How to Get Better at Judo: The Complete Guide


How to Get Better at Judo: The Complete Guide

If you are looking for getting better at Judo, don’t miss our article, because in it you will learn everything you need to know to get your Judo to the next level.

To get better at Judo you need a lot of practice, good training gym, learning Judo principles, choose a good Gi, choose a favorite technique, and show respect.

Judo is a Japanese martial art and Olympic sport originated as a set of selected techniques from jiu-jitsu.

Competitive judo is mostly based on the techniques of throwing (Nage-waza), which are divided into hand techniques (Te-waza), throwing over the hips (Koshi-waza), and foot techniques (ashi-waza). It also consists of techniques on the ground floor (katame-waza) which are divided into postures (Osaekomi-waza), choking (Shime-waza), and locks on the hands (Kansetsu-waza). The ground floor is rather neglected in competitive judo because, due to attractiveness, the fights end very quickly if one of the competitors does not make significant progress.

Let us show you below what is needed to get better at Judo.

1. A Lot of Practice

A Lot of Practice

Judo, like any sport, requires a lot of practice to get better at. If you practice two times a week, you will see some progress, if you practice three times a week you will see much faster progress.

More than that, using also cross-training and additional focus on competitive skills and techniques under a sensei who has been a winner in his career, you can become a serious competitor.

With all these trainings, you must not forget to rest your body and mind and reflect on what works for you, and what you would like to work more on. Recovery is an extremely important part of every training, and it is no different for Judo. If you plan to get better at Judo it is not enough to train and practice all day, you need your time for recovery and rest as well.

You don’t need to win in competitions to get better at Judo, just practice kata and techniques as well as randori. It’s not possible to gain the muscle memory you need without practice, repetition, and focus on the small corrections every technique requires.

2. Good Training Gym

You need to find a good training gym so you can become better at Judo. Good training gym doesn’t mean it has to be huge, have a lot of students, all sorts of equipment and such meaningless things, but good people in which hands you are getting.

You need to find Judo gyms with great sensei (trainer), and judokas (practitioners) that are obviously good at Judo. That means that in that gym sensei’s know what they are doing if their judokas are, because of that, good at Judo, and that is a place you would want to be.

3. Learning Judo Principles

Two key principles of judo are maximum efficiency with minimal effort (Seiryoku-Zenyo) and mutual benefit (Jita-Kyoei), which is used in combination with safety, strategy, and situational risk awareness.

This means using other people’s movements to solve their attacks, and in that way preserve your energy. Like everything else, it needs a lot of practice to get there, to be ready for most attacks, and to know how to use it in your own advantage.

The strategy is another important factor to consider. You have to assess the potential strengths of your opponent, be it his size, or place of a fight, crowd, hot weather, and such.

Safety means to assess the situation in which you are in or people around you, and see if it posses a risk for you or others. If you find that it does, you should try and say something, or do something to prevent that risk. This could be all sorts of things, so it is hard to tell upfront, but safety assessment comes from you, so through training, you should know how to deal with these kinds of situations.

Another important factor is mutual benefit, which is here to develop trust and to provide mutual assistance to bring prosperity for the self and others. This is accomplished through the relationship between the partners involved in the Judo training, where the person that’s practicing a technique (tori) needs a presence of a partner (uke) to be able to practice and improve his or her technique. Taking turns is important so that judokas can improve their judo throws and break their falls (ukemi).

3. Choose a Good Gi

Choose a Good Gi

Just as you would choose a good suit for your job, you need a good Gi for your Judo practices or competitions.

You should always invest in your Gi if you are thinking of training Judo and get better at it. We suggest you Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultra Light, which is very lightweight while also durable and looks amazing.

While practicing Judo you should focus on it and not on some bad Gi that will distract you because of its bad stitching or any other unexpected surprises.

4. Choose a Favorite Technique

Don’t try to learn all the techniques at once. You will fail, and in the end, you won’t learn anything. It is better to choose the one you love and become good at it, then try multiple and fail at every.

So how do you choose your favorite Judo technique? Well, you don’t. If you have chosen the right Judo gym, your sensei should do it for you. You could make a mistake choosing the one that impresses you or others, but that may not be the right one for you. If your sensei is good, and he sees what you would be good for, then the technique he chooses for you should be the right one.

Even if he makes a mistake, in the beginning, he will see his mistake, and change your technique – it is hard to believe he could be wrong two times in a row.

After that, it’s up to you. You have to practice much and hone your favorite technique to perfection in order to get better at Judo.

5. Show Respect

Even thou you might think this is not so important, you should show respect and demonstrate discipline, because these are as well the big parts of Judo.

Bow properly (heels together, face forward, no slouching nods). When you are entering and leaving the mat you should bow in and out of class with your judogi neat and squared and your obi tied correctly.

When not actively practicing, sit in seiza or cross-legged and watch and learn. Genchi genbutsu means Go Look Go See.

Judo is as much a philosophy as a martial art. It can influence all aspects of life and make you a more fulfilled and confident person.

How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Judo

There are many factors that affect how fast you will get good at Judo, but we could say somewhere between 3 and 5+ years, depending on person to person, and the factors we mentioned above.

You shouldn’t compare yourself with others, especially not other judokas that train longer than you, even the ones that train the same, because we are not all the same.

But to be clear, you will need a lifetime to reach your best, whatever it is. On the other hand with every new training, you are getting better and better.

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