10 Rules to Follow for Competitors


Hayward Nishioka has a wonderful book for competitors entitled “Judo, Heart & Soul”.  In it, he has a tremendous amount of good material for those who wish to improve their shiai ability.  He labels them as 10 things for staying ahead of the game, and I’d like to quote them here:

1. Be in exemplary cardiovascular condition.

2. Have a technique-oriented mindset.

3. Be able to attack from any angle, anytime, with any technique.

4. Truncate the time of attack.  In other words, as soon as you grip - attack!

5. Do one-handed Judo.

6. Understand the rules and use them to your advantage.

7. Study gripping techniques, especially how to release your opponent’s grip.

8. Make quick transitions from your standing techniques to your mat.  The longer you wait to enter your mat techniques, the more difficult it will be to get them.

9. Be able to plan, execute and evaluate your progress in Judo.

10. Be tenacious.

A comment on #3 - I would add that you need to be able to attack both right and left-handed… although Nishioka’s #3 certainly implies this.

“One-handed Judo” means being able to attack with only a single hand gripping.  This is a very key ability these days, where top-flight competitors aren’t willing to allow you to take a normal grip.  A favorite of mine was Hiki Otoshi… taking the sleeve grip (which is usually given you - as opposed to the lapel grip) with my left hand, then turning in to my opponent in a Tai Otoshi type of stance, and bringing my right forearm down on my opponent’s elbow (of the arm I’m gripping.)

If you are a dedicated competitor - be sure to pick up this book, it’s outstanding in it’s coverage of competition Judo.