DEVELOPING A WINNING JUDO TECHNIQUE
By Mark Lonsdale
Ever wonder how champions such as Takamasa Anai or Tokuzo Takahashi, from LA Tenri Dojo, could run a ten-man slaughter line using only one or two techniques? I wondered the same thing when former World Champion and Tokai University coach Nobuyuki Sato bounced me all over the mat for 10 minutes using nothing but tai-otoshi. Granted, I was only 20 years old at the time, but if you want to learn their secrets, read on….
Developing a winning judo technique and becoming a champion is not rocket science. In theory it is quite simple, but in practice it is not easy. It is in the attempted implementation of the following that the judoka will discover whether or not he or she has the dedication and perseverance to make the grade.
The short answer to the Super-waza puzzle is to simply train harder, longer, more often, and smarter than your opponents. To expand on that, here is how it works:
- Select and develop a nice clean technique, for example uchi-mata
- Practice two or three different lines of attack, such as a direct entry, a circular entry to the right, and a step-back spinning entry (just examples).
- Do more uchi-komi than the other judoka in your club. If they are doing 100, then you do 200 or 300, but keep the movements clean and correct. Uchi-komi can also be done at home with a belt around a post or a strong hook in the wall.
- Incorporate forty or fifty nage-komi each day, throwing into a crash pad, so that you can throw at full speed and full power.
- Practice applying this technique relentlessly in randori, to the exclusion of other techniques while you are perfecting this one. Begin with easier opponents and work your way up to more experienced fighters.
- Develop several setups and combinations (renraku-waza) that end with this technique, for example, ouchi-gari to uchi-mata, or sasae-tsurikomi-ashi to uchi-mata, etc.
- Develop the stamina and endurance to attack relentlessly for 5 minutes in a match. Keep in mind that endurance in judo is a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
- Develop the physical strength equal to other competitors in your age and weight division; this includes arms, legs and core.
And there you have it! Within a few months you will become a superior athlete, with a superior technique, that will come reflexively in competition. The more you make the conscious effort to attack with this technique, the sooner it will come automatically in randori and shiai.
If this sounds simplistic, it is. But if you are not willing to follow this advice, then you will fail at the higher levels of competition. Why you may ask? Because the other serious competitors are already doing this, therefore you need to be doing more than them. So train hard, train often, train smart, and listen to your coach.