The Informed Coach




Chapter Topic:


Cardiovascular preparedness



Seventeenth century Japan, a lone but famous samurai is walking on the Tokaido road when suddenly surrounded by three rough looking men with their swords drawn. “So you’re the samurai who is said to defeat his opponent’s with no sword eh?! Well how about with three of us?” Asked the leader. Without a word he merely kicked off his geta (wooden thongs) at two of his assailants and began to run. “Look, the coward runs for his life against three” shouted another as they began to give chase.

The samurai barely outside of a sword stroke kept running as he could hear the pounding footfalls, taunting curses and the swishing of blades. Continuing to stay just out of reach he kept up his run. In the distance a town could be seen so he un-noticeably picked up the pace. Turning his head slightly, all he could hear was heavy breathing, but only from two not three. After some time the samurai reached the town’s edge, stopped, then calmly turned to face his panting assailant’s.  By this time the three thugs had been separated by their physical conditions, only one remained at the edge of town, but he was in no condition to fight now. He was trying to suck up enough air just to keep alive.  Musashi now turned and merely yelled, Kaatz!!!  The last one fell to the floor in fear.

The ultimate victory in Kenjitsu (The art of the sword) is to win without having to draw your sword. A sharp mind can defeat a sharp sword.


1.  What physical attribute did this swordsman defeat his opponents with?

2.  What changes in historical martial arts produced Olympic sport judo.

3.  How does judo competition develop better citizens?

4.  How do we physiologically prepare for competition, Aerobic vs. anaerobic?

5. What are some exercises that can get us into better condition?



Judo's stems from jiujitsu, a martial art intended to incapacitate or ultimately kill the opponent using an array of practiced techniques. Many of these techniques, because of the potential for serious injury were practiced through slow methodical prearranged movements designed to improve the ability to attack or defend. Some of these skills were taught, somewhat learned, and immediately tested in the field with very little practice and with disastrous results. One's chances for survival increased proportionate to the amount of time and type of practice engaged in. In-house contests to determine the effectiveness of the training also helped as long as there were no serious injuries.  Serious injuries not only cut down on the time one could train but also weakened ones fighting unit should they belong to an army. All of this changed with the advent of the modern era, technology, social reforms, and athleticism. The emphasis switched from that of aestheticism and killing in battle to that of athleticism and living more effectively through gamesmanship.

The goal of the judo athlete is to win in judo competition.  Modernly this is accomplished through a well-planned training regiment designed to optimize performance in all of the areas necessary to meet the demands of that particular event. In the past, traditional judo relied heavily on the practice of kata, and less on randori, uchikomi, and nagekomi in order to train the individual. The latter types of practices adding greatly to the aerobic capacity of the individual while the former mainly aided in setting up nerve patterns often referred to as waza. The success of judo as compared to jiujitsu schools of the 1800's came from the fact that Jigoro Kano eliminated many of the more dangerous techniques of jujitsu, which was then practiced through kata.  His contact with international travel, the world of sports and the Olympic movement, gave him insight into methods of practice that would increase performance. His tool of choice was that of free practice or sparring, termed randori. Ran in Japanese means chaos, and dori or tori means to grasp or catch. So, we try to grasp chaos.


United States Judo Federation

National Teachers Institute

Mitchell Palacio, Chairperson

United States Judo Federation

P.O. Box 338

Ontario, OR 97914-0338


Phone: 1-541-889-8753

Fax: 1-541-889-5836