Your dreams can come true – short film

A short motivational film by Stuart Cooper starring the world famous Kyra Gracie. It shows Kyra teaching some BJJ techniques to young children and follows them to what seems to be a local tournament. Along the way there is words from the Hip hop preacher I think, and it covers some great motivational tools such as work hard, overcome obstacles and be careful who you hang around etc.
I thought it was good so I posted it here…..enjoy

Different forms of Uchikomi and why you should do them all.

img01There are many different types of uchikomi practice that you can perform at judo training. The type of uchikomi you do will depend on what your goals are. Below is a detailed description of each style of uchikomi and the reason why you would perform that particular style.

Static uchikomi:

Static uchikomi is the most popular form of uchikomi. One person does a particular number of uchikomi while their partner stands in place offering no resistance. When doing static uchikomi it is easy to fall into the trap of not completing the technique properly. Make sure that you concentrate on pulling your opponent off balance, pulling the sleeve hand and getting low by bending your knees. Remember to always keep your back straight and never break your posture.

Moving uchikomi:

Moving uchikomi is one of my favourite ways to drill technique. Moving uchikomi involves one person moving in all directions performing a certain number of uchikomi. I like moving uchikomi more than static because during randori it is extremely rare to have your opponent standing still. When doing moving uchikomi it is important to maintain balance and to drill combinations opposed to direct attacks. Combinations such as ko uchi gari into uchimata and ouchi gari into ippon seoi nage are popular judo combinations.

Speed uchikomi:

One of the best ways to develop speed is to perform static or moving speed uchikomi. It is important to remember that you want to speed up your entry rather than the exit. This is because in competition once you have entered for a technique you should never exit until you get a score. If you try to exit a throw you are at risk of being countered. I have seen hundreds of judoka speed in and out of a technique in order to keep up with the count, but in doing so they sacrifice completing proper technique resulting in players drilling bad habits.

Power uchikomi:

This is a very advanced form of uchikomi made famous by Olympic champion Jeon. Power uchikomi requires three people in order to make the drill work. To do power uchikomi you must perform a fast repetition of a throw while someone holds them down, preventing them being thrown. When doing power uchikomi hold each repetition for five seconds. Common problems with power uchikomi include sacrificing technique as well as not powering through with one hundred percent effort.

Shadow uchikomi:

Shadow uchikomi is the simplest form of uchikomi as you do not need a partner. If you cannot get to training try doing some shadow uchikomi at home. Simply close your eyes and visualize turning in for techniques. Shadow uchikomi is great for judoka who are injured or for beginners looking at improving their foot work.

Rubber band uchikomi:

Rubber band uchikomi is great for advanced judoka. Simply wrap a piece of rubber band around a pole or door frame and begin performing uchikomi. The two ends of the band represent your opponents’ lapel and sleeve. Common mistakes using the rubber band include breaking posture, falling off balance and incorrect footwork.

There are many different types of uchikomi and it is important that you complete all forms as they each have good and bad aspects. It doesn’t matter what type of training you are doing you must never sacrifice your judo technique. Remember to bend your knees, keep your back straight and pull the sleeve arm constantly.

Here is a great example of how to uchikomi properly. Take note of the sleeve hand pulling high and how the opponents are up on their toes off balance:

please-leave-a-comment1

Kettlebells for Grapplers coming soon…

The title is Kettlebells for GrapplersOver the past few weeks I have been putting the finally touches on a new product called Kettlebells for Grapplers.  If you are interested in learning more about kettlebell training for grappling then I suggest that you check it out when it is released. The Kettlebell workouts in this package will strengthen your entire body and get you physically prepared for Judo, Brazilian Jujitsu and wrestling.

As always it is going to come with a bunch of bonuses and at a discounted price for the first few days.

To find when it is released please fill out the form below. As with all my things I respect your privacy and will never spam you.

 

 

please-leave-a-comment1

The #1 best strength and conditioning program for cadet Judoka

During the younger years of training it is important for Cadets to concentrate on developing their Judo techniques as much as they can – but I would like to point out that following a strength and conditioning program is extremely important for cadet judoka.

I have said it time and time again.  ”Being fitter and stronger than your opponent is only going to help you out.” Although we don’t want Cadet Judoka to start Judo too young it will be beneficial for them if they get started on a bodyweight strength and conditioning program ASAP. training using only your bodyweight can still devleop:

- upper and lower body strength

- core strength and stability

- joint stability

- and increase in your cardio.

This week MMA strength and conditioning coach Funk Roberts just released a Bodyweight conditioning program called Metabolic Bodyweight Blasters (MBB). I have had a look at this program and it is perfect for any Cadet Judoka looking at starting a bodyweight strength and conditioning program.

I have purchased a number of Funks products n the past and they are well written, informative and he does a great job of filming and explaining the exercises and movements within the programs he sets out.

The best part about the MBB program is that you can do each workout at home without any needing equipment.  This is great for any judoka looking at doing these before or after Judo training or while they are at home sitting around on school holidays. Additionally you can sue some of these workouts at the start (as a warm up) or at the end of Judo training to absolutely wreck your students and increase their cardio.

Metabolic Bodyweight Blasters <= 60% Off Launch Special 4 days only!  Instead of $39 you pay $19

FULL-PACKAGE

Check out what you get with new program

- MBB Training Guide  With the MBB Training Guide you will learn the power of metabolic training using your bodyweight.  You get 30 Bodyweight Circuits and over 250 different exercises to keep your sessions fresh and challenging.  Funk also breakdowns each bodyweight circuit and gives you the exact template so you can create your own workouts.

- 14-Week Program Schedule - If you want a more structured program, then follow the done for you 14 Week MBB schedule that will take you through 3 phases and progressively get more challenging so you can continue to shock your muscles to grow and body and have you in the best physical condition possible for Judo..  Everything is easy to follow and laid out so all you need to worry about is getting the workout DONE!

- 30 MBB workout demo videos (downloadable) – Each workout has a short demo video of all the exercises so you can watch, learn and perform each workout correctly and safely. You can download them to your computer, tablet or smartphone.

- Pre warm up and post workout stretch videos – You will also get access to my famous full body warm and dynamic stretch along with my post workout stretch routine to ensure you recover fast, decrease chance of injury and stay on course throughout the 14-week program.

Workout Demo

Watch the video below to check out how hard you will be working in these workouts. The workout starts at 2:10.

PS The’ knee slap burpees’ are insane!

To leant more about the MBB program check out:

http://spartaworkouts.com/MetabolicBodyweight.html

 

If you do grab a copy of Funk’s MBB send my your receipt details to support@workoutsforjudo.com and I’ll send you a free copy of my Maximum Grip Training for Judo eBook FREE of Charge.

Maximum_Grip_training

 

 

How to set up throws effectively

Nearly every week I hop online a watch some of the international judo tournaments that are either on ippon.tv or on YouTube on general.  I came across this video of Bang performing a really nice ‘switch’ in competition. I decided to do a breakdown of it simply because it is the sort of thing we need to think more about wen we are doing Judo.

I have 2 very good videos (if I do say so myself) of me demonstrating what you need to be doing at training in order to get a throw…and it all comes down to tricking your opponent into going the direction you want them to go.
Check out these 2 videos here: I know they go for a few minutes but it is worth it as these 2 videos of mine have revolutionised peoples tachiwaza game and how they approach their attacks in Randori.

Many judoka go for 1 off attacks and these rarely work (unless you are bigger or stronger than you opponent). But more often than not if your opponent sees a one off attack coming, they will counter you or avoid your throw completely.

Combinations and setups are everything!!!
When I am teaching at the club (or on my University of judo) I always say that we need to be like a a boxer- we need to throw combinations in order to finish our opponent and get a winning score.

In this video below we see bang do an incredible switch to score a waza ari and then end in a hold down. When I break it down you will that Bang attacks with a forwards throw first (uchimata) and then in the next exchange fakes the forwards technique and throws his opponent backwards.


Bang anticipated that his opponent would lean backwards to avoid the second Uchimata attempt and so he faked and went backwards…and this is what we need to do at training. We need to fake forwards if we want to throw backwards and fake backwards if we want to throw forwards.

This means tat you need to find and sequence throws together.
For example Osoto gari and Sasae tsuri komi ashi (and vice versa)
Harai goshi and tani otoshi (and vice versa)
Uchimata and ouchi gari (and vice versa)
Seoinage and kouchi gari (and vice versa)

Start sequencing your throws. Start faking in the opposite direction BEFORE you attack and I guarantee you will throw more people and you will finally enjoy the ‘chess match’ of Judo more than you ever have before.

If you liked my blog post please leave a comment and share it with whoever may need some help with this stuff.

please-leave-a-comment1

The benefits of Kettlebell Training for Grapplers

Kettlebells for Grapplers

Coming soon…

Over the years there have been hundreds and hundreds of fitness and strength training fads that have come and gone but the kettlebell stays strong. This is simply because Kettlebell training works. I am currently doing a few kettlebell sessions a week just to help keep my shoulders  strong and mobile, to develop hip strength and increase my cardio.

For those that don’t know a Kettlebell is simply a round lump of cast iron with a flat base and a handle. Due to the handle being on the top of the weight the center of gravity is extended resulting in the participant being able to perform a variety of explosive movements such as a swing, snatch and over head press.

e3e594ba757311e385160e143fb0ebac_8

Kettlebells are a fantastic training tool for grapplers because they work pretty much every single muscle in the body – just like grappling. When fighters ask me why I train with Kettlebells I simply tell them the following:

They take up very little room

I leave my Kettlebell in the trunk of my car and if I don’t have enough time in my lunch break to go to the gym, I take out the Kettlebell and perform one of the workouts in this manual.

Compound movements

Kettlebells are effective because they don’t isolate one muscle group (like machine weights) but target various muscle groups at once.

 

Develops functional strength

Have you ever wrestled someone who can barely bench press 60lbs but when you have wrestled them they are as strong as an Ox? That’s functional strength. Put simply – it’s being strong when it matters most. Training with Kettlebells 2-3 days a week plus grappling classes will greatly improve your functional strength.

Targets stabilizer muscles

The Kettlebell targets your stabilizer muscles because the kettlebell is an uneven weight and so we have to work extra hard to push, pull and control it. This is great for grapplers as we need both strong and stable joints.

Your Heart rate will sky rocket

The kettlebell is great for increasing your cardio. Performing 5-10 Minutes of the Kettlebell swing will have you wishing you were doing the cross-country instead. Exercises such as the Swing and clean and press will really test your strength endurance and in doing so both your aerobic and anaerobic system will be stretched and increased.

Strengthens your glutes

The Kettlebells signature technique “the Swing” targets your glutes, which is an area of the body that is neglected by most athletes and trainers. the glutes are what some strength and conditioning coaches call ‘the power pack.’ This is because so much of our power comes from glute activation and glute development. The Kettlebell Swing not only strengthens the glutes which will develop a lot more power in the lower body and hips.

Full body movements

Each exercise targets more than half your body. Whether you are performing a swing, squat pull or overhead press you will always be using more than one muscle group. This is great for strikers and grapplers as we are constantly using more than one muscle when fighting.

Grip strength

Gripping the handle for 5 Minutes will have your forearms screaming and if you start implementing some bottoms up presses into your program you will soon get forearms of steel.

These days I use kettlebell around 3 days per week

These days I use kettlebell around 3 days per week

Unilateral training

Have one arm stronger than the other? Simply perform more reps on one side.

Increased fat loss

Whether you are using Kettlebells or not, working out a higher intensity will burn more calories during exercise. Great for people who want to lose weight and tone up.

Obviously there are many different types of training methods and techniques that will assist you in your grappling training but training with Kettlebells will definitely assist in increasing the strength, power and speed needed to compete in sorts such as Judo, BJJ, wrestling and submission grappling. 

 

Kettlebell Workout examples:

Workout 1:

1 minute Kettlebell swings

1 minute Burpees

1 minute shadow uchikomi

Repeat 2 rounds Rest 4 minutes and repeat.

Workout 2:

60 Clean and Presses (30 Each hand)

200 Skips

40 Clean and Presses (20 Each hand)

150 Skips

20 Clean and Presses (10 Each hand)

100 Skips

10 Clean and Presses (5 Each hand)

50 Skips

*Repeat three rounds with a 5 minute break in between each set

Kettlebells for Grapplers coming soon…

At the moment I am putting the finishing touches on a new kettlebell product called Kettlebells for Grapplers. This eBook and video package contains a whole heap of kettlebell movements and exercises that will increase your strength and cardio and help you perform better both on and off the mat. To find out when Kettlebells for Grapplers is being released fill out your details below:

please-leave-a-comment1

The Gerbi Choke (now illegal) but still cool

At the 2013 world Championships Yarden Gerbi made headlines by winning both the semi final and final of the -63kg with this super cool strangle/choke. I always thought that strangling someone with the skirt of the gi was illegal but in this tournament the refs let it slide – but then banned it 1 month alter.
It doesn’t really matter much because Gerbi slams people with huge Uchimata’s and Harai’s anyway.

Check out the Gerbi Choke here at the 1:30 mark:

Here is a video of my mate Ivo dos Santos showing us how it is done.

So enjoy and remember that this technique is illegal in IJf tournaments but ok in both Freestyle Judo and BJJ comps.please-leave-a-comment1

Royler Gracie vs Eddie Bravo – my take on it

Eddies Twister variation attempt - the setup was awesome!!

Eddies Twister variation attempt – the setup was awesome!!

This week there was a massive super fight between 2 famous BJJ guys – Ediie Bravo (from the flexible 10th planet system) and Royler Gracie who is obviously part of the Gracie Family.
In short the fight was amazing. I was going for Royler for a number of reasons mainly because I went out to dinner with him a few years ago and he was really nice and secondly because I like his style of BJJ opposed to Eddie’s. This is purely because Eddie’s style is only for people who are super flexible whereas Royler has a game that everyone can do. In saying that though I know that Eddie still has a great ‘basic bjj game’ he just uses a game that is very awkward.

 

Throughout the fight Eddie pulled off some amazing attacks including a few ‘Electric Chair’ submissions, an amazing twister attempt and all in all Eddie dominated the match. I felt though that Eddie played a sneaky lockdown game where he could defend and atack using the lockdown. If you have ever been stuck in a lockdown before then you know how hard they are to pass. Eddie used the lockdown to setup and do some amazing deep half guard sweeps that would have had me tapping like a typewriter – it looks so painful.

All in all it was a great match and it was really great to watch. The full fight is below but I encourage you to fast forward the first 5 minutes as they are stuck in half guard for quite some time.

 

please-leave-a-comment1

Guard passing seminar with Rafael Lovato

As a Judo and BJJ practitioner I have noticed that one of the biggest holes in a Judokas game is guard passing. Judoka don’t really do guard passes that much in competition due to the fact that there is not much time on the ground (hopefully things change in the future). I find that whenever I do BJJ my guard passing is the thing that lets me down the most. In the video below is a guard passing seminar filed for Graciemag.com

 

To learn more about Guard passing check out Rafaels Guard Mastery program below.

Guard_Mastery_Product_Mockup_NEW

 

My 5 most HATED Bodyweight Movements

1970520_563563163741700_933234719_nOver the years I think I have done just about every single exercise, technique and movement you could possibly imagine.

- deadlifts
- squats
- pushups
- chin ups
- rope climbs
- crunches
- box jumps
- and the list goes on

There are literally way to many exercises to choose from but here are the 5 exercises I absolutely HATE with a passion.

Hated exercise #1 – 1 minute pushups
I have done a stack of different variations of pushups including hindu pushups, ring pushups, cross over pushups and 1 handed pushups but the 1 minute pushup takes the cake. Simply get into a pushup position and lower yourself for 30 seconds and then spend the next 30 seconds pressing yourself back to the starting position.
This is a great way to develop upper body strength and have your chest screaming the next day.
If you cannot do a 1 minute chin up start off with a 30 second pushup and work your way up.
*be warned you will shake profusely.

Hated exercise #2 – 1 minute chin up
These are the same as the pushup except its a chin up. 1 minute chin ups will leave you sore for days on end and they are a great way to develop forearm strength as well as building strength in your lats and upper back.
To work your biceps then do a 1 minute chinup with an underhand grip instead.

Hated exercise #3 – Squat circuit
This squat circuit is something one of my good friends taught me. Start off by doing 20 half squats, then 20 full squats, then 20 full squats with a calf raise at the top and finishing up with 20 jump squats.
the first time I did this squat circuit I could walk normally for a few days – it was horrible :( But g whizz it builds some leg strength.
Try it and let me know how you go:
20 half squats
20 full squats
20 full squats with calf raise
20 jump squats
Rest 1 minute and repeat 2-3 times.

*These last 2 movements/exercises I got from two eBooks in the bodyweight bundle (which I bought last week).

Hated Exercise #4 All things Burpees
Surely no-one in the world likes burpees? Especially when they are coupled with another movement such as chin-ups, box jumps, splits jumps or shoulder presses. Although if you do love Burpees I bet you are a fitness machine.
A mate of mine does obstacle course racing and he can bash out about 40 burpees in 60 seconds – which is very impressive.

In one of the conditioning eBooks in the bodyweight bundle they have a few burpee workouts. One of them is to do burpees for 4 minutes straight or to do burpees as fast as you can around a 400 metre track. As horrible as this sounds it is a great way to get in shape for Judo – and fast!

Hated exercise #5 – Bent Arm hanging leg raises:
Up until this week I used to do hanging leg raises using straight arms. But after reading Bodyweight Bodybuilding I decided to try hanging leg raises with bent arms instead. Instead of working only my abs and forearms, the bent arms means that I am working the biceps, abs and forearms all at once!
To do bent arm hanging leg raises simply hang from a bar, pull yourself up halfway and then lift your feet up to touch the bar. Repeat 3-4 sets of 15 reps.

If you cannot get to the gym on a regular basis and want to start with some bodyweight strength programs then I urge you to check out the bodyweight bundle.com.
At the moment they are selling 38 Bodyweight training eBooks for only $37 and each book is written by the world leading trainers such as Craig Ballantyne, Funk Roberts, Tim Stoezel and Mike Fitch.

Have a great week ahead and let me know how you go with those exercises – especially the squat circuit. :)
Matt

please-leave-a-comment1

Success through Self discipline

What an awesome quote “success through self discipline.” I love it!!

I don’t know who said it but one day I was driving along past a primary school and “success through self discipline” was their slogan….and it’s completely true.

The only way to succeed is to be self disciplined. I have been self-discplined for most of my life. As an elite athlete I had to watch my diet, go to training, budget my finances, research my opponents and do everything else that goes in to being an elite athlete.

Internet marketer and author of Turbulence Training, Craig Ballantyne recently outlined his daily routine that never changes.
430 wakes up and has a coffee
500-700 am writes articles
7-8am walks his dog
8-9 works on early to rise
9-11 contacts his turbulence training affiliate marketers
11-1230 business planning for early to rise
And the times go on.
Craig finishes work at 3pm and spends the rest of the day socializing with family and friends. He also says that he goes to bed at 9pm every single night.
From Craig’s schedule you can see he is disciplined – that’s why he makes money on line, that’s why he is successful.

He is disciplined.

People cannot lose weight because they cannot stop eating bad foods.
They are not disciplined eaters.
People cannot run faster, jump higher or perform better on the field because they skip training sessions.
They are not disciplined.

People fail test after test at school because they do not study.

If you want to succeed in your chosen field or profession – then be disciplined!!

Some people are struggling with their finances and constantly have no money- but they don’t follow a basic budget and buy everything in sight.
They are not disciplined with their finances.

There is an awesome quote by Michael Phelps who says “if you can’t be bothered getting out of bed at 6am to train then you can’t be bothered winning a gold medal at the Olympics.”
Both Michael Phelps and Craig Ballantyne are dicsplined people. They get up early and work hard. They are leaders in their own field because they work hard.

Once you become more disciplined in your day to day habits the more ‘in line’ your life will become.

So if you are looking at succeeding in business, sport, health or anything the key is to be disciplined in what you do.

Proverbs 12:24 in the bible says “work hard and become a leader, be lazy and never succeed.”

Work hard…

be a leader….and succeed.

Have a great week ahead,

Matt

 In this video John Maxwell (one of the world best talkers on leadership and personal growth) talks about a few things to help you out – including the Miracle of self discipline.

 

please-leave-a-comment1

Travis Stevens Ippon Seoi nage Breakdown Video

In this video I break down US Athlete Travis Stevens Ippon seoi nage setup. I love his setup because he pressures people off the mat while controlling their inside lapel and sleeve before attacking, where most Ippon Seoi’s are done off a big pulling action.

 

 

Here is another Travis Steven’s highlight reel of him in action at the 2014 Dusseldorf Grand Prix where he claimed the gold medal.

taTo learn more about Travis and his Judo and BJJ techniques check out the Takedown blueprint at  www.takedownblueprint.com. You can check out my review of this DVD HERE: 

Here is a sneak peek into what sort of techniques are covered in the Takedown Blueprint:

I hope you enjoy the videos and if you do please like, share and leave a comment.

please-leave-a-comment1

 

6 bodyweight exercises you are doing wrong

Article written by Rick Kaselj:

You see all these super advanced bodyweight exercise videos and pictures, but I think we are missing the point. Most of our clients are not that advanced. And unfortunately too many trainers like to use the newest, coolest exercise that they’ve just learned from YouTube.

Here are 6 of the most bastardized bodyweight exercises I see in the gym (and YouTube) most often.

#1 – Dips

This has got to be the #1 offender of all bodyweight exercises. Don’t get me wrong, I think dips are a great exercise but that’s only if you do them right. With a lot of your clients coming in with jacked up pecs, scalenes and shoulders they are naturally going to be rounded at the shoulders. This is first mistake you see.

Allowing you shoulders to round and letting your chest sink in will but a tremendous amount of shear in the anterior capsule on the shoulder. Cueing your client to have a proud chest works great for keeping them in the right position. Something else that’s common in the dip is the client trying to stay vertical while performing a dip. They should lean forward to ensure they are not putting too much stress thru the shoulder. Lastly, make sure that they don’t go too deep when they dip.

A general rule of thumb is not deeper than upper arm parallel with the floor, but if you really want to be a great coach watch for the moment the shoulder starts to shift anteriorly.

You should never let you client get into this position under load, as it’s a recipe for shoulder injury. The McKenzie push up is a great variation I use to really get the triceps working hard, but you’ll have to wait until (Bodyweight Exercises you’ve never heard of blog post).

#2 – Push Ups

I know that I’m preaching to the choir because we’ve all seen at least one episode of “push ups gone bad” at the gym. The biggest culprit to this is people using more of a guillotine position where they allow their elbows to flair out too much getting close, if not to a 90-degree angle.

T1 RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Push Up (Front View)

RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Push Up (Front View)

This position again puts a lot of shear forces through the anterior capsule of the shoulder, as well as increasing the chance of impingement due to excessive internal rotation at the shoulder. The easy fix is to get your client to keep the elbows a bit closer to the body, at more of a 45-degree angle.

T1 RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Push Up (Side View)

RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Push Up (Side View)

The other common mistake with the push up is not maintaining a neutral spine. What most people forget is that the push up is an active core exercise. By allowing the hips to either sag down or keeping the hips too high you are losing one of the major benefits of doing push ups. Get your clients to drop down onto their knees or even better elevate their hands so that they can keep that nice long plank position while doing their push ups.

#3 – Narrow Stance Squats

There’s no argument here that this is a great variation to overload the quads, but the problem is what happens if you client has limitations at the ankle or hips?

T2 RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Squat (Front View)

RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Squat (Front View)

Not that any of your clients would be limited in dorsiflexion or lack good hip mobility. You see if you client is limited in dorsiflexion, as they drop into the narrow stance squat they will run out of movement at the ankle quickly and have to make up for it somewhere else, which usually means reaching the end range flexion at the knee (and end range is never a good idea) and rounding at the lumbar spine (which is another bad idea).

T2 RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Squat (Side View)

RIGHT WAY to do a Bodyweight Squat (Side View)

And if your client is lacking hip mobility, or even worse has a structural limitation like retroversion of the hip, the only way to get depth is round out their lower back and let their knees cave in. Neither of which is ideal form. So if your client is limited in either dorsiflexion or hip mobility, it’s best to pick another exercise to target the quads.

#4 – Burpees

What…You’re telling me people do burpees wrong?! I know, I know, you probably see this example on a daily basis so I’m going to give you a couple quick fixes that will help the client with even the worst form. First change I make is by giving them either a step, medicine ball or bench to use for their hands. This essentially raises the floor and makes up for any lack of flexibility in the hips (which is quite common).

T3 Wide Feet Bench Bodyweight Burpee

Wide Feet Bench Bodyweight Burpee

The other tweak you can get your clients to do is to widen out their feet as they jump back. This will stop the all too common sagging hips by giving them a wider base and not relying on the core as much. I find this tweak most useful as soon as my clients start to get tired.

#5 – Glute Bridge

You’re probably thinking how can someone do a glute bridge wrong? Well I’m glad you asked because there’s a big difference between doing a glute bridge and doing it right. The first thing you need to do is make sure if your client has tight hip flexors that you stretch them out prior to doing a glute bridge. If the hip flexors are tight, then your client won’t be able to get to full hip extension and really get the full benefits of the exercise.

P1 Bodyweight Glute Bridge

Glute Bridge

I also cover a tweak I use with anyone with tight hip flexors for the glute bridge in the program. Another common mistake I see people make is that they push through the toes instead of through the heels. By slightly lifting the toes off the ground and pushing through the heels your client will get more glute recruitment. This is even more important with women, as they tend to be quad dominant, so they will naturally try to use the quads instead of the glutes.

And lastly, the one that most people don’t do with the glute bridge, make sure that you finish with a posterior tilt of the pelvis. This is one of the movements that most people are unaware of that the glutes do. If you were to stand up right now and squeeze your glutes as hard as possible you’ll notice that you automatically go into a posterior pelvic tilt. So instead of just stopping at full hip extension, add a posterior pelvic tilt to get the absolute most out of this exercise.

If you are Judoka looking at getting strong with only bodyweight exercises then check out Body Weight Overload by Tim Kuslikus.

Picture-13

 

 

please-leave-a-comment1

5 must know Juji gatame attacks

Every competitive Judoka needs to know a few variations of Juji gatame. In most syllabuses around the world you need to know at least 3 variations if you want to get past green belt.
Here are my top 5 Juji gatames I believe you need to know to be competitive in newaza both in the club and in national and international competition.

please-leave-a-comment1

 

Beginner Judo tips

There are a number if things a beginner can do at judo that will assist in increasing your skill an overall understanding of judo. Judo is a very difficult art and that is why the more you understand judo the easier it is. Here are a few key concepts that will help improve your judo.

Opposite color gi

Nothing annoys me more than a judo player wearing an odd colored gi. For example a white jacket with blue pants or vice versa. I must admit I have done this in the past but I soon realized that how you wear you gi, shows how you respect yourself, your dojo and your sensei. It also is a good example of how organized you are and obviously disorganized if you cannot find a gi top and gi pants the same color. As well as a gi the same color i encourage you to purchase a proper fitting gi. You will not only feel good in it, you will look good too.

Learn how to do your belt up

Learning how to tie your belt will only take a maximum of ten minutes out of your day. Most judo books and YouTube have a section on how to wear your gi and tie your belt so I encourage you to spend. Short while mastering how to tie your belt.

Be co-operative

As a partner try to be as co-operative as possible. Being stiff as a board will only result in being throw extremely hard and having a group of people who do not want to work with you. So relax and take the time to learn how to be a good partner. If you do not know how ask your sensei how you should react when your partner is performing technique.

Learn proper ukemi

Learning how to real fall is critical for a beginner. If you cannot break fall you will find that you will be scared of getting thrown. This will result in being stiff and defensive when your opponent throws you. Each and every injury I have ever seen at judo was because the person was resisting a throw. If you go with a throw and perform a break fall you will increase your chance of not getting injured.

Get there early and leave late

Getting to training early and leaving late is one of the best habits you can do. The more you hang around at judo the better you will become, it’s that simple.

Have a journal

Write down everything you did at training and carry the journal everywhere you go. If you are bored at school or work the open up your journal and have a read over a few sessions you did a few months ago. This will really help you grasp the concepts of judo a lot quicker.

Don’t look at the feet

Looking at your opponents feet is common in nearly every beginner judo class. The whole principle of judo is to feel what your opponent is doing, not watch. I tell all my students to look at your partners chest. By looking at their chest you can see both of their arms as well as keeping your head up and back straight which is crucial to all throwing techniques.

Try to feel rather than muscle

Technique, technique, technique. Try to use as much technique as possible. Use little strength each and every time you perform uchikomi or compete in randori. The more you concentrate on technique the quicker you will improve your judo skills.

Have fun

In the end you must have fun at judo training. Judo is a fantastic sport and an awesome martial art. Have fun at each and every session. Don’t be so hard on yourself and remember that somewhere around the weld there is someone a little bit better than you. Setting daily, short and long-term goals is the best way to continually have fun at judo.

 

If you need any help with your Judo techniques or gradings then check out Judosyllabus.com for more details.1781388_561043297327020_1396443590_o

please-leave-a-comment1

2014 Paris Grand Slam Highlight reel

A great Highlight reel of this years Paris Grand Slam, The level of the Judo was incredible with some absolutely huge ippon throws throughout the tournament. As usual (these days) the Japanese, Russianns, French and Georgians Dominated the Judo. The Brazilians didn’t do so well (maybe because they had to travel so far and were a touch jet lagged)


please-leave-a-comment1

The Price of Success

pirceAs an elite athlete I am constantly setting short, medium and long terms goals. For example I started out wanted to represent my club, then state, then country. I didn’t start straight out competing for Australia and if I did, why would I bother training. It’s a bit obvious that I had to work and train hard for everything I have achieved.

Setting goals are very important but it is equally important to know that setting goals doesn’t mean that you will reach them – if this was the case then every new years resolution would be fulfilled.

You must understand that every goal you set has a price tag. Everything costs something. How much is your goal/goals going to cost?

For me, to qualify for the Olympics I had to pay for trips overseas for training as well as competition. I had to pay for 5 knee operations, physiotherapy and nutritional advice. Qualifying for the 2008 Olympics and then missing out on the 2012 Olympics cost me 5 knee operations as well as thousands of hours away from my wife and family as well as the financial sacrifice made by my family.

I have had to say no to hundreds of birthday parties, weddings and other important events in order to wake up early and train. I had to watch what I ate to perform to the best of my ability and I had to deal with the emotional high and lows of winning and losing on the international stage.

That’s what it cost to achieve my dream.

For others though the cost might be a lot less. The may be naturally gifted, they may have great financial backing or they may just somehow make the team year after year with not much effort on their part.

That is why it is important to not rank or rate yourself and your dreams with others – because their price tag might be different to yours - It might cost more or it may cost a lot less.

Some people are lucky and they can have it all. For example, Canadian born skier Dale Begg smith trains for 3 months of the year for the winter Olympics (where he has won gold) while he makes millions of dollars on the side with an online business.

Some people say he is lucky. And yes I believe he is lucky but he also put steps in place so that he could achieve his dreams and goals. He knew with his natural ability and with great financial backing he could win gold by only training 3 months of the year. That was his educated decision – and that’s fine. We can argue all day about “my sport is harder than yours or my sport is more popular than yours or that you are a genetic freak and it is unfair.” But this arguing is all going back to ranking yourself against others.

What are your goals? What’s your price tag? Do you want to pay for that?

Here is an example: You may want to lose 20 kilograms. What’s that going to cost? I know at a basic level it means you are going to have to start dieting and begin exercising more intensely.

Do you want a promotion at work??

What’s that going to cost?
You may have to do a short course on the side to gains few extra skills needed to get that job promotion.

You may even want to get a boyfriend or girlfriend, What’s that going to cost?

The price for that might be that you have to go out and buy some new clothes, maybe get out of your comfort zone or it may even mean that you have to critically analyze your personal skills. Do you gossip? Are you easily offended? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Are you fun to be around?

Do you want to achieve your Sho dan?? Then start putting in the effort to memorize the Gokyo and putting in the hours for a spotless Nage no Kata.

Everything in this world has a price tag and the only way you are going to achieve your dreams and visions is to be willing to pay the price.

This week on Facebook I put up a quote by Bedros Keuilian ”The fastest, easiest and most direct way to success is to model it. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, surround  yourself with people who are already achieving what you want.  Model success.” 

If you want to succeed in a particular arena then start learning and modelling yourself after the people who have already succeeded in that arena. For example do you want to own 15 houses? Then start researching and reading books on people who own 100 houses. Learn from them and model yourself after them.

Do you want to win the Olympics in Judo?? Then start modelling yourself after them. copy what they do. Copy their habits and copy their approach to training and life.

I have heard so many people say “I want to win the olympics but no one in my country has ever won the Olympics so I have no one to model myself after.”

My answer to these people is to go on YouTube and watch a few videos of successful grapplers – there are plenty on there.

The Jimmy Pedro Documentary

Doug Rogers Judo Doco

Choke by Rickson Gracie

Some aspects of the Koga DVD

The interview parts of the Huizinga DVD

Dan gable doco Freestyle wrestling

Or grab some books on successful sportsmen.

Finding the Champion within by Bruce Jenner

My life in Judo by Neil Adams

Never stop Pushing by Rulon Gardener (Wrestler)

It’s True, It’s True Kurt Angle

In the end, If you really want to succeed there are no tricks or tips. Just hard work and a drive from deep within yourself. I believe that your motivation has to come from within yourself. If your motivation comes from external sources such as family or friends you will not drive as hard as you possibly can because you are not doing it for yourself but for others.

Or as Muhummad Ali says:

Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.   

So what is your price tag?? And are you willing to pay for it. 

Hard fought lessons

Hard Fought Lessons In late 2013 I released a book called Hard fought Lessons – It is a book I have been meaning to write for a very very long time. Because I teach a lot of up and coming judoka I am so often regurgitating the stories and life experiences I went through that helped inspire me to move forwards towards my dreams. It has abit of my life story and other inspirational stories and covers topics such as:

- dreaming big

-dealing with loss and dissapointment

- setting goals

- getting out of your comfort zone

- and more

to learn more visit: www.hardfoughtlessons.com 

please-leave-a-comment1

3 awesome newaza transitions at the 2014 Dusseldorf Grand Prix

If you are looking at entering some judo tournaments this year then I suggest you learn 1 or 2 newaza transition to your judo game – especially now that referees are allowing a lot more time in newaza. Last weekend the Dusseldorf Grand Prix was on and here my 3 favourite newaza transitions that happened during the medal rounds.
All of these transitions are really nice and adding one of them to your Judo will make you a lot more dangerous in the transition. The key is to LOOK for some openings in newaza OR MAKE the openings happen.

Out of the 4 ways to win in Judo 3 of them occur in newaza: throws, armbars, holddowns, strangles.

 

So start drilling some more newaza transitions.

Travis Stevens vs Maresch Final -81kg: This fight shows a brilliant newaza transition by Stevens.

This next fight is great because the Mongolian switches from a Sankaku jime turnover into a crazy weird modified holddown:

This video shows what can happen when you drill the classic Juji gatame attack over and over again.

please-leave-a-comment1

Dean Listers Leg locks just released

4-dvd-set-w-boxFoot and leg lock machine Dean Lister just released a new DVD called Dean Lister K.A.T.C.H system. It is a 4 DVD set dedicated to foot locks, leg locks and everything to do with how he has fought and submitted some of the best bjj guys in the world. Although Leg locks aren’t in the competitive  Judo world I am still very interested in them. I regard myself as an overall martial artist opposed to just a sport Judoka. I love fighting no-gi, shooting for the legs and if my partner is up for it I like attacking with leg locks, ankle locks etc so I am going to get a copy of this just so I can continue developing my overall grappling knowledge.

Here is a sneak peek into the detail of instruction we are to expect with his new DVD:

If your interested in all of Dean lister leg lock stuff and want to learn more about what is included in his new DVD click here <=

 

or visit

Deanlisterleglocks.com

please-leave-a-comment1

Crazy Guiness world record – breaking arrows with your throat

 

==> Check out this video of Mike’s amazing  feats of strength HERE 

Mike Gillette breaks arrows against his throat, bends iron bars in two and lets people standing on ladders drop bowling balls on his stomach while he lies on broken glass.

Where most people would be asking, “Why?” he asks “Why not?” A professional strong man from Cedar Rapids, fifty-one-year-old Gillette says mastering feats of strength isn’t a matter of muscles as much as of will power.

“There’s the training side and the X-Factor side. I’m very good at the X-Factor side,” he says. “It has more to do with what I’m willing to do than what I’m physically capable of doing.”

Gillette recently demonstrated how much he is willing to do for truTV’s “Guinness World Records: Unleashed.” He will be featured on a Feb. 13 episode, attempting to break the world record for the most arrows broken against the throat in sixty seconds. Though the episode has already been filmed, he’s not allowed to tell anyone yet if his attempt was successful.

Professional strongman Mike Gillette demonstrates how he breaks an arrow between his neck and a board held by Blake Kittrell at Kids First Gymnastics in Cedar Rapids. Kittrell is the owner of Kids First Gymnastics. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

He demonstrates the stunt, first offering a thin wooden arrow for examination. The point is blunt, but it is still a point. An assistant braces the arrow against a board, point out, level with the soft flesh at the base of Gillette’s throat. After taking several deep, bracing breaths, Gillette walks forward deliberately, straight into the arrow. It strains against his neck, starts to bend and finally snaps into three pieces.

The process looks painful, but that’s Gillette’s point – he’s willing to withstand pain to accomplish things others cringe at. Things like letting other people break 2X4s against his back. Or rolling frying pans into tight spirals with his bare hands.

“It’s potentially terrifying enough you’ll sit quietly until we can establish some rapport,” he says.

A motivational speaker, he gives talks at schools, churches and youth groups, where he pairs his feats of strength with a message of positivity and overcoming the seemingly impossible.

He says he grew up in a broken, dysfunctional home. He wants to reach out to kids, especially those from backgrounds similar to his.

“I was them,” he says. “I felt small, weak, not in control. They can hear from someone who was them but was still able to break out of those confines.”

He also feels driven to keep training, to keep trying new and stranger feats.

Gillette bends two 1/2 inch steel bars with his hands at Kids First Gymnastics in Cedar Rapids. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

“I have to. I can’t stop being me,” he says. “I have to keep finding new ways to challenge myself.”

He has a background with the army, police and private security – he’s been a bodyguard to the very rich and famous, though he won’t reveal to whom. He came to the strong man experience later in life. Something about watching people achieve unbelievable stunts appealed to him, and he decided he wanted to be part of that world.

“I had been aware of this universe of people who do extraordinary things,” he says. “To me it was exotic.”

Faith is also a motivator. Though he leaves God out of his presentations at schools, he said faith is what drives him to share his message of overcoming the odds. He said it’s what helped him overcome his own obstacles – long before those obstacles included steel bars – to become the person he is today.

“Where you are is not where you have to be,” he said. “The objective lesson of these stunts is to blow apart people’s perceptions of what impossible is.”

==> Check out more of Mike’s amazing  feats of strength HERE 

please-leave-a-comment1

 

Skin infections in wrestling and Judo

Click HERE to download your Skin guide by the USA Wrestling Federations

 

 

wresTreatment and Prevention of Skin Infections in Wrestlers
Tamara Spann, ATC
Hughston Athletic Training Fellowship

 

The sport of wrestling is very tactile. With every move and every throw comes the risk of obtaining skin infections. The danger of skin infections is a growing concern among wrestlers, parents, coaches, and officials. Prevention and early diagnosis is very important.

One of the most important things to remember is proper hygiene. Athletes are encouraged to shower immediately after wrestling practice or competition. When showering, it is important to use a mesh scrub with antibacterial soap. This aids in removing any unwanted bacteria and infections the athlete might have picked up during skin to skin contact1. Another important prevention technique is to thoroughly clean and disinfect all wrestling mats as well as equipment, including all uniforms and towels1, after every use. Athletes should also be discouraged from sharing such items as unwashed towels and uniforms even shoes and headgear.

 

Following proper hygiene practices and thorough disinfection techniques can greatly decrease the risk of obtaining skin infections among wrestlers.

When prevention is not enough it is important to get treatment of skin infections at the first sign of the infection. The key to this is to know what to look for. Some common types of skin infections found in wrestling include ring worm, herpes simplex, staphylococcus infection (staph infection), and impetigo.

 

The most common infection found in wrestling is Tinea Corporis, also know as ring worm. Tinea Corporis is actually a fungal infection and not a worm, as the name implies. This skin infection appears red and scaly in a ring formation with a clear center. Ring worm is highly contagious and can develop in many different areas of the body including the feet (Athletes foot), the groin (jock itch), face or trunk (ring worm), the scalp, and in the nail beds2. The lesions may or may not itch. If ring worm is suspected it is very important to begin treatment immediately. Treatments include topical antifungal creams or oral antifungal medication. Treatment should be applied twice daily for 1-4 weeks. Athletes may return to competition after 3 days of topical treatment use2. Lesions should be covered during practice and competition and all equipment and towels should be washed daily.

 

Herpes simplex is another common infection and, just as ring worm, is an extremely contagious virus. Herpes is a viral infection and often appears as a fever blister, genital herpes, or herpes gladiatorum, which can be found on the face or the trunk of the body2. It enters the body through a break in the skin such ad a cut or mat burn. Herpes present itself as a fluid filled blister on top of red skin. Once the blister breaks open it appears with a crusty painful scab2, 3. There is no cure for the herpes virus but treatments include Valtrex and prophylactic medications. Wrestling guidelines state that wrestlers may not participate in practice or competition until they are asymptomatic, without a new blister for 3 days, or if the athlete has taken medication for at least 5 days2, 3.

A growing infection that has been spreading through out high school and college locker rooms more recently is staphylococcus infection or staph infection4.

 

A recent problem that doctors have found with staph is that some strands have become resistant to antibiotic treatment; this is known as Methicillian Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)2, 4, 5. What was once confined to hospitals is now creeping into high school and college locker rooms around the country. Staph infection is most commonly spread though skin to skin contact but can also be transmitted through sports equipment, work out areas, and unwashed towels and uniforms2, 4. It first appears as a pimple or ant bite. The wound site will quickly grow to a painful boil that if not cared for will eventually bust open producing a bloody puss like substance that is highly contagious2. Staph is very serious and if not treated in the early stages may require hospitalization4. It is vital that weight rooms, wrestling rooms, and athletic training rooms be thoroughly sanitized if there is any suspicion of staph infection to prevent further spread2, 5. Athletes can not be permitted to engage in activity until they have been declared infection free by a doctor2.

 

Impetigo is yet another common infection found in wrestlers. It is a highly contagious bacterial infection obtained through broken skin such as cuts and scraps. There are two types of impetigo; bullous and nonbullous2. Bullous impetigo appears as damp red skin that resembles a burn that develops into a blister, filled with a clear or yellow fluid. Nonbullous impetigo, which is the more commonly seen, presents with a yellow honey colored crust over a red base2. Impetigo is most commonly found on the face, arms, legs, and trunk. Treatment consists of a topical antibiotic such as bactroban. This should be applied to the affected area three times per day for ten days or until the infection is gone2. For large areas of infection an oral medication can be taken. Athletes with impetigo infections may not participate until all blisters and lesion are completely cleared2.

roki

The most important things to remember are to practice proper hygiene immediately after every practice or competition using hot water and antibacterial soap, keeping practice areas including weight rooms and equipment properly disinfected, and never to share used towels, equipment, and uniforms with out proper washing. It is always easier to prevent infections from occurring than it is to contract and then treat them.

 

Click HERE to download your Skin guide by the USA Wrestling Federations

 

References

 

  1. Pennsylvania wrestling magazine: Preventing skin infections, Available at: http://www.gobanana.com/pwn/articles/preventing_skin_infections.htm. Accessed December 10, 2006.
  2. Cuppett M, Walsh K: General medical conditions in the athlete, Philadelphia, 2005, Mosbey.
  3. Lawton R: Skin diseases in wrestling, March 6 1999. Available at: http://blackmagic.com/wrest/reference/skininf.html. Accessed December 10, 2006.
  4. (P. Higgs [GATA-LIST@yahoogroups.com], email, November 23, 2006)
  5. Kowalski T J, Berbari EF, Osmon DR, MD: Epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of community-acquired methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections. Mayo foundation Med Ed Research. 2005; 80(9):1201-1208

 


Tamara Spann, ATC, is a first year graduate student and recipient of the Hughston Athletic Training Fellowship in Columbus, Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training from the University of South Florida.

Tamara is an active member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), Southeast Athletic Training Association (SEATA), and the Athletic Training Association of Florida (ATAF).

Currently, she serves as the Head Athletic Trainer at Carver High School, Columbus, Georgia.

please-leave-a-comment1

Leg lock variations for Judo, BJJ & MMA Competition

One of my mates and I do a lot of submission grappling etc and one thing he is very very very good at is leg locks and footlocks. He catches me with them all the time – although they are not legal in Judo these days back in the day they were legal. I decided to film a video of my mate Shak pulling some leglocks on me check it out below.

Please note that I suggest you practice leg locks (and all it’s variants) with people you know and trust. Do not practice or roll with leg locks at training with people that have an ego – as leg locks are the fastest way to injure someone. I do leg locks with my mate Shak because I know he will not crank them too hard because we are friends and respect leg locks and how dangerous they are.

I use the term leg locks as a blanket term for all lower body submissions including:

- kneebars

- ankle locks

- toe holds

- banana splits

- calf slicers

- heel hooks

There has been so really awesome kneebars over the last few years in the UFC including the Frank Mir vs Brock Lesnar fight:

Here is a basic calf slicer submission during an MMA match at the 120 mark:

Here is a classic straight ankle lock submission in a no-gi submission grappling comp- the sub is at the the 20 sec mark.

I dont know about you but have you ever  had someone do a banana split on you? It is truly horrible. Here is a great banana split submission by Vinny Magalhaes, the sub is at the 345 mark. Just remember that when you are in turtle and your opponent has a leg in between your legs a banana split of calf slicer are on the way:

Here is a senaky toe hold by multiple world bjj champion Andrea Galvao. You can see him sink the toe hold at the 45 second mark. Notice the ‘kimura’ type grip he uses and how the direction he cranks the submission.

 

Here is a really nice submission at the 1:20 mark by Dean lister. This sub is a reverse heel hook (a very brutal submission)

And this last video is full of the coolest and most brutal submissions i have ever seen (besides neck and spine cranks). This video once again is by Dean Lister.

Want to learn more about leg locks?

If you are keen on learning some leglocks and footlocks etc then I encourage you to check out DeanListerleglocks.com as Dean really know everything on knee bars, ankle lecks, toe holds etc.

Screenshot 2014-02-16 09.09.25

Remember to roll with Caution when rolling with all leg locks.

please-leave-a-comment1

Share Button

How to do muscle ups

Muscles ups are a very advanced (and fancy) exercise that are more of a party trick than an actual exercise that could benefit you – but in saying that if you can get to do 10 or more in a row it is a great workout to try. I have found for me personally muscle ups put a lot of pressure on my elbows and shoulder and I find the risk vs reward is way to high. I would rather do a whole heap of chin ups and dips independently besides putting them together in a muscle up.

Other popular chin up styles are the butterfly, kipping and strict. Then there are overhand grip, underhand or alternate grips. You can also do chin-ups on rings, bras, ropes, towels, judo suits or anything – actually i tried doing chin ups on these crazy chin up pieces of equipment from rogue fitness and it was impossible to grip.

Anyway here is how I do muscle ups:

First off it is important to have a weird grip on the roman ring. If the ring was a clock then you would set your hand at 8 o’clock with the wrists pressuring on the 6 o’clock. This is the best grip to help you when you are getting started

First off it is important to have a weird grip on the roman ring. If the ring was a clock then you would set your hand at 8 o’clock with the wrists pressuring on the 6 o’clock. This is the best grip to help you when you are getting started

Start out by making sure that your hands are in the right position,

Start out by making sure that your hands are in the right position,

Throw your legs forward as you pull your hands directly towards your chest

Throw your legs forward as you pull your hands directly towards your chest

Try to keep yourself stable and wait until your feet swing backwards

Try to keep yourself stable and wait until your feet swing backwards

And once you feel ready push yourself up to complete the movement

And once you feel ready push yourself up to complete the movement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the gym people have asked me whether muscles ups are the best way to develop pulling power but I beleievt eh 2 best exercises for pulling power and back strength are deadlifts and chinups. If you feel bored from doing deadlifts and you don’t know what to do then why not do deadlift variations such as sumo deadlifts, 1 handed deadlifts, half or even quarter deadlifts. If you are looking at focusing mainly on chin-ups then I recommend you to check out SShawna Kaminski’s Pull up challenge here.

The Pull up challenge contains stacks of programs and exercises to increase your pulling power and help you to be able to do a stack of pull ups after 8 weeks.

How to be a good Uke (partner)

MORGAN SALIMOVI was leafing through some old documents on my laptop and came across this old article I wrote on being a good uke at Judo training. Uchikomi is a great training drill but if you are a bad partner you can actually annoy and restrict not only your partners learning but also your own. This is why it is so important to be a good training partner.

Where did Uchikomi come from? 

I don’t know if this is true but I got told that when judo first started no one ever did Uchikomi, participants only did nage komi (throwing). As judo became more popular there were a lot of participants who could not be thrown over and over as many could not breakfall. Then Uchikomi was invented and everyone could practice the breaking of balance and the entry without having to throw.

One problem with this approach is that many judoka have great breaking of balance and entry but due to them doing a lot of Uchikomi (and no nage komi) meant that they couldn’t finish a lot of techniques in randori.

As a partner there are a few basic steps you should do to help be a better partner.

Partner (uke) 

Firstly your partner must be a willing and competent Uchikomi partner. This involves being co-operative in all aspects of the drill. Your partner must understand that in order to be a good judoka, you must also be a good training partner. They need to understand that judo is like dancing, with an unco-ordinated, un-co operative partner many dance moves have no finesse and smoothness. This is the same as judo.

Breakfall 

You must be confident in your breakfalling. If you are not confident of breakfalling you will not want to be thrown and therefore fight to evade every attack your opponent throws at you.  Sooner or later you will injure yourself from trying to hard not to be thrown. If you are confident in your breakfalling skills you will not mind being thrown and will get injured nowhere near as often.

Stance 
To be a competent Uchikomi partner you must firstly stand square. Don’t stand with an extreme left or right stance. Do not stand bent over but instead stand in a nice upright position.

Take a grip 

As an Uchikomi partner you must take a grip. Whenever you are fighting you and your opponent are always grabbing each others gi, therefore it is crucial that you attain a grip. There is nothing worse than doing Uchikomi on a partner who doesn’t take a grip.

Control yourself 

You must not stand there like a sack of potatoes. You must control your own bodyweight.  You must never shift your weight or your hips when your opponent is performing their Uchikomi. Stand in the same positioning the whole time and let your partner control you by pulling you off balance and entering smoothly.

Don’t look around 

At judo you should always be concentrating on the task at hand- which is judo training. When your partner is doing Uchikomi look straight ahead and thing about the various aspects of the throw such as breaking of balance and the entry.

Have a plan 

In most clubs Uchikomi is taken in turns, for example you perform twenty repetitions and your partner does twenty repetitions. There is nothing worse when you do your set and when it is your partners turn they take thirty seconds to think of a throw to do. This can be very annoying. To combat this when your opponent is doing their set, think about what you are going to do next. That way you don’t waste anyone’s time.

If you can implement all of these points consistently at training you will not only be a great partner but a pleasure to train with.