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The Explosive vs. the Endurance Judo Fighter - Judo Development

The Explosive vs. the Endurance Judo Fighter

In 1995 the French scientist Gariod and his associates did an evaluation of the energy profiles of the Judoka. In the study they selected sixteen male between 18-22 years old, competing in judo at regional and national level in France.

First the scientist did a video analysis where they divided the judo athletes in two groups: the ‘explosive fighters’ and the ‘endurance fighters’ (using the method presented by Dr. Hans Müller Deck, 9th Dan in 1987). The explosive judo fighters were more eager to win at the beginning of the match and the endurance judo fighter winning rather at the end of the match.

The subjects were then tested first by measuring VO2max with Douglas Bag by using a cycle ergometer, then they did modified Wingate test for 45 seconds for assessment of maximal power output and anaerobic lactic capacity. Later the scientist did spectroscopy to analyse metabolic parameters on the athletes.

The physiological findings (see table 1) then showed that the endurance judo fighter had 15,7 % higher VO2max, took half the time (~50 seconds) to recover PCr than the explosive judo fighters, and could work 30,9 % longer before reaching fifty percent power loss. On the other hand the explosive judo fighters could perform 11 % higher values for relative peak power at wingate test.

This result could then reflect on the type of tactics the both fighters would use during judo fights: where the explosive judo fighter will rely on a quick, precise and explosive technique and not be so dynamic in the fight. On the other hand the endurance judo fighter will be more dynamic and have a higher frequency of techniques.

Table 1: Values for the two physiological profiles of judo.

Explosive fighterEndurance fighterSignificant Differences
VO2max (ml/min/kg)54.6 ± 3.063.2 ± 1.9Yes
Relative Peak Power (W/kg)16.2 ± 1.114.6 ± 0.9Yes
Lactic capacity (J/kg)358.7 + 28.0358.5 ± 30.9No
Lactate (mmol)13.5 ± 1,413.0 ± 2,2No
Fatigue Index (decimals)0,34 ± 0,00.38 ± 0.03Yes
T50 (50% power lost) (s)23,0 ± 3.330,1 ± 3.2Yes


Gariod L, Favre-Juvin A, Novel V, Reutenauer H, Majean H, och Rossi A. (1995) Evaluation du profit énergetique des judokas par spectroscopie RMN du P31. Sci. Sports 10: 201–207.