What does a typical Judo session look like?
Your first Judo session can be a little bit intimidating. Like any new experience it’s best to have a bit of an idea what you’ll be getting yourself into before you turn up.
A typical Judo session will usually follow the following structure
10-15mins Warm up
45-60mins of Technical Training
30-60mins of Randori (Judo’s version of sparring)
The warm up is exactly as the name suggests, preparing yourself for the up coming session.
Typically a warm up will involve some form of general warm up such as running, gymnastics skills and mobility before moving on to more Judo specific movements such as uchi-komi (repetition of techniques).
The idea of a warm up is to also set the tone of the session and gets everyone on the same page and focus on their training.
The great thing about Judo is no two sessions are alike. During the technical training there will be a variation of different drills, techniques, scenarios, tactics and focus.
During the technical training, there will normally be development of a new technique or refinement of an already learnt one. For example you might start with a shoulder throw that you are already familar with. From here you may drill that technique for 5-10mins before adding on a setup to it, which might be via a footsweep. Lastly you might add a gripping sequence onto this and/or look at what technique you can do on the ground once you have thrown your partner.
During the technical training, it gives athletes a chance to ask questions and find new solutions to problems they have executing their techniques
The last part of training is a chance to put your skills into action. Randori is where you fight against another partner and try to throw them while they do the same to you.
It is a great opportunity to test yourself against your peers and from a fitness point of view it is one of the best ways to improve effectively all components of fitness.
This is also a chance for you to train with higher grades. Don’t stress though as in this setting while the high grades will be fighting you they will be doing so at your level. Also in a good randori session it is still about developing your own skills so most high grades use this as an opportunity to attempt new techniques as oppose to use people as throwing practice!
At the end of the session, there will always be a debrief of the training and a cool down. Usually the positives of the sessions will be identified and any work-ons for the next session communicated as well.
So now that you know what to expect it’s time to take your first step onto the tatami!