Hidden Foot Work
- Make sure you take your time and move slowly when first learning this
- Speed comes with drilling. So drill, drill, drill!
- This is a timing exercise, so uke determines the speed
Hidden Foot Work For Judo
When doing judo, it is all too common for beginners (and even higher level players) to approach their opponent and stop, eliminating any potential power from built momentum. This is due to a lack of exceptional footwork. The hidden foot work for judo players is the refined details to a lot of eyes, but the reality is footwork is truly underestimated.
We’ve seen basic footwork for uchimata and other throws. But in this video, Travis Stevens goes over the hidden foot work for judo players that will take your judo from average to exceptional. Foot work is rarely the emphasis of judo sessions. But if your judo has stalled, you may want to take a look at your feet before trying more drastic (and potentially unnecessary) measures.
Drilling for Speed
Travis has made sure to take the time when drilling his combinations and doing uchikomi to constantly be aware of the smoothness of his drilling. Smooth means not stop and go, smooth means pristine and clean judo. Oftentimes this can be sorted out with speed. Speed, afterall, is power. And that same speed will only amplify your power in your grips, throws, and overall judo. The speed, more often than not, comes from your feet and your foot work!
Judo can be akin to a dance. One of the best ways we can quickly add power is by increasing the speed at which we’re operating. This means moving and flowing smoothly around the mat, just like a dance. Pausing is natural when learning new techniques, but it must be kept to a minimum as you become more advanced in your judo. Even as you drill, make sure you are taking the time and effort to minimally pause. This can mean going over the techniques in your head until they’re second nature, and drilling them until they’re instinct. The more time you put in, the faster and smoother you’ll be, the more powerful you’ll be, the better your judo will be.
The footwork seen in this video is one that has amplified Travis’ game over the years, there’s no reason it won’t work for you too! There are a lot of different footwork patterns out there and some are very unique to the individual. So take it a literal step at a time and find what works for you. This technique, is a lot more common amongst the higher level judo players. One final tip for you readers: you can also do a cross Ko O-Ouchi Gake rather than Ko Ouchi Gari to help with the same setup and speed it up even more.
Hopefully this hidden foot work for judo will help you amplify your game on the mats. Remember, find what works for you and drill the heck out of it. Let us know how it goes!