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The Only Relevant Test for Performance in Judo - Judo Development

The Only Relevant Test for Performance in Judo

Standardization, Protocol and Assessment

Introduction

Aerobic power (VO2max) and aerobic capacity (lactate threshold) are important for high performance in judo. That makes the athlete perform on a high intensity over longer periods of time under the match. Due to this the accumulation of metabolites associated with the fatigue process will be delayed, and this makes the athlete recover faster between matches.

Under the match the anaerobic system then supports with energy under short “all-out” maximum performances, studies have shown that performance in upper body wingate tests has a moderate correlation with performance in judo. So because of the dynamics in judo matches, and that actions in judo involves both upper- and lower body actions simultaneously. This makes the Wingate Anaerobic Test not a specific test to evaluate physical fitness of judo athletes. 

The only test that has extensive research behind and relevant for Judo is the Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) that has extremely high reliability at 97 %, the test has a typical error for number of throws at 2.58% and for the index at 4.85 %, the number for typical error decreases by 70% if the test is repeated two times.

The test has also high applicability because it doesn’t need expensive equipment for the coaches, and has high correlation with  Wingate test and VO2max, see table 1. There is also a relationship with the number of attacks in matches and performance in the Special Judo Fitness Test. 

Table 1: Correlation between Upper and Lower body Wingate and Special Judo Fitness Test and VO2max and Special Judo Fitness Test.

Tests SJFT Correlation
Wingate Upper Body
Absolute Mean Power (W)
Relative Mean Power (W/kg)
Fatigue Index (%)
Relative total work (J/kg)

Total number of throws
Total number of throws
Total number of throws
SJFT Index

↗ 85 %
↗ 94 %
↗ 71 %
↘ 83%
Wingate Upper Body
Relative total work (J/kg)
Relative total work (J/kg)

Total number of throws
SJFT Index

↗ 72 %
↘ 71 %
Aerob tests
Relative VO2max (ml/kg/min)
Relative VO2max (ml/kg/min)

Total number of throws
SJFT Index

↗ 79 %
↗ 73 %

Test Protocol Standardlization

Equipment needed

  • A dojo minimum 8 x 8 m (64 m2).
  • 1 Stopwatch (or programmable interval timer).
  • 1 or upp to 3, Heart rate sensors, and a watch (to track the heart reate).
  • Coach tape
  • Papper and pencil to document results under the test
  • A computer/tablet/phone (document in exel after the test, and calculate values).

Procedure

The Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) is divided in three active intervals A, B and C with 10 seconds rest between intervals. Where the A interval is 15 seconds, the B interval is 30 seconds and the C interval is 30 seconds.

At the test the test subject (Tori) is placed 3 metres from each person that’s going to get thrown (Uke A and B), Uke A and B stands with a distance of 6 metres from each other, all places are marked by pieces of coach tape before the test subjects enter the dojo.

Start to inform the participants of the testing procedure and that you expect them to perform their best.

Give each of them a numbered heart rate sensor. Then randomly select the order of weight category to test.

The three persons from the same weight category then do the warm-up first by running at a pulse of 70% of the 4mmol lactate threshold for 5 minutes, then following 3 minutes of light throwing to get warm in the rest of the body and then following 3 minutes of passive recovery before the test starts. 

The three subjects are randomly chosen for their position (Tori, Uke A, Uke B), and then they place themselves in the right position. The test is then performed by one testperson (Tori) and he will throw his opponents (Uke A and B) standing 3 metres from the middle, and 6 meters from each other, see figure 1. 

When the test starts the Tori will under the active intervals (A,B and C) run and throw the Uke A on the throw Ippon-seoi-nage, see figure 2. Then run as fast as possible and throw Uke B at the same throw, then repeat it.

Figure 1: Set up for the Special Judo Fitness Test.

Figure 2: The throw ippon-seoi-nage

Document the number of throws performed in each active intevall A, B and C then read the heart rate directly after the last throw, then wait for 60 seconds and read the heart rate.

Then calculate the total number of throws (N) by using this formula A+B+C = N (a good idea is to put the numbers in to exel, and let it calculate all the numbers)

Than calculate the SJFT Index by using this function (here you also can use exel)

Correlation analysis between Special Judo Fitness Test and Uchikomi Shuttle Run Rest

Assessment of performance

To evaluat the subjects performance at the Special Judo Fitness Test, you should use the table 2.

First compare the total number of throes and the index values, does the classification differ between the two is can be due to the hart rate values. Now you can detect if its the HR after or HR 1min after differs or if the level is due to total number of throws.

Table 2: Assessment of Performance Special Judo Fitness Test.

References

Castarlenas J.L, och Sole J.O. (1997) El entrenamiento de la resistencia en los deportes lucha con agarre: una propuesta integradora. Educ Fís Deportes, 47: 81-86.’

Drid P, Trivić T. och Tabakov S. (2012) Special Judo Fitness Test – A Review, Serb J Sports Sci, 6(4): 117-125.

Franchini E, Takito M.Y, Kiss M.A.P.D.M, och Sterkowicz S (2005a) Physical fitness and anthropometric differences between elite and nonelite judo players. Biol. Sport. 22: 315–328. 

Franchini E, Bertuzzi R.C.M, Takito M.Y, och Kiss M.A.P.D.M. (2009) Effects of recovery type after a judo match on blood lactate and performance in specific and non-specific judo tasks. Eur J Appl Physiol, 107(4): 377-383.

Franchini E, Boscolo Del Vecchio F, Matsushigue K.A, Artioli, G.G, (2011) Physiological Profiles of Elite Judo Athletes,  Sports Med; 41 (2): 147-166.

Franchini E, Boscolo Del Vecchio F, och Sterkowicz S (2010) Special Judo Fitness Test: Development and Results. I Warnick J.E, & Martin, W.D, Advancements in the Scientific Study of Combative Sport, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, 41-59.

Castarlenas J.L, och Sole J.O. (1997) El entrenamiento de la resistencia en los deportes lucha con agarre: una propuesta integradora. Educ Fís Deportes, 47: 81-86.’

Drid P, Trivić T. och Tabakov S. (2012) Special Judo Fitness Test – A Review, Serb J Sports Sci, 6(4): 117-125.

Franchini E, Takito M.Y, Kiss M.A.P.D.M, och Sterkowicz S (2005a) Physical fitness and anthropometric differences between elite and nonelite judo players. Biol. Sport. 22: 315–328. 

Franchini E, Bertuzzi R.C.M, Takito M.Y, och Kiss M.A.P.D.M. (2009) Effects of recovery type after a judo match on blood lactate and performance in specific and non-specific judo tasks. Eur J Appl Physiol, 107(4): 377-383.

Franchini E, Boscolo Del Vecchio F, Matsushigue K.A, Artioli, G.G, (2011) Physiological Profiles of Elite Judo Athletes,  Sports Med; 41 (2): 147-166.

Franchini E, Boscolo Del Vecchio F, och Sterkowicz S (2010) Special Judo Fitness Test: Development and Results. I Warnick J.E, & Martin, W.D, Advancements in the Scientific Study of Combative Sport, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, 41-59.

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.