Juan Carlos Suarez Sosa [email protected]
(Professor of the Sport Sciences Faculty of Matanzas University, Cuba)
PhD Luis Cortegaza Fern‡ndez [email protected]
(Manager Director of Sport Study Centre. Sport Sciences Faculty of Matanzas University, Cuba)
Juan Carlos Suarez Lara
(Professor of the Sport Sciences Faculty of Matanzas University, Cuba)

To increase the judo acceptance of media and public; it is necessary not only to change some rulers. Judo needs to preserve its soul, its spirit, for that it is essential to look for the methods that allow preparing the athletes integrally.

It is necessary all the judo lovers: coaches, athletes, researchers and fans contribute to preserve our sport like it is; an art. The main judo principle is based on efficiency. The concept efficiency means to do something with the smallest amount of energy, effort or resources. At the present times, the fact is, strength is predominating over the technical actions during competitions. The athletes show themselves too static applying moreover a lot of strength. The most important thing is to win, no matter how.

ÒI cannot accept the idea that anything is all right as long as you manage to down your opponent, that any technique is good if it enables you to throw him, but the inclination to feel this way is recently gaining strength. I repeat, however, that I do not agree with it at all.ÓKudo Kazuzo. ÒJudo in ActionÓ. Japan Publication Trading Company. 1977. Page 21.

Many coaches and athletes have taken the way to increase maximal strength and strength endurance. Meanwhile they have done less work with the technical issues. Judo is transforming itself.

ÒOnce Hidekazu Nagaoka (tenth dan) asked Jigoro Kano to explain the meanings of hazumi and ikioi .The founder of judo replied that setting up an impetus (ikioi) involves strength but that establish a momentum (hazumi) involves skill. Anyone learning judo should be able to feel the differences between these twoÓ (1)

To preserve the judo essence it must include together hazumi and ikioi. The coaches and athletes must feel sad when any contest is won without technical cleanness.

It is known that if the maximal strength and strength endurance are developed too much in one athlete the fast twitch muscles fibers transform themselves into slow twitch, then decrease his capacity to apply speedily the strength. Other inconveniences are derivate too: sometimes diminishing the flexibility and coordination.

What are the most spectacular issues during a competition that explain why many people prefer judo over other sports?

1- The speed of the actions
2- Technical cleanness
3- Aesthetically pleasing judokaÕs movement
4- Sharp use of skills
5- JudokaÕs tricks to use the opponent strength.

The use of judogi and the gripping possibility make the difference between many judo techniques that have similar characteristics of freestyle wrestling. Nowadays the difficulties to take over the kumi kata and the adoption of a defensive position have caused some athletes to look throughout the contest like a freestyle wrestling competitor with a judogi. It is not the way; the way is to look for the methods to prepare the athletes as part of an integral whole. The preparation must allow the competitor to apply the strength into correct skills; the strength must be supporting the correct technical- tactical preparation, not deteriorating it.

We think that the future trend of judo will be to look for the methods to prepare the athletes to apply a lot of correct techniques, right and left, to all directions, combining, coordinated and powerfully; like the martial art judo is. Every judo lover enjoys themselves when they observe the application of the technical-tactical skill of athletes with effectiveness.

To reach the goal of making the judo athleteÕs performances more effective and artistic, like a martial art, the Judo federations and coaches have to stress the actions on various aspects:

1- To stimulate the best technical performance in every competition (the athletes and their coaches)
2- To diffuse the judoka ethical and aesthetical principle between judo athletes since the earliest ages. Judo is an art and a good judoka must win with technical clarity and fair movements.
3- To develop the basic judo elements since the kids begin learning (ukemi, attack position, shizen, kuzushi, taisabaki, momentum, etc).
4- To teach the correct technical patterns.
5- To find out what capacity determines success for each athlete, taking into account his anatomic and physiologic characteristics.
6- To subordinate the work with the conditional capacities to improve the capacity that determines success in each athlete.
7- To look for the ways to know the optimal levels of each conditional and coordinative capacity (strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, balance, coordination, etc) to transfer them to the technique application (knowing the fact if one is developed too much; it can affect another). During sport training process a lot off is not correct.
8- To look for the way to support research about the judo ideal movement patterns and the methodology to prevent the typical shortcomings that appear during the learning process.

Our Judo Researchers Team Work has observed 121 combats of cadets, juniors and high level athletes. The observation objective was to determine the main shortcomings that determine the lack of technical-tactical cleanness through the contest.

Competition observed

Combats observed

CubanÕs Cadet Championship


CubanÕs Junior Championship


WorldÕs Championship


Olympic Games




Main shortcomings detected.

1-To attack without a correct attack position.
2-To control lapel with right hand (athlete right handed) and remain inactive; gifting the right sleeve to the opponent.
3-To do every time the same action during the kumi kata taking over.
4-A little amount of combinations, action-reaction tricks, and attacks systems.
5-A little use of one-handed gripÕs attacks.
6-To flex too much the trunk (upper body).
7-To attack when the opponent is static.
8-To move himself but does not move the adversary (the correct way is to make move the opponent and move himself only the necessary amount).
9-The incorrect legs and body position on the techniques that throw forwards.
10- There is a lack of coordination between corporal segments during the technique application.
11-The kuzushi of left arm (right handed); or right arm (left handed) goes downwards since the first action of the kuzushi (this action fixes uke to the ground and does not contribute to the off balance of the opponent body).
12-Not lifting the elbow parallel to the mat during the Kuzushi of the hand that controls the sleeve.
13-To not twist the wrist and forearms of the hand that controls the sleeve during the kuzushi.
14-To bring the legs together.
15-To support the body weight on all the soles of the feet when they are doing taisabaki (this action limits the twisting possibility of the body). It is a technical requirement to put the heels a little up.
16-To not flex correctly the legs during taisabaki and technique application.
17-There is a lack of linking between tachi waza and newaza.
18-To adopt too much a defensive position throughout newaza.
19-To attack without hazumi (using the correct momentum) but applying only the ikioi (impetus, strength).

The last shortcomings can derivate many other mistakes which diminish technical effectiveness and prettiness during the competition.

The next example shows the shortcomings that can derivate from the adoption of incorrect attack position.

Some consequences derivatives of the incorrect attack position

Main shortcomings detected.Consequences derivative level 1Consequences derivative level 2Consequenses derivative level 3
1- To attack without a correct attack position.1.1–To run over to much distance to do the taisabaki. (If tori is situated too far)1.1.2-Too much time during the technique application then the opponent has more time to counter
1.2-There is not space between uke and tori(tori is situated to close) to collocate the body(techniques that throw frontward)1.2.1-It is impossible to do a correct taizabaki. Tori can fall down on his knees(seoi nage, Ippon, tai otoshi,etc
1.2. 1.2-The opponent can counter easily during the tori«s attacks opponent can attack ne waza technique meanwhile uke is on a weak position
1.3- The arms are to straight, then it is impossible to do a correct kuzushi(if tori is situated to far) 1.3.1-It is impossible to off balance the opponent body. Tori could fall back ward The opponent could counter easily
1.4- With the standing to close to uke there is not place to off balance then collide both(uke and tori) 1.4.1- Tori could fall frontward
1.4.2-The opponent could counter easily to tori

(1) Kudo Kazuzo. Judo in Action. Japan Publications Trading Company. 1977. Page 9.