Becoming a judo champion is not rocket science. The theory is simple however, in practice it is a different story. A budding judo champion will discover very quickly whether or not they have the right attitude and dedication to stay in the sport and realize their full potential. To become a champion in any sport you must be willing to give up many things in your life and simply train harder, longer, more often, and smarter than your opponents. Below are a few examples of what i mean.
- Try to pick a couple of big techniques that you feel will work best for you such as Tai-otoshi , ippon seoi nage, uchi-mata.
- Develop the best grips for those throws that will allow you to attack quickly and efficiently.
- Practice different entries to those throws such as side, direct, circular.
Transition to groundwork. it is important that you have a few techniques that you can link with your throws in case you do not score ippon and the fight continues on the ground. My old favorites were – kesa gatame (with leg grab), Juji-Gatame (armbar and a Ronda Rousey’s favorite), Yoko shiho gatame
- 5 – When doing your uchi-komi make sure your technique is clean, correct and more repetitions than anyone else on the mat. Also when out running try taking a resistance band with you so that you can wrap it around a tree or post and continue to practice your entries.
- Crash mat practice is another good way to train because it allows you to develop the feeling of throwing at full speed and with full power.
- Once you have decided on your set routine then start incorporating it into your randori sessions starting with easy opponents until you feel your timing and technique are right before moving up to the more experienced fighters.
- Try to develop a few set up combinations of your chosen throws coming in from different angles of attack.
Fitness is a must because you must be able to fight relentlessly for 5 minutes in a match. You will need a good cardio and weight training routine that is specifically designed for judo. I have seen many times guys training in a gym doing body building routines that are useless for judo.
Mind training is also something you will have to develop. The great fighter ilias iliadis has a saying of I MUST WIN. I have seen fighters with very limited techniques win major competitions simply because defeat is not in their vocabulary.
Diet is just if not more important than gym work, because of the demands you will be putting on your body you will have to eat around six small meals a day to keep your energy levels at optimum levels.
Rest is another important factor which is quite often overlooked. You must get at least 8 hours of sleep a night to allow the body a chance to heal itself.
Above is just a general guideline on what it takes to become a judo champion. If you want it bad enough it will happen. Remember if it was easy we would all be walking around with big gold medallions around our necks.