United States Judo Federation

National Coach Certification Program

Strength and Conditioning and Injury Prevention for the Sport of Judo

FIRST, forget everything you have ever heard about lifting weights out of your head.  Clear your mind.  As you do, let me share with you some attributes of a high level martial artist:

  • could take in one arm a 75 lb. barbell from a standing position with the barbell held flush against his chest and slowly stick his arms out locking them, holding the barbell there for several seconds
  • would hold an elevated v-sit position for 30 minutes or longer
  • performed one-hand push-ups using only the thumb and index finger
  • performed 50 reps of one-arm chin-ups
  • perform single bicep curls at a weight of 70 to 80lb. (about to 36 kg) for three sets of eight repetitions at a bodyweight of 160lb. (72kg)
  • striking speed from three feet with his hands down by his side reached five hundredths of a second

THOSE attributes above belonged to a man by the name of Bruce Lee.  Now granted, Mr. Lee’s discipline was not Judo however; his accomplishments are irrefutable; as was his commitment to strength and conditioning.

SO forget what you have seen, the overly inflated egos, the loud grunting, the clanging of metal, and the checking oneself in front of a mirror every 30-seconds.  Strength and conditioning for the sport of Judo must address the following:

  1. Prevent and/or decrease injury occurance
  2. Speed
  3. Balance
  4. Power

HOW do we achieve the aforementioned?  Through a systematic progression based on individual needs.  They are developed using the following:

  • Olympic Lifts and their progressions
  • Dynamic Stabilization
  • Movement Specific Exercises
  • Heart Rate (HR) and Lactic acid Protocols (LA)
  • Functional Movement

IF the exercise or the movement does not contribute specifically to the development of the attributes related to Judo, they are not done, period.  Nothing can be more frustrating to an athlete than to waste his/her time performing useless body sculpting exercises that only contribute to unwanted hypertrophy (muscle mass) which places the Judo player in a competitive weight class where they do not belong.

THE bottom line is to remain injury free and functionally sound.  Aside from bumps and bruises associated with the sport, training away from the mat must compliment the sport or it is worthless.  Time is precious and wise use of off mat training is every bit as important as to the technical training on the mat.  In order to be technically sound, powerful, display balance, speed, and most importantly remain injury free off mat strength and conditioning is essential.

BEING functionally dynamic, is being physically prepared, is being competitively prepared.  Healthier the Judo player, the more they can participate in the process and squeeze every second, every ounce of enjoyment from the sport of Judo.

Hayward Nishioka, 8th Degree Black Belt

Judo, HEART and SOUL

Look for it in your favorite Bookstore


Copyright Mitchell Palacio All Rights Reserved.