Saturday, May 8, 2010

Judo Practice

When I am going to judo, I say I am going to practice. When I return, my wife asks me “how was the practice?” I started to reflect on what do we mean by practice.

Some say practice makes perfect, other say, no, practice just makes permanent.

So what does the thesaurus tell us about practice?; habit, process, exercise, application, discipline, preparation, rehearsal, repetition, study, training, work-out, drill, hone, polish, sharpen, pursue, apply, accomplish, create, develop, persevere, persist, form.

One definition of the verb to practice is: To do something repeatedly in order to acquire or polish a skill.

So the concept of repetition is important. I would suggest that guided practice is important. Imagine your player has a taiotoshi which is technically poor, biomechanically incorrect, then when they practice it, repeatedly polish it, they will get very good at doing taiotoshi badly. If they practice hard enough, they could indeed become expert at doing a bad taiotoshi.

So as a coach you need to be sure that your technical correction is accurate, then encourage repetition. Repetition in uchikomi, in nage komi, in tandoku renshu, in kakari geiko, in shiai. Give your players every opportunity to practice. Every opportunity to study and create their judo. Every opportunity to persevere, to develop and polish their judo.

Can you meet them before work, before school? Can you get in the dojo at 6 am? Can you remove excuses? Give them technically correct instruction, and help motivate them to practice. If they normally practice for an hour, for 60 minutes, could you extend it by 6 minutes? You would be increasing their opportunity to practice by 10%.

As a coach, can you improve yourself so you can give the players the very best guidance, the best instruction? Imagine the total possible knowledge in judo can be put in a cup, then ask how full is your cup? Now you can follow judo coach education online, at times that suit you, and interact with other coaches and coach educators. All accredited by the European Judo Union. Find out how at

Enjoy your practice.

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