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Judo training advice

Recognised both as a sport and a martial art, judo has been an Olympic sport since 1964 for men and 1988 for women. Men and women compete separately but often train together.

Judo competition bouts are very short in duration (5 - 7 minutes) but high in intensity, so training focuses on developing anaerobic power. The fitness requirements of judo are similar to those of Taekwon-do, but because contests are longer in duration, contestants also need aerobic energy. Endurance training is therefore also important. What's more, there is a bigger grappling element in this martial art than in many others, requiring a high level of strength.

As with all martial arts, explosive power and flexibility are both key elements in any training routine. Although strength training is also crucial, bodybuilders' exercises are often not the most appropriate form of strength training for martial arts, as bodybuilders tend to isolate one muscle group alone and work it to exhaustion. The type of strength required by athletes is a different type of strength however: they use their strength to provide them with explosive power. Athletes should train movements rather than muscles. This means working several muscles together, as with a vertical jump for example, which works calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals together, rather than individually.

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