British Judo Grading, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Judo at home, Judo Clubs, Judo training at home, Judoka, Online, Opinions, Training at home, Uncategorized, YouTube

Will Tokyo Olympics be Cancelled?

Thursday 7th May 2020 I ‘launched’ Judo Chat – which is a live YouTube show (essentially me just chatting about Judo topics). In the future I will also look to have guests and be taking your questions to the live show. 

Now I will be honest, you can tell it was my first attempt and I was not clear and to the point as I had visioned, but there is still some useful stuff in there. I talked about 

  • How Covid-19 was affecting clubs and coaches
  • What I advise practicing at home for Judoka
  • Online Judo gradings (very briefly)
  • If Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in 2021

Now as I mentioned it was my first attempt and I think these will definitely get better over time (just like these emails ;-)) so please check it out and let me know if you have any topics you would like me to cover in the show. 

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Classes, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Judo at home, Judo Clubs, Judo training at home, Judoka, Online, Physical Training, Training at home, Tutorials, YouTube

The number 1 resource for Judo training at home.

Are you a coach wanting your Judoka to train during Isolation? Or maybe you are a Judoka and want ideas for your training sessions? 

There is a solution! 

I work with a lot of Judoka all of who I want to help with training over this period of isolation – The keyword is help in this instance. This is unchartered territory for all of us and on our young developing athletes, it will be tough both physically and more importantly mentally. 

I could sit down and write 100’s of programs for each individual, but there are a few problems with this such as timescale, compliance, each individuals home schedule, equipment available, mental wellbeing, being at different training levels and pure workload (for everyone). 

So I decided to create an online training platform, due to time constraints this is content is very raw at the moment. That said it still has; 

  • Aerobic Training Sessions
  • Bodyweight sessions 
    • Upper
    • Lower
    • Core
  • Agility sessions
  • Judo Drills
  • Training resources

Over the coming days and weeks I will be looking at adding to the current session content and; 

  • Resistant bands
  • Battle Ropes
  • Kettle Bells
  • Judo resistant bands

By putting sessions online and allowing my players the autonomy of selecting their sessions this should create a better compliance or buy into the sessions. Why? Simple, they can pick sessions that; 

  • match their ability.
  • work with their time constraints.
  • suitable for the space that they have.
  • they have similar equipment.
  • reflects how they are feeling. 

This is one place my players can go pick what session they would like to do and get it done. They can then record it, adding it to their training diary. At the end of this isolation period, they can look back and see how much they have done, feel fitter, stronger and know they have used their valuable time to good effect. 

This is not just a problem for me but a problem for everyone, coaches and players alike. 

So I have made this an open platform for all clubs and players, completely free. People can comment on training sessions add and some suggestions. 

I am also asking S&C coaches, nutritionist, judo coaches for content that will help you. I will add as much content as I can to this course for you to use at your convenience.

I hope this helps. All the best with your training and remember this is a positive space. Please respect all users.

All the best Vince

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Judo Clubs, Judoka, Online, Physical Training, Squat, Tutorials, YouTube

The #1 exercise you can do at home to improve your throwing.

Do you feel like you do not always execute your throws with enough power? Do you collapse halfway through your throw? Do you pick up niggles and injuries often and not sure why? 

If so I feel your pain and annoyance. But do not despair, we can improve even away from the Dojo!  

Judo is a dynamic sport which requires many different physical skills, and this period of isolation makes practising Judo tough! But there are still ways to make improvements even at home with little to no equipment. 

  • Create more power for your throws.
  • Improve your body mechanics. 
  • Reduce your chances of being injured. 

Currently, there are so many things we ‘could’ be doing but what is the one exercise that could make a big difference? 

Squats, above everything else. I think squats are so overlooked throughout Novice to Intermediate Judo – Children and adults alike.  

The squat, the back squat more specifically, is one of the most common exercises for developing lower limb strength, and is a prerequisite for development into more complex lifting techniques – for example, clean and jerk and snatch. Although your average Judoka is unlikely to progress onto these more complex lifts they are very relevant to Judo, replicating the generation of power required to perform throwing techniques and commonly form an integral part of an elite Judo athletes weight training program. 

As a training tool, a good squat can be very versatile, developing power/strength/endurance, improving coordination and provide a gateway to more complicated training methods, all of which will improve your Judo. 

Purely on the benefits listed above, it is worth considering adding a regular squat routine into your training.

A technically good Back Squat is required in the Functional Movement Screening (FMS). Although no studies are specific to Judo, a low score (poor score) in FMS has been linked with increased incidence of injuries in professional American football players (contact sport with high impact scenarios similar to Judo) firefighters and military recruits. This suggests a technically good back squat could be a marker for reduced injury risk for the athlete.

Functional Movement Screening (FMS) – Is an injury screening tool that was developed to assess global patterns of movement. Consisting of seven functional movement assessments: deep squats (DS), hurdle step, rotary stability, stability push up, active straight leg raise, in-line lunge, and shoulder mobility. 

Functional Movement Screening

FMS is not a tool to test people who are currently injured or have pains, it is a way of observing possible limitations to an athlete and should only be used to guide good practice or investigate further.

5 Common mistakes during a back squat: 

  • Feet too close together
  • Heels off of the floor
  • Not going deep enough (half squats)
  • Knee valgus (knees moving inward towards each other)*
  • Rounding the back

*Knee valgus affects males and females but is more common in females as their hips become wider through puberty and should be monitored. 

Squatting Technique

Techniques such as Seoi Nage (all standing variations) require a strong structure and the lifting section replicates a squatting type movement once the opponent’s weight is drawn on to their back. But in all honesty, every technique would benefit from an improved squat. 

Form checking; you can check your form easily on your phone, film yourself doing your squats from front and side profile.

Now, if you are anything like me you will want to get some weight on the bar and squat heavy! When I retired from Judo, I trained Power Lifting and loved it (I also loved eating), but I definitely would not recommend this for anyone untrained (not regularly taking part in resistance training). Start with just bodyweight squats, and there are plenty of variations of squats you can add in and develop.

Regarding your Judo training, you will receive the biggest benefit from squats if you are achieving full range of motion. Take your time, we seem to have a lot of it at the moment. 

Once you have mastered the squatting technique you can easily add repetitions, weight and more importantly introduce it into your Judo drills, techniques and home training. 

Deep Squat to throw – Your aim


You want to:

  • Create more power for your throws.
  • Improve your body mechanics. 
  • Reduce your chances of being injured. 

This is not going to happen overnight, this is going to take consistent work, but a good squat will 100% improve your ability to do Judo. 

I hope this gives you something to work on, please feel free to share this with anyone who you think could benefit. 

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