The most common question I get asked when it comes to judo conditioning is “how much does it cost?”
And the answer is…it depends! But here’s what you need to know:
How Much Does Judo Conditioning Cost?
If you’re just starting out with judo, then the price tag will probably be pretty low. You’ll have access to some cheap classes at your local gym or even online. If you want to take things up a notch, then you might want to invest in a good quality class. And if you’re already proficient in judo, then the cost of judo conditioning isn’t going to make too much difference.
But there are other ways to go about your judo conditioning program than buying expensive classes. For example, you could do some self-directed training where you train yourself on specific techniques over time and see how they feel before investing money into them. Or you could join a judo club and learn from the best instructors.
What Is Judo Conditioning All About?
Judo conditioning is all about improving your physical fitness so that you can perform better in competition. That means getting stronger, building endurance, developing flexibility, increasing balance and coordination, and working on general body awareness. These are all essential skills for any athlete to have whether they’re competing in sports like football or basketball or martial arts like karate or judo. The difference between these sports and judo is the emphasis on the ground fighting aspect rather than striking.
Judo conditioning means training your body to perform at a high level athletically. It’s not necessarily about learning new moves so much as it is about perfecting the ones you already know and being physically prepared to use them in competition. It’s also about developing smart habits in and out of training that will reduce the risk of injury during competition.
What Does A Good Judo Workout Program Look Like?
First of all, let’s go over some basic concepts of periodization. This is the practice of alternating different types of workouts over a period of time in a way that boosts performance while reducing the chance of injury.
Most athletic programs stick to a format of repeating a cycle of:
Aerobic conditioning, which develops and maintains stamina
Anaerobic conditioning, which improves explosive strength and power
Strength training, to increase the strength and size of your muscles
Flexibility and relaxation routines, to ward off cramps, fatigue, and other unwanted soreness that can keep you from training or competing.
This is just a general guideline. There’s no reason you can’t substitute one thing for another. For example, if you happen to be more of an aerobic athlete, you may not need to strength train as much. If you’re already very strong, but lack endurance, you can do more anaerobic conditioning and less aerobic.
Figure out what works for you and your goals, then adjust your program accordingly.
A good judo conditioning program will have multiple elements of the above. It should include aerobic conditioning as well as anaerobic (which also counts as part of the aerobic conditioning, since it requires the use of oxygenated blood). It should also have a strength training element and probably a flexibility element as well. Since judo is a grappling art, you also need to work on your balance and body awareness, which also play a role in who gets pinned where.
Here are some sample workouts you can use as a guide for creating your own personalized judo conditioning program. You may not be able to do all of them every day, so don’t worry about it. Simply pick and choose which ones you feel like doing and get a good, solid workout in for that day. Over time, as your body becomes stronger and more accustomed to the exercises, you can increase the intensity by adding repetitions or duration or whatever else your instructor suggests.
Workout #1 Aerobic
Judo is primarily an aerobic activity, so almost all of your conditioning should focus around this concept. Here’s some simple stuff you can do to get your blood pumping!
Warm up for 3-5 minutes, then do 30 seconds of jumping jacks, followed by 30 seconds of cross-overs (where you hop over the opposite foot as you punch, for example if you are standing with your right foot forward and punch with your left fist, you would jump with your right foot and bring your left foot across your body to meet it), then repeat this sequence 3-5 times.
For our next exercise, we’re going to practice some dynamic stretches. This means that we will be moving through the stretch position, as opposed to holding it. It is much better to do this because it improves your flexibility more effectively than holding a static stretch would. In fact, a lot of modern day coaches and athletes believe that static stretching before activity decreases an athlete’s performance!
I’ll discuss when it’s appropriate to use static stretches in your routine later. For now, let’s do some dynamic stretches (also known as “active stretching”):
Standing upright, raise your arm up over your head as far as you can. Now reach for the floor with your other arm. Keep alternating which arm is reaching until you can touch the floor. This one will work on your rotator cuff and shoulder flexibility in general.
Kneel on the ground and put your forehead to the ground. Reach back and try to touch your ankles. Slowly pull back up and then back down until you can eventually touch your ankles easily. This will stretch your hamstrings and lower back.
While standing, lift one leg up behind you as far as it will go. Hold for a second, then switch legs. This will stretch your quads and hip flexors.
While sitting down, put one leg out in front of you with your foot on the floor. Keeping your knee straight, try to pull your foot up towards your rear end. This will stretch your inner thigh and groin.
While sitting down, cross one leg over the other and try to touch your foot with your opposite hand. Hold for a second or two, then switch legs. This will stretch your hip flexors and groin.
Workout #2 Strength Training
For this workout, I’m going to give you a much more in depth list of things you can do to increase your strength. Remember, pick a couple of these exercises and do three sets of 10 repetitions. Take a one minute break between each set and a three minute break before moving on to a new group of exercises.
Do these until you feel tired, then take a break. When you come back, do them again. By the third time, you’ll probably be able to do more than when you first started. That’s the way it works with this exercise.
Pushups are a classic for a reason.
To make them more difficult, put your feet up on a chair. This takes balance into consideration and makes it harder to complete the repetition. To make them even more difficult, try doing one arm pushups. Put your hands together but have your thumbs on the ground and your fingers up.
Lower yourself down until your chest nearly touches your fingers, then push back up. Do this with each hand.
Sit on the edge of a chair with your hands on either side of you gripping the edge of the chair. Lift yourself up until your arms are straight, then sit back down. This exercise primarily works your triceps and shoulders.
Lie down on the floor and put your hands at your side. Put your feet up on a chair, or have a partner sit on your feet (making sure not to kick them in the process). Slowly curl up while keeping your back arched. Only go up to a point where you feel a little strain, not all the way.
Lower yourself down and repeat. This primarily works your abdominal muscles.
Holding a couple of pounds in each hand, extend your arms out in front of you and take a large step forward with one leg; your other leg should be straightened back and your foot flat on the ground. Bend your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground, then push back up. Switch legs and repeat. This primarily works your thighs and your glutes.
This one is simple: just keep moving. Choose a distance, say, a mile or two miles, and walk it over and over again. Not quite P90X, but still very effective.
This one involves a partner. Trust me, you’ll get so annoyed with them that you’ll want to hit them after awhile. Not quite fighting, but just go all out on each other.
This one is important. It doesn’t just help your muscles, it can help prevent injury and promote healing as well. After every set of exercises, whether you feel like it or not, take a few minutes to stretch your muscles. Here’s a list of some good ones.
After one month
Congratulations, you’ve survived a month of this regime! If you’re like most people, you’ve found that this exercise kicks your body hard and you feel the effects for the next couple of days. That’s normal, just keep at it and it’ll get easier as your body gets used to it. At this point you may start to feel like you want to move on to something else, but don’t.
Continue to do this exercise for at least three months, three times a week. That will get you in the best shape of your life. If you continue past that, you’ll be getting the benefits for the rest of your life!
Remember this regime isn’t just for getting fit. It was also designed to assist you in battle. After four weeks of this, go back and re-read the abilities section. You’ll find that even if you’re still not at the level of an Elven Soldier, you’re a lot closer than you were and certainly not someone to be trifled with.
Also, go get yourself a sword. They’re quicker, easier to aim, and do more damage than those little knives you’ve been using.
Congratulations! You’re well on your way to becoming a master assassin. Keep this up and you’ll not only reach your goal, you’ll surpass it and become one of the most feared people on the planet.
Part III: The Chosen One
In game time, it’s been two years since your master first took you to the training area. You’ve learned so much about stealth, combat, and general survival that you feel like you’re a completely different person than you were back then. You’ve learned more than just physical skills as well. Your master has taught you many things about being an assassin, but as most of those lessons involved him yelling at you, you’ve mostly forgot them.
Still, you’ve learned a lot over these past couple of years; and in two days, you’ll get to put it all to use.
It started simply enough. Your master came back one night, grabbed you, and took you to the training area. He said he had an important job for you. Apparently, there was a crucial mission that only you could handle due to your skills.
While you felt flattered by this, your master was extremely agitated and kept going on about how weak the assassination squad was and saying how he should’ve picked the job himself. You got the impression he was just frustrated about a specific part of the plan and taking it out on you.
Still, he was the one who trained you. You were ready to prove yourself and show him that he chose wisely. He explained that a very important man was going to be at a dinner in two days. The dinner was open to the public, but the man wasn’t announcing anything special.
Your master said it was just a normal dinner, but since this man was very hated, there would be an opportunity to kill him while everyone was distracted by his speech. The problem is, the man was very well protected and would most likely be wearing some sort of body armor. He also had a habit of standing in the open window of his office during the dinner to wave at people and make nice speeches. Your job was to kill him during that time, but your master didn’t think you could do it alone. He said you were to go find another assassin to help you with this task. He didn’t give you a lot of time to do this, so it was going to be difficult.
He asked if you had any questions, but all you could think about was that you had to find someone to work with as soon as possible.
“No sir, I understand.” You say.
“Good. Now be careful, the man you’re trying to kill has a lot of allies, and they’ll be on the lookout for assassins.”
Your master leaves you to your task and you head out of the training area. You’ve already met most of the assassins in the guild, but you’re not sure who to choose. The only one you can think of that will definitely help is your friend (or at this point maybe a little more) Brenda. The problem is, you’re not sure where she is.
You ask Gwen, who says she’s in the lounge.
“Thanks.” You say and head to where the lounge is.
When you enter, you find it oddly empty. This makes sense as most of the assassins are out trying to earn coin or waiting for an assignment. Still, you’d think someone would still be around. You call out and get no response.
This is very odd, but as you search further in you hear laughter coming from one of the back rooms.
You follow the voices and knock on the door. More laughter is heard from inside before it opens. You’re facing three men and one of them is Kralmer. The other two men are humans, but dressed in clothing you’ve never seen before, almost like they’re from another land.
One of them is fairly tall, with long blond hair and a thick beard. The other one is shorter, but much more muscular. He has dark black hair and a big bushy mustache.
Kralmer? Is that you?”
“Oh hello (Y/N). Didn’t expect to find you here.” Kralmer says, obviously distracted by the two humans.
What are you doing?”
“Eh…just enjoying a fine bottle of wine these gentlemen gave me.”
You ask, sensing something wrong is going on here.
“She went out to do some work…” Kralmer starts to say, but is cut off by the tall blond man.
“Well, it looks like WE got some work to do!” The man says and laughs along with his dark haired friend.
What’s that supposed to mean?”
You ask, getting a little annoyed.
You a friend of Kralmer’s?”
The tall blond man asks.
You his girl?”
The dark haired man in the back asks.
Sources & references used in this article:
Physical fitness predicts technical-tactical and time-motion profile in simulated Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu matches by VS Coswig, P Gentil, JCA Bueno, B Follmer… – PeerJ, 2018 – peerj.com
Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, and mixed martial arts injuries presenting to United States emergency departments, 2008–2015 by C Stephenson, ME Rossheim – The Journal of Primary Prevention, 2018 – Springer
Assessment of injuries during Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition by JF Scoggin III, G Brusovanik, BH Izuka… – Orthopaedic journal …, 2014 – journals.sagepub.com