So many people get bored and easily tire of the same routine in the gym. For many, the gym represents pain, anxiety and humiliation – but it’s not the only way to exercise. The best way to get healthy and stay in shape is by varying your workout – keep your body on its toes so it never gets used to the activity you’re doing. One great form of alternative exercise is Judo.
Judo, which means “gentle way”, is a modern Japanese martial art. Judo is the most popular martial art in the world with more people registered with nationally-affiliated judo clubs than any other martial art. There is no punching or kicking and certainly no “Judo Chop” as referred to by Austin Powers! In Judo you use a series of throws, trips holds and locks to out-do your opponent. And you don’t have to be big or strong to take part; the main principle of Judo is using your opponent’s body weight against them to your advantage. You do need a special suit or Judo Gee, which most clubs provide for you. Many also offer the first session free so you haven’t lost anything if you feel it’s not for you!
There is no mystery to judo and no techniques, nor any crouching tiger stances. You will gain proficiency by diligently practicing the techniques just like any other sport or recreational activity. Judo is a great way to shape the body as you use all your muscles. With the throws you will use your arms to pull your opponent into position and your core to maneuver them and throw them to the floor. Fitness is greatly improved through Judo a contest is generally four minutes long for women and five for men. And although that doesn’t seem like a lot, you have to work hard to get the upper hand. Most training includes a mix of practising technique, fitness and then friendly grapples.
Judo is also an effective system of self-defence and a great way to develop self discipline. According to the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS), one out of six U.S. women have experienced an attempted or completed rape at some time in their life. And 54% of these women were 17 or younger when the rape or assault occurred.
Plenty of sports help to develop physical fitness, confidence, and other factors we value. Judo does all of this and, because it is a close-quarters sport, it helps develop skills that may be very useful in close-quarters crimes, such as rape and sexual assault. Physically smaller and weaker individuals can successfully apply judo techniques on larger, stronger opponents or attackers.