Back in 2006 I was training really hard and ended up getting selected for my first ever training trip to Japan for two weeks and then Europe for four weeks.
Unfortunately due to and work commitments I had to leave later than the rest of the team and so I had to organize my own training by myself in Nagoya. Through a friend I grabbed a spot training at Chukyo University in Nagoya.
I arrived in Japan and got stuck into training. I ran or did weights in the morning and did three hours of solid Randori each and every night, I was doing really well against some fighters, but some of them were amazing technicians.
There was this one Judoka who trained at Chukyo University and his name was Michi. He was a tough fighter and we always had good fights against one another. I was going really well throughout my two weeks but on the second last round on my last day of training Michi pulled me around in a circle, but my foot got stuck on the mat. Then when he swept me with Osoto gari we both heard my knee go “snap, crackle and pop’.
It was horrible, I was alone and sad and my knee was the size of a balloon.
The next day I flew off to Europe and stupidly did another 4 weeks training on a torn ACL and torn medial meniscus. I trained at the Tata Training camp in Hungary before catching the train to Slovenia where I placed 7th in a Junior tournament and lost first round in the Dax cup.
I came home and had a knee reconstruction and was forced to have 11 months off Judo training. It was the worst. After a few months I started getting back into Judo training by doing a stack of solo Judo drills including:
– shadow uchikomi
– shadow moving uchikomi
– rubber band uchikomi
– rubber band exercises
Although after 11 months off training I found that when I came back to training it was like I had never left and this was due to the fact that I did a lot of solo Judo training at home.
Doing Judo at home is a great way to build your co-ordination skills, your timing as well as overall understanding of what you need to do each and every repetition.
There are many Judokas out there who believe that doing solo Judo drills at home can actually destroy your technique and create bad habits but I believe that if you do them properly then you benefits easily outweigh the negatives.
Judo Training at Home is great for people who cannot regularly attend Judo training and want to do something that is similar to Judo.
I encourage you all to perform shadow uchikomi as part of your warm ups or cool downs at training or in the gym. This way you are constantly thinking about Judo and in doing so your technique will improve.