From a standpoint of physicality, Judo virtually covers all areas. Its multidimensional nature requires abilities in; balance, speed, agility, coordination, strength and power, aerobic and anaerobic fitness. It does not surprise me at all that the sport has gained a rapidly growing interest within the world strength and conditioning community, what with all its previously mentioned attributes the obscure body positions that Judoka place themselves in and exert force through has led to further development of training ideas in the gym.
I had a great conversation with one of our S&C coaches at Camberley Judo Club, David Boycott Brown, who also coaches with the English Institute of Sport a few months back about some of the less researched areas of strength and conditioning. David was saying how he believes the 3 most undertrained areas of the body are the hands, neck and feet. 3 areas of the anatomy stimulated massively by Judo; we are completely barefoot, gripped up 90 percent of the time, and the neck due to basing on the head through many of our ground techniques and having to stabilise the area whilst being thrown, which we do thousands upon thousands of times.
Touching again on the obscurer body positions and movements and considering the now popular ideas of mobility and movement driven training cultures, I struggle to consider a sport, other than than gymnastics, that teaches and requires such a rounded all body demand to be mobile.
It’s great that Judo is having more attention from the S&C circles, both communities can benefit from each other. Long may it continue.