Understanding Judo and studying it is one of the most important things when you’re a beginner. Judo is a difficult art and the more knowledge you have, the easier it gets. Not only does it have it’s own language like the ones below but each of these terms are a movement and/or technique:
- Ippon-Seoi-Nage: single arm shoulder throw
- Jigotai: defensive posture
- Jushin: center of gravity
So, when people come up to me and ask if they should start Judo I just make sure to let them know it will be an intense learning curve they are up against.
However, what most people fear when starting Judo is their fitness level. You just have to keep in mind that the best training for Judo, is Judo. What a gym workout will do is help you be in the right shape and take the most out of your Judo sessions. Ask for training assistance or research yourself to find out what exercises and machines you will benefit the most and what will increase your strength and endurance. Usually, Judo newbies don’t require a complex workout, so the treadmill, steppers and weights is more than enough.
So, before even starting to worry about your fitness level and workout, here are some key elements you should master.
Judo Gi – Most likely you will be able to get a judo gi from your instructor when you start. However, if you don’t then there are several places online that you can go to to get high quality judo gi.
Belt – Learning how to tie your belt shouldn’t take more than a few minutes a day. You can study upon this from different books or YouTube videos. It may seem like something superficial, but your Sensei (instructor) will surely let you know how important it actually is.
Ukemi – This is crucial to learn. Most judo injuries are because of the person was resisting when being thrown. Not being to perform a break fall will only make you scared and stiff.
Keep a journal – Write the highlights of each session and then get in the habit of re-reading them. This will help you remember and keep the techniques fresh in your mind.
Technique – At first keep focusing on techniques rather than using strength. This helps improve your judo skills faster.
Looking at the feet – This may be the most common mistake judo beginners make. The basic principle of judo is not to see what your opponent is doing, but rather feeling it. So you’ll have to learn to look at your opponents’ chest. That allows keeping your posture and also seeing his arms moves.
And also remember that there is no age requirement for Judo. You may be the youngest or the oldest one at the dojo, your chances of being the greatest are equal.