, be around older people, different ages of people, it’s made me a better person doing judo.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: And to finish off what are your aims and goals in and outside of training?

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: In training I’m just trying to improve all the time, so that means technically I can be better. Everyday are just generally improving on technique and try and improve and add things to my range of techniques. If I’m running I like to try and improve my time, trying to increase how high I jump or what weight I lift, so gradually, I mean you’ve got to set goals and they have got to be specific to judo. So if I wanted to dead lift 300 kilos that might not be specific to judo. So as long as it’s specific to judo I like to increase what I can lift at the gym, how high I can jump as long as it’s specific to judo, run faster, just be better faster and stronger every time I’m coming back to training.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop

: Thank you very much Ben for doing an interview for Enso Martial Arts, thank you.

Ben Fletcher @ Team Bath Judo

: Thank you very much.

Find out more about Team Bath Judo www.teambath.com/sport/judo