Judo to keep fit
Judo is one of the most complete physical sports.It requires strength, explosive power, endurance, and flexibility. It sharpens co-ordination, balance and reflexes improving stamina, general health and overall fitness. Judo is both an aerobic and an anaerobic sport. As well as burning off the extra calories it improves your cardiovascular system and promotes muscle tone and definition. Judo is an inexpensive sport; the only equipment required is a judo suit.
The Judo suit allows free movement and has the strength to resist damage from grappling. Women should also wear a white T-shirt under their Judo suit. The grappling aspect of Judo means that Judo is an energetic sport. The grasping, lifting, pinning, pushing and pulling of your opponent takes a lot of energy and tends to develop your upper body (arms and shoulders).
The most important type of training is called randori; this is the closest equivalent to sparring in judo. In randori, the students grab each other's judogi and move freely around the mat trying to throw their opponent without being thrown themselves. If, they are thrown, they breakfall, and get up and continue practising. Practising with many partners helps technique because each opponent is different, needing an adjustment in style, timing, speed and technique. This makes randori exciting, stimulating, frustrating, and exhilarating.
A typical session at our club
Judo students also learn the fundamental newaza randori, which is the equivalent of sparring on the ground. The two opponents grapple, attempting to pin, choke, or arm lock each other. Like the randori described above, students have a chance to practise their techniques of offense and defence in a natural, safe environment against different partners.
There are said to be many similarities between Judo and rugby, with rugby players often finding that Judo helps improve their rugby. World stars such as the New Zealand All Blacks have seen the benefits of Judo techniques.
Leicester Tigers Rugby senior set-up have identified the benefit that Judo can give to top professionals who are constantly striving to improve their contact techniques, balance and weight transfer. So much so, that the first team and academy now have their very own Judo coach.
There are no kicks or punches in Judo and so there are no jolting impacts to the head. As an Olympic sport, safety is paramount in Judo. The first things you are taught are to break your fall (from a throw to the ground) and how to submit to chokes, strangles and arm locks.
The sport distracts you from the energy and effort that you are expending as you need to concentrate on outwitting your opponent and ensuring that you are scoring higher than he. As with many combat sports and martial arts, there is a high level of friendship and camaraderie in Judo. After having a tough "pull around" with an opponent it is hard to have anything other than respect for them.