Tag Archives: judo research

Training Load in Judo

A new research project I am embarking on is considering the use of training load in judo. I am working with one of Comberton judo clubs coaches/athletes who is a student at Anglia Ruskin University where I lecture.

What is training load?

In it’s most simple form training load is the amount (volume) and the intensity (how hard you work) of training in a given period, often a day, week, or month. It has been suggested that training load monitored well can help predict injury (Gabbett, 2016; Gabbett & Domrow, 2007) but other reasons include appropriate planning and ‘peaking’ for an event.

For a few years now I have monitored athletes training load and in recent years I have considered training load in terms of fatigue (chronic/28days) and fitness (acute/current daily load). I started doing this using dropbox and excel, then moved to google docs and I am currently using Athlete Analyser. The numbers we get from the athlete are basic, number of hours training and intensity (RPE), this worked in google docs and excel pretty well but now that we’re collaborating with Athlete Analyser it is much easier and we can collect a lot more data.


Reading the data…

The numbers produce a graph and this allows us to consider training status and likelihood of injury. Once we have collected more data I will write a blog post showing how we use the graphs to predict injury and plan a taper.

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Figure 1: Screenshot of training load take from Athlete Analyser.

What is our research looking at?

Myself and Holly have been working with the team at Athlete Analyser to develop these training insights because one of the issues we faced with dropbox and google docs was athlete adherence, they’d constantly need chasing up to fill in the documents whereas now the Athlete Analyser app alerts them on any smart phone and reminds them to record their data.

Our research project, which is part of Holly’s final year project at Anglia Ruskin university, is considering training load as a predictor of injury and a variety of other assessments that might help us predict or avoid injury such as strength, functional movement, percentage body fat, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. We also work closely with our club physio Ben Whybrow in terms of injury prevention, I am closely monitoring the taper to see if we can develop research on this and I am working with a masters student on some periodisation research that I will write about in another post. Our participants in the study are full-time athletes and AASE athletes at Comberton Judo Club.

I’ll be posting more about this research and other work we’re doing in due course! Please ask any questions int he comments below.

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PhD Thesis Submitted…

It feels like ages ago now but on the 18th September 2017 I finally submitted my PhD thesis – “A Time-Motion, Technical and Tactical Analysis of Lightweight Women’s Judo”. This is a journey I started on in 2010 and to be honest it’s felt longer lol

I am in the process of editing three new papers from the experimental chapters (one already published). One will be on techniques and tactics, another on penalties and another one on time-motion analysis.

I have a mock viva on the 21st November and the actual viva on the 24th. Hopefully just minor amendments after that.

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Filed under Coach Education, Coaching Judo, Judo, Women's judo

New Research Assistant at Anglia Ruskin

We now have a new research assistant at Anglia Ruskin, Natasha Collins, who will focus on performance analysis in judo.

Physiology during judo contest - Lactate testing and heart rate

Physiology during judo contest – Lactate testing and heart rate


Natasha was originally an undergraduate at Leeds metropolitan university and then transferred to Anglia Ruskin for her final year to train as a full-time judo player. Her undergraduate dissertation focussed on time motion analysis and kumi-kata in British judo and compared juniors to seniors. This has subsequently be edited for publication and is currently being peer reviewed.

She will support a variety of research topics including the coach-athlete relationship, LTAD and athlete monitoring but her main focus will be performance analysis in judo. This will support my PhD work and the work of Glenn Miller.

Natasha will also continue to work as the judo programme administrator and one of our AASE coaches.

Anglia Ruskin has a thriving judo research group that collaborates with academics around the world. We currently have around 10-15 members of staff focussing on judo research including performance analysis, physiology, coaching, the history of judo, child protection in judo and many other topics as well as three PhD students currently focussing on judo topics. The number of PhD students will hopefully increase this year.

Here are some of our research pics…

If you would like more information on the judo research group or the judo programme at Anglia Ruskin University please visit http://www.anglia.ac.uk/judo or email judo@anglia.ac.uk.

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Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo programme, Judo, PhD, Women's judo

Is womens judo on the brink of evolutionary change?

In 1991 there was a major shift in the world of judo. The former soviet union collapsed and became 15 countries instead of one. This meant that on the world stage you now potentially had 15 former soviet countries rather than one per weight group. It should be noted that these soviet or URS countries were not all the Eastern European countries, it did not include Romania, Hungary, Poland or Bulgaria for example. It did, however, include some now major judo nations, including: Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. We should also remember that there was an influx of Chechen wrestlers/judo players to Turkey and Georgian wrestlers/judo players to Greece.

In the 1992 Olympic games only three of the former Soviet countries competed under their own flag (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) the remainder competed under a unified team. The second big change in the 1992 Olympic games was the inclusion of women’s judo. Some countries have hugely benefited from the inclusion of women’s judo, particularly Great Britain, Japan, Cuba and France but the former soviet countries have had little influence in women’s judo. Sure you have Eastern Europeans, Romanians, Hungarians and Polish but not many former Soviet countries.  The world Championships has seen a rise in Eastern Europeans from Romania, Poland and Hungary, Romaina in particular is winning multiple medals on the world stage.

We could argue however the changes are coming, the video below shows Arutiunyanfrom Armenia throwing with a huge Te-Guruma in the 2010 world championships in the u48kg weight group. In fact the 2010 world championships saw Romania, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Russia (x 2) and Slovenia win a bronze, Hungary won a silver and there were 5 & 7th places for Hungary, Ukraine, Mongolia (x3), Russia and Poland. I would happily predict Mongolia and Romania as serious medal contenders for London 2012!

So, where can this assumption of a rise in Eastern European women’s judo lead us? If we look at mens judo – 31 men from former soviet union countries have won Olympic medals since 1992 Olympics and only two women from former soviet union countries (both Russia). You add the sudden increase of former Soviet union countries and the existing Eastern European countries rise in medals to the Olympic stage and this could spell trouble for the current countries who do well in women’s judo such as Cuba, France and Japan.

The question is this, how well prepared are the worlds elite women for this shift? Countries like Mongolia and Armenia are sending women judo players who have a style most women judoka are not used too!

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Filed under Coach Education, Coaching Judo, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo, PhD, Women's judo