Judoka have consistently advocated the role judo plays as a foundational sport due to the advantages it brings in complementing and improving athletic performance.
Judo involves a combination of strength, endurance, flexibility and agility. All physical attributes that can translate well into many other sports. Judo has famously been used to support team sports like rugby and has been used as a form of cross-training to support other martial arts.
Dave and Louise Dunsford, coaches from Knaresborough Judo Club, conducted two judo training sessions earlier this year for the Under 15s Harrogate Rugby Club team as part of their preparations for the 2023/24 season.
This team, which secured victory in this year’s Yorkshire Cup, participated in judo sessions alongside a group of at least 20 players, showcasing remarkable skills.
The young athletes displayed outstanding respect and exhibited exemplary behaviour, making them a pleasure to instruct.
Knaresborough Judo Club Head Coach Rhys Silverwood said: “Following discussions with Dave, Harrogate Rugby have co-ordinated a number of Judo sessions for players. As both are contact sports, there are similarities between the two sports which enable rugby players to enhance skills, athleticism and behaviours which crossover between the two sports.”
“Judo enables the players to understand the importance of technique, momentum and efficiency when in close contact with opponents – aspects which can easily be overlooked when training in a Rugby environment. Learning judo techniques in a controlled and safe environment has opened Players’ eyes to new methods to deal with pre, during and post contact scenarios. “
“Some of the techniques can be directly transferred to rugby and build players’ confidence in contact. Judo also identifies the importance of core strength, stability and mobility which are key requirements for game readiness in rugby.”
“Judo also prides itself on the discipline of its players and respect for opponents and in my view these are directly transferable to the rugby environment and help the coaching team and players set the standards on and off the pitch.”
Knaresborough Judo continues to support the Harrogate Rugby Club throughout the current campaign.
Another example of how judo compliments other sports is a recent collaboration between GB Judo and West Bromwich Albion’s Youth Academy which sees GB Judo coaches deliver judo sessions to members of the WBA Academy players.
Check out the video below from a recent session with the team.