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antonyneal
9/15/2011 9:13pm,
I have started training Judo primarily instead of Muay Thai because being a poor student 4$ per hour of training compared with 20$ per hour of training makes it impossible to choose Muay Thai.

But I was wondering if some bullies could tell what they think of the typical training that goes on at my dojo.

The training typically goes for about 2 hours and 20 minutes and costs 8$. The session usually has about 8 students and 2-3 black belts.

15 minutes- setting up tatami

20 minutes - warm up running around in circles, fifty push up(which I can never finish) and situps, running around the dojo carrying another guy and ground work specific strength exercises.

10 minutes - stretching out

15 minutes - learning and practicing standing techniques with relatively little resistance, I am a noobie so I forget the names but we practice setting up different throws, how to move our selves and our opponent around ect

10 minutes (douse not happen every training session) - we take out crash mats and take turns throwing as many people as possible as quickly as possible into the floor with relatively little resistance.

25 minutes full resistance - 3 minute rounds of ground work swapping between partners at the end of each round

25 minutes full resistance - 3 minute rounds of standing work swapping partners between rounds

10 minutes- more strength and cardio training with stretching at the end

We line up in belt ranking order then the sensei gives us any news about the club like tournament results or new belts being awarded and we put away the tatami. I notice a distinct lack of kata being taught but apparently every one at the dojo knows the kata they need to in order to get the gradings.

I would also like some advice on weight division. I weigh 120kg(264 pounds) am 6 feet tall and I out weigh every one in my dojo by about 40kg(88 pounds). I am keen to be competitive in competition and am curious what weight division I should try to enter. The sensei seems happy for me to enter the over 100kg division eventually when I have enough experience to compete but I think he might be a little too happy to have a heavy weight at his dojo.

I dont mean to disrespect the sensei he is a good teacher and a very nice guy.

Res Judicata
9/15/2011 9:33pm,
It sounds normal. Cheap too. That kind of warmup is standard but old-fashioned. A little short on technical instruction and drilling, but that's not unusual either. Kata? Heh.

ADM
9/15/2011 9:36pm,
Is this good Judo?

You know you could have written about 1 paragraph there and put up a video. How can anyone tell if that's good Judo from a routine class schedule?

antonyneal
9/15/2011 11:33pm,
Is this good Judo?

You know you could have written about 1 paragraph there and put up a video. How can anyone tell if that's good Judo from a routine class schedule?

I guess I could have done that if if I had video or the capacity to record some. I was more asking if that was a appropriate training schedule for competitive Judo. Maybe I should have named the thread "Is this a good training schedule for a Judo class?" but it seemed a bit unwieldy for a title.

ty5
9/16/2011 3:50am,
What do you think of it then?

Looks similar to the club I go to, accept that the warm up is about 20 minutes then the rest is straight randori for an hour (60% newaza / 40% tachi waza) then a warm down.

It would be good in fact if there was more technique training at the club, as the only technique stuff we do is for newaza, but the guy who runs it likes fighting and has a slight preference for newaza, so we all have a good fight. Planning to go to a seperate class for the technique stuff as my throws are rubbish but my ground work is not too bad for my grade.

Lu Tze
9/16/2011 4:03am,
Sounds like a typical recreational club.

Syphilis
9/16/2011 5:00am,
your times are probably a bit off, but that doesn't seem like a strange class setup. 50 mins of full resistance sparring is pretty good.

judoka_uk
9/16/2011 5:22am,
Its impossible to answer the question from your description.

Its a fairly standard class structure, however, class structure bears no relation to the quality of Judo in the club.

I've done this class structure at clubs that are stuffed with elite and former elite players and at clubs that are filled with average, recreational players.

My importantly for you would be the question is this a good Judo structure for an adult beginner, for which the answer is an emphatic, no.

However, that doesn't mean it isn't a good club and the people running it aren't teaching good Judo.

Gosai
9/16/2011 6:42am,
My importantly for you would be the question is this a good Judo structure for an adult beginner, for which the answer is an emphatic, no.

However, that doesn't mean it isn't a good club and the people running it aren't teaching good Judo.

What would you say a good structure for an adult beginner is, Judoka?

I'm kinda curious since I've recently taken up with a local Judo Club, though I'm probably going to make a habit (or try to make it one) of working out with the instructor after classes too.

Lu Tze
9/16/2011 7:16am,
I would think generally more drilling, less sparring.

Unless you're packed to the rafters with instructors, it can be difficult for smaller clubs to train beginners and intermediate/advanced students separately. Newbies tend to get thrown in the deep end sometimes.

judoka_uk
9/16/2011 7:22am,
What would you say a good structure for an adult beginner is, Judoka?

Well its not really a matter of 10 minutes on X, 23 minutes on Y etc...

RE: Warm ups

First thing to remember is that an adult beginner is usually over 30 or 40 works a day job and has some kind of family to support. Thus they come into the club at whatever time the session starts having got up at stupid o'clock, commuted/ taken kids to school, gone to work, possibly travelled about or done strenuous manual labour at work, driven or commuted home and then driven to the club.

At that point you have a fairly tired person, the worst thing you can do with that tired person is subject them to a 20/30 minute cardio/ conditioning session.

It will knacker them out, meaning they're in a sub optimal state for technique training - higher fatigue = greater loss of motor skills and are at a greater risk of injury during randori.

Instead what you should do is a short bit of light exercise - few laps of the mat followed by dynamic and static stretching. I.e a proper warm up.

Then go into sport specific drills - shrimps, ashi waza drills, tsugi ashi movements, sit throughs, kuzushi drills etc...

This is more than sufficient to warm people up and get a sweat on. It also ensures that body control and fundamental motor skills are taught and practised. Crucial in late adult beginners many of whom have done little to no physical activity for years or decades and may never have to had to control their bodies in the way required for sports like Judo.

RE: Technique training

Technique training should be conducted in a progressive structured manner. Standing up talking for 3-5 minutes about a throw and bringing out a few key points then sending people off to do it whilst wandering around correcting. Is far from ideal to teach adults and shallows their learning curve.

Instead you should show the throw as a complete action a couple of times.

Then demonstrate the footwork solo without a partner, send them away and drill the footwork, move around and correct.

Bring them back in show them the hand action solo without a partner, send them away and drill the hand action, move around and correct.

Bring them back in show them the footwork and hand action together solo without a partner, send them away and drill the footwork and hand action together, move around and correct.

Bring in a partner, have them practice footwork with an uke but without gripping, move around and correct.

With a partner, have them practice the hand action with an uke, move around and correct.

With a partner, have them practice the hand action and footwork with an uke, move around and correct.

So basically you build the throw from the ground up in stages, progressively. This takes about 45 minutes to 1hr for just one throw.

RE: Uchikomi and Nagekomi

Drills should be performed on the move as soon as possible, but again moving drilling should be introduced progressively. Praticing forward pivoting without a partner, then with a partner without full grips, then with a partner gripped up, then bringing in an already practiced throw.

RE: Randori
For absolute beginners standing randori should be put off as long as possible. Concentration should be placed on movement and tai sabaki drilling and ukemi to ensure good fundamentals.

Randori should be confined to groundwork until sufficient competency in ukemi and movement and tai sabaki is achieved.

Randori should be strictly controlled, pairing with competent higher grades is better than pairing white belts together.

Intensity should be rigorously enforced at 60% and the session stopped if people are spazzing and need to calm down.

RE: Periodisation

Its down right retarded for a beginner to turn up one week work on a Tai otoshi - O uchi combo, next week turn up and work on Uki waza, the week after work on Seoi nage for two weeks, then just do armlocks for 2 weeks.

It makes no kind of pedagogical sense and leads to the 'technique tsunami' where beginners are constantly bombarded by new techniques and never have any time to get competent at any of them.

Structure your lessons

2-3 weeks on O uchi gari and Juji gatame

Then 2-3 weeks on Tai otoshi and Juji gatame rolls

Then 2-3 on O uchi gari into Tai otoshi and Tai otoshi into a Juji gatame roll.

There you have a 6/9 week cycle where you progressively build competency, link skills and at the end of the cycle you can say....

Ok, now you now how to do O uchi gari, Tai otoshi and Juji gatame.

You know how to combine O uchi gari with Tai otoshi and how to transition from Tai otoshi into Juji gatame.

The beginner has achieved something concrete and has a clear set of skills they have developed.

The sticking point
This is very hard to do with mixed ability classes where you have a scattering of 5 year 1st and 2nd kyus, some dan grades, 4 3rd kyus, 2 white belts, an up and coming junior etc...

Quite simply, most Judo coaches are amateurs and although they may have coaching quals and decades of coaching behind them. Most struggle to structure and periodise properly because of the diverse and shifting nature of their classes. One week you may have 20 on the mat across the ability spectrum, next week 5 white belts, week after that 3 black belts and 4 competent 1st kyus.

This fucks up your planning, forces you often to improv a class on the hoof to try and match the average ability. This is why you end up with a 2 week white belt in a session working on combinations from Uki otoshi to flying Juji gatame or other such craziness.

Gosai
9/16/2011 9:11am,
Quite simply, most Judo coaches are amateurs and although they may have coaching quals and decades of coaching behind them. Most struggle to structure and periodise properly because of the diverse and shifting nature of their classes. One week you may have 20 on the mat across the ability spectrum, next week 5 white belts, week after that 3 black belts and 4 competent 1st kyus.

Thanks Judoka, that was actually really informative. D'you teach any classes out of curiosity? (Purely academic in that curiosity. It's a bit out of my price range to fly out to the UK just to train with a guy on the internet, haha.)

I think, at least, that the instructor where I'm planning on learning Judo has a decent chance to structure the glasses. If the other students are the usual crowd then that gives us another white belt besides me, a yellow, a blue, and a green and the teacher himself at Black.

Unfortunately he's also the only one there in my size range. But it is fun since he's also in better shape and more skilled then me. Rolling with him was quite an experience.

ty5
9/16/2011 9:11am,
Agree with all of that Judoka_uk, not that I have experienced that kind of training as an adult beginner but it sounds like it is exactly the sort of thing myself and the other white belts at the club have been wanting.

Better to learn in a structured way rather than straight into an hour of randori which is the current way. I think it could be done at the club I go to, as the other white/yellow belts do more or less turn up every week.

judoka_uk
9/16/2011 10:08am,
Thanks Judoka, that was actually really informative. D'you teach any classes out of curiosity? (Purely academic in that curiosity. It's a bit out of my price range to fly out to the UK just to train with a guy on the internet, haha.)

I don't teach anymore since I left Uni, I occasionally take warm ups and show bits and bobs, but I don't take full sessions.


Agree with all of that Judoka_uk, not that I have experienced that kind of training as an adult beginner but it sounds like it is exactly the sort of thing myself and the other white belts at the club have been wanting.

Better to learn in a structured way rather than straight into an hour of randori which is the current way. I think it could be done at the club I go to, as the other white/yellow belts do more or less turn up every week.
The issue for me is what can be described as physical 'illiteracy' amongst most late adult beginners. That is to say they don't really have any of the physical tools like how to move their body, spatial awareness, coordination etc...

Kurt Osiander talks about this in one of the 'Ask a black belt' bjj vids on YT.

Which is interesting to me, because its having attended a few BJJ sessions which helped me formulate some of the ideas for progressive training technique breakdown and applying it to Judo.

I speculate this maybe because BJJ is adult-centric, whereas Judo is child-centric.

So they have better models and knowledge pools for how to teach adults whereas we have good models and knowledge pools for how to teach kids.

Back to physical 'illiteracy', what we do with adults is akin to picking up a copy of War and Peace, giving it to someone who can't read and saying 'Ok so this little dot means the sentence has stopped, the word 'and' is a bridging word and remember words can have multiple meanings depending on context, now off you go and read this book'. This is obviously insane and yet is effectively the model we use to teach adults.

And what's even worse is the utter paucity of resources to learn fundamental skills like; movement, positioning, spacing, off balancing etc...

You go on Judoforum or type into google 'tai sabaki' and you get back a load of waffle that's bugger all use to you. You ask for advice about a throw and people just say 'oh you need to work on your kuzushi', which is **** all use, because you don't know how to 'work on your kuzushi' and no one will tell you how to do it.

I know how frustrating this is, because I went through the process myself. Hence why I started blogging.

BearHammer
9/16/2011 3:32pm,
Judoka_UK, I follow your blog and it is helping me out tremendously. Thanks for the time your putting into it.

I am having the same issues in my club. I was taught Osoto Gari my first day, but haven't really received any feedback on it. there are always different levels of players there. Some whites, greens, blues, browns, and blacks as well as some competitors that are practicing for competition. Since that day it has been a cornucopia of different throws and newaza techniques. I have held my own in newaza because of some past bjj exp. and some moves I picked up here and there on the forums.

My throws are abysmal right now though. Wrestling 300lb white belts has been fun, but I feel like I'm not learning much with that type of randori. I have changed up recently and begun to challenge upper level players and it feels much better (its not just a power grunt and stiff arm fest), and I go home less worn out.

What would you suggest a new player do when in the type of environment that others have described in this thread?

judoka_uk
9/16/2011 4:59pm,
The way I see it you have 3 options.

1. Overthrow your oppressors, cast them down and declare a dictatorship of the aged noob.

2. Await patiently for the glorious day when my ascent to power is complete and I am crowned World King.

3. Set yourself some goals, targets and structures for your own training. Accept that its going to be a frustrating and lengthy process and in the words of Wayama sensei 'If you train hard, you will get worse, before you get better'.

So assuming you're like your average aged noob, you have a few key areas that you need to deal with.

1. Your body.

You're tired, inflexible, unfit and at a high risk of injury. To fix the last two is superficially relatively simple try and get in a run or two a week and a sensible weights session. The issues arise about how good you are at time management, are you capable of not finding time, but actually making time and continuing to make time even in the face of adversity.

Tired-ness will be mitigated by increased exercise and a good diet. Obviously don't have to go crazy and eat cottage cheese and raw fish 8 times a day. Just cut down on the fizzy drinks, save the beers for the weekend and resist the temptation to grab fast food for lunch. Bring sandwiches or salads from home, women can be utilised to construct these.

Flexibility is an important issue in Judo generally, but especially for the older noob. Old noobs constantly complain they can't get low enough, can't get their leg round, can't put their arm here. All it takes to fix this is 10-15 minutes of gentle stretching every morning before you get in the shower and before you go to bed.

2. Pre/Post Training.

If you can turn up 10-15 minutes early and stay 10-15 minutes late. If you can talk a fellow noob into this it will be much easier.

Use this 10-15 minutes to practice your ukemi and drill your kuzushi - http://thedifficultway.blogspot.com/2011/08/drilling-kuzushi.html

Again its a case of making time.

3. During the training session.

There's not much you can do about how the session is conducted you're a lowly noob. However, if you manage to convince enough of you of the periodisation idea, then you can come together as a unit and ask your coach about training that way. Obviously don't storm up and demand changes, be polite, be tactful etc...

If that doesn't work or you can't find enough fellow conspirators. Then you have to utilise what time you do have.

There will be some time of free uchikomi or nagekomi where you get to choose the techniques you practice or at least some semi-free time i.e 'ok guys now do any forward throw' etc...

So insert your own periodisation plan.

I suggest you pick two major techniques and two complimentary ashiwaza from these lists.

Major throws:
Koshi guruma
Tsurikomi goshi
Uki goshi
O soto gari
O goshi
Seoi nage
Tai otoshi
Harai goshi
Uchi mata

Complimentary ashiwaza:
De ashi barai
Hiza guruma
Sasae tsurikomi ashi
O uchi gari
Ko soto gari
Ko uchi gari
Okuri ashi barai

I.e Tai otoshi and Uchi mata for major forward throws and O uchi gari and Ko uchi gari for complimentary ashiwaza.

Then just drill all those techniques in isolation, then drill chaining them together. i.e Ko uchi Tai otoshi, O uchi Uchi mata, Tai otoshi - Uchi mata etc...

Then just keep turning up, keep sticking at it and eventually things will fall into place.

Oh and always stay faithful, never let those harlots of unorthodox and close contact gripping lure you away from the true path. They're a crutch unless you have absolutely rock solid fundamentals.