Strength Training for Judo: Part 4 – The Grappler

The Grappler

By Dmitry Tkachenko


I am going to tell you something which I have never told anyone before. That’s right, it’s not a secret or anything like that; but it is very important.

So let me start from the beginning…

In my childhood I was always interested in sports and physical activities. My father was a professional boxer, so I had to do some exercises and gymnastics at home.

But even though I liked sports, I didn’t really like them too much. They were just boring, repetitive things with no real goal. Then one day when I was seven years old my mother took me to see a movie at the cinema (a rare thing back then). There she saw a film called “Gravity”. She loved it! She started talking about it for hours, and after the movie she asked me what I thought of it. And there was something that caught my attention.

“It’s amazing!” I exclaimed.

“There are no rules.”

Strength Training for Judo: Part 4 - The Grappler - from our website

My mother looked at me with surprise, but smiled. “Of course it is,” she replied smilingly.

You’re only seven years old, why shouldn’t you believe in such things?”

“I believe I can touch the sky,” I said with a fearless grin on my face.

In time you’ll learn that all things have their limits”, she said with a frown, “but maybe you’re right, why shouldn’t you believe that you can reach the sky?”

“I am the wind.”

“Well, maybe for now.”

Then we continued to watch the movie. I still remember the plot of this film: a young man is working in a space station, controlling a huge magnet.

His job is to extract precious metals from old satellites that have long since gone out of control. But suddenly something goes wrong, and all communication with him is lost. The only way to restore communication with him is to send another person up there…

This film was my first experience with movies, and I loved it. The scene when the main character attaches a rope to his partner and drags him back into the station was just amazing.

Later that day, I went to my father and asked him to take me to another movie. But he told me that I had to learn something first, so I could watch only after I had learned something useful.

Why do I need to learn?”

, I asked him in despair.

Strength Training for Judo: Part 4 - The Grappler - gym fit workout

“Because you need an education to succeed in life”, he told me with a frown on his face.

I still don’t understand why he said that to me, but I accepted it. I went to school and started learning things.

I learned reading and writing; the history of my country, and many other important things. But still I wanted to do sports, so I decided to go jogging in the park nearby after school. There I saw a group of boys around my age, playing some game. It looked very interesting so I went to them and asked what game they were playing. They told me it was called “King of the Park”, and they asked me if I wanted to join them. Without thinking about it twice I said yes.

We played several games, and I really enjoyed it. Until it was finally time to go home.

When I arrived home my mother saw that I was out of breath.

Where have you been?”

She asked, obviously worried.

“Playing in the park”, I answered, not really thinking about it.

Playing in the park?”

My mother repeated with a frown. “It’s dark outside, you should have been more careful!”

I tried to tell her that I was with other people, but she just left the room. I thought to myself that grown-ups worry too much, and went to my room.

I couldn’t wait to go back to the park the next day, to play with my new friends.

The next morning I woke up early, and headed to the park. I saw my friends playing and walking towards them, but suddenly I heard someone calling me from behind.

Strength Training for Judo: Part 4 - The Grappler - at GYMFITWORKOUT


I turned around and saw a girl going towards me. It was Kate, a classmate of mine.

She was carrying some books under her arm.

Where are you going?

she asked me, out of breath.

“I’m going to play with my friends,” I answered.

Can I come with you?”

She pleaded. “I have nothing else to do… my friends are all away and my mom is not home yet.”

I looked towards the park, and then towards Kate.

“Okay,” I finally said. “But we have to hurry, or I’ll miss the first game.

Sources & references used in this article:

Maximal strength training improves strength performance in grapplers by K Øvretveit, T Tøien – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning …, 2018 –

Food restriction, performance, biochemical, psychological, and endocrine changes in judo athletes by F Degoutte, P Jouanel, RJ Bègue, M Colombier… – International journal of …, 2006 –

Strength and conditioning for Brazilian jiu-jitsu by NB Jones, E Ledford – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2012 –

The Grumpy Grappler by BJJ LIFE, BBY JIU-JITSU –

Sport-specific characteristics of trunk muscles in collegiate wrestlers and judokas by K Iwai, T Okada, K Nakazato… – … Journal of Strength …, 2008 –

Weight training for the martial artist by G Thompson – 2001 –

Posts Tagged ‘sus’ by A Graceffo –