In judo training you have to be there to feel it and really win it for yourself. Nevertheless, we will try to present you a few typical training sessions. The training is not only beneficial for fitness, but also helps to learn the techniques and movements. Some exercises can also be practiced at home – we reveal which ones are suitable for this.

A typical Judo training lesson

In the following we try to present you a typical Judo training. Certainly, trainers set other priorities, but the procedure is usually very similar. The best thing to do is to visit a training session at a judo club near you. In general, watching or participating once is free of charge and will give you an even better insight.

1. The greetingWhen entering the dojo, it is customary to stop at the doorstep and bow towards the center of the hall. The actual judo training is then started with a greeting.

Here the students line up according to their rank, starting from the most experienced on the right to the novice on the left. At the command of the sensei, they first bow, then sit down and concentrate, then are greeted with a deep bow with the forehead almost touching the floor, and then rise again. Finally, a standing bow follows. This traditional procedure is found in many Japanese martial arts and shows the highest respect for the sensei, the dojo and all others present, students and teachers alike.

2. The warm upAfter the greeting comes the warm-up, which is usually done in the form of various running exercises, such as knee lifts or side steps. Some trainers introduce playful elements such as ball sports into the warm-up phase to increase the fun factor. A few short stretching exercises round out this first phase of training and give you time to catch your breath.
3. Technique exercisesThen comes the technique part, in which the focus is on the perfection of the individual movements. Here, for example, falling exercises are done or new Judo techniques are learned and rehearsed under the watchful eye of the trainer. The purpose of this part of the training is to improve the mastery of Judo techniques rather than their practical application.
4. Randori (practice fight)Then, in Randori, the levers and throws learned are practiced with a practice partner. Randori is supposed to be a practice fight in a relaxed atmosphere, where there are neither winners nor losers. Only the correct application of the learned techniques on an opponent, who also defends himself and applies techniques on his part, is the focus. Should some Kyú have a belt examination with a Kata before itself, then it is practiced also in this training section with.
5. The farewellFinally, the farewell follows, which is identical to the greeting. When leaving the dojo, one also bows once more on the doorstep in the direction of the center of the hall.

The following video also offers a good insight into a judo training session. The video only goes for a little over 10 minutes, but the training is enough for 2 hours. It includes warm up, drop school, throwing in, standing techniques and randori as a form of exercise.


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How much fitness do you have to have to do judo?

Ultimately, this question is answered simply: a lot. The physical effort that a two-hour training session demands from you is enormous. Especially in the later stages of training, i.e. during the higher Kyú and Dan exams and their preparation, you will get to know the limits of your physical capacity anew.

But don’t worry: the Sensei and the other Judoka will guide you step by step to these tasks and your fitness will increase anyway, as long as you attend the training diligently.

Judo Training
© auremar –

How long does it take to learn Judo?

When asked how long it takes to master judo, the great masters are very fond of answering, “Forever, because you never stop learning.” This is not even that far from the truth, even though “forever” is always a somewhat daunting time figure for the novice. In a way, though, they are right, because learning judo is not a task that you can just do quickly. That’s why it’s not uncommon for judo to be offered to children. This way they are introduced to the movements and techniques at an early age.

Practice makes perfect, this also applies to Judo. There is no such thing as a “Judo for Beginners” course where an instructor teaches you everything you need to know in a 14-day crash course.

It usually takes between three and six months, depending on your fitness level at the start of training, until you have internalized all the rules of etiquette and your body begins to approach the performance level of the group. Some of you will have had your first test after this time, but others will need this time to allow your body to adjust to the challenge. As soon as you are able to manage your strength in such a way that you can go through the training session completely, you will also be able to show your first successes very quickly.

Once you have your next judo belt in your hands, you will understand why the great masters never stop learning judo. There is always a greater challenge to overcome.