Benefits Of Judo Training

There are tons of benefits of Judo training. Maybe you want to become more active, improve your self-defense, or build your confidence?

Perhaps you’re looking to break up the routine, make new friends, and become a bit more disciplined?

But you keep wondering what martial art to go for. After all, there are so many options, and choosing one can be a considerable challenge.

To make it easier, we’ve put together this article.

In it, we’ll go over one sport – Judo. Specifically, we’ll go over eight fantastic benefits you’ll gain from regular judo training.


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8 Fantastic Benefits of Judo Training

Training Judo offers loads of benefits to both your physical and mental well-being.

The benefits of Judo training include:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved aerobic fitness
  • Improved strength
  • Better flexibility & mobility
  • You get to learn a traditional martial art
  • Improved mental health
  • It teaches you discipline & respect

Let’s dive into the benefits of training Judo in more details.

1. Judo Helps With Weight Loss

At its core, weight loss depends on one fundamental law: creating an energy deficit. In other words, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn, forcing your body to burn fat to get the remaining energy it requires to function.

You have two primary options to achieve this effect: increase your physical activity or decrease the amount of food you’re eating.

Of course, good weight loss will always depend on your nutrition. But regular Judo training is fantastic because it helps you burn a ton of calories. It’s not uncommon for a regular trainee to burn upward of 500 calories in a single Judo training session.

Over time, this caloric expenditure adds up and can help you lose a lot of weight without going on a diet.

2. Judo Boosts Your Aerobic Fitness

Judo aerobic benefit

When most people think of aerobic fitness, they imagine activities like hiking, riding a bike, and jogging in the park. But, the truth is, every activity that elevates your heart rate and keeps it up for an extended period improves your aerobic fitness.

In essence, aerobic fitness involves your lung capacity (your ability to inhale more oxygen) and your body’s effectiveness at using oxygen to produce energy (ATP molecules). Better lung capacity means you have more oxygen to work with. Effective use of oxygen means you don’t need as much to keep doing work.

Judo is fantastic in this regard because each workout is demanding and pushes your aerobic system to its limit. Sport-specific activities, sparring sessions, and dedicated cardio activities all work to make you more endurant and boost your work capacity.

As a result, you can have better workout sessions, burn more calories, progress quicker, and recover faster between workouts.

3. It Makes You Stronger

Judo strength benefit

Similar to how Judo improves your aerobic fitness, it also makes you stronger. Sparring with partners and doing judo-specific drills teach your muscles how to activate well, which enhances your power output.

For instance, Randori is excellent for building strength because you and your training partner work hard to overcome each other. Pushing yourself harder will help you develop superior neuromuscular efficiency and get stronger as a result.

Many judo coaches also prescribe dedicated weight training to their students because that helps speed up the process. Weight training helps you develop all of the body’s major muscle groups, and compound lifts like the squat and deadlift improve coordination. In essence, this helps you become stronger, more coordinated, and better able to realize your physical potential.

4. It Improves Your Flexibility and Mobility

Flexibility is a measure of your muscles’ ability to lengthen. Pure and simple. It measures how well a tissue can stretch safely. Mobility, on the other hand, is a bit different. It is a measure of a joint’s capacity to move through a given range of motion.

So, flexibility is specific to a muscle, where mobility is specific to a joint and its ability to move.

As you can imagine, developing both is important because they contribute to your athleticism and help keep you safe. The good news is, specialized judo training does a great job of improving your flexibility and mobility.

For instance, sport-specific drills, randori sessions, and other activities that challenge you will help stretch your muscles enough and allow for your joints to move through the required range of motion safely.

If you’re looking to improve your flexibility for Judo. Check out this combat specific yoga program.

5. You Get to Learn a Traditional Martial Art

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Among the many benefits of Judo, perhaps the best one is this:

Judo is a traditional martial art with a rich history, proven techniques, and many life applications. 

Judo teaches you how to tackle opponents, throw them to the floor, and subdue them while both of you are on the floor. Simply put, the art requires great skill, strength, and grit.

While newer martial arts will always catch enthusiasts’ attention, learning the fundamentals and focusing on proven techniques will always keep you one step ahead.

6. It Improves Your Mental Health And Melts Stress

When we think of physical disciplines like Judo, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu, we typically consider the physical benefits: 

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Explosiveness
  • Endurance
  • Muscle gain
  • Fat loss

And while these are undoubtedly fantastic and make training well-worth it, Judo and other similar disciplines offer a lot more to us. More specifically, physical activity is incredible for our mental health and does a fantastic job of melting stress.

Countless studies have pointed at the idea that physically-active people are happier, less stressed, and less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. More importantly, physical activity brings a deep sense of fulfillment because we get to make steady progress on meaningful work. And what is more meaningful than improving one’s body and abilities?

One potential reason could be the endorphin response from training. As we do physical work, the body releases opioid hormones that primarily work to suppress pain and bring about a deep sense of fulfillment and elevate our mood for hours.

Improved mental health is one of the most important benefits of Judo training.

7. It Teaches You Discipline And Respect

Judo benefit respect

Discipline is a bit challenging to describe, but we each have some understanding of what it means. In essence, discipline is the internal willingness to do something, regardless of how we feel about it or what mood we are in.

For example, if you choose to do a workout despite feeling tired and unmotivated, you’re showing discipline.

Having respect for others (especially opponents) is also essential. Respect makes you likable and helps you build deeper relationships with others. More importantly, giving respect to others allows them to respect you back. This creates mutually-beneficial relationships and fulfillment.

Interestingly, respect and discipline are skills rather than fixed characteristics. If you struggle with the two right now, nothing is to say that you can’t improve upon them. Just like our muscles respond to training, so can our ability to respect others and be more disciplined.

One of the many benefits of Judo is that it teaches us both. The challenging training pushes us to our limits and shows us that we are capable of a lot more than we previously thought. It also shows us that hard work pays off, and these experiences can help us become more disciplined.

Judo training also teaches us to respect our opponents, training partners, and trainers. The goal is for collectives of people to work toward self-development, and this is not possible without mutual respect inside each group.

Judo is Fun

Judo is fun.

We talk so much about both the physical & mental benefits of Judo that we often overlook the fact that Judo is a fun & enjoyable hobby.

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Benefits of Judo Summary

The benefits of Judo are countless, and each contributes to our personal development. Here is a quick recap:

  • Judo burns many calories and makes weight loss much easier, without having to go on diets or specialized eating plans.
  • Training Judo is quite demanding, which makes it fantastic for building aerobic fitness and growing stronger. 
  • Judo has the fantastic ability to help us develop superior mobility and flexibility, making us feel looser and much more light on our feet.
  • It allows you to learn the fundamentals of martial arts since Judo is an old and foundational discipline.
  • It’s fantastic for melting stress and improving your mental health.
  • Most of all, Judo teaches you how to become more disciplined and respect other people – teammates, opponents, and everyone in-between.

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Gareth Davies

I'm a martial arts competitor and enthusiast. Over the last 15 years, I have trained and competed in several martial arts. I live in Manchester U.K working as a strength & conditioning coach when I'm not travelling and exploring martial arts around the world.
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