Developing Your Judo #27



#27: The Most Important Skill For Judo Training   

There are many skills involved in becoming a successful judo competitor.  IMHO (that's In My Humble Opinion in social media-speak), the most important physical skill is POWER.

Most throwing ippons are scored when tori has blasted in for fast and hard throws. The combination of speed and strength is a beautiful thing to watch.
Power is the ability of a muscular unit, or units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

Without getting into the technical aspects of physics, the aim of power training is to reduce the amount of time it takes to apply a set amount of force, or strength.  Muscle fibre comes in two varieties - red slow twitch used for low intensity, high duration efforts like jogging, and white fast twitch which carry out high intensity, short duration efforts like sprinting.  Fast twitch fibres store enough energy (ATP) for about 10 seconds of maximal work, enough to do about 5 reps of a heavy exercise.  To make the maximum gains for power, you need to work on increasing the output of your fast twitch fibres during those 10 seconds.    Although different methods of power training - heavy or explosive strength training, ballistics and plyometrics - all have a place in judo training, the most effective for judo would be a combination of heavy and explosive strength exercises.

By: Rainer Fischer (Canadian Olympian)

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