Benefits of judo in older adults

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Effects of a 4 month judo program on gait performance in older adults

Ciaccioni Simone 1 , Capranica Laura 1 , Roberta Forte 1 , Caterina Pesce 1 , Condello Giancarlo 2
(1) Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy
(2) Graduate Institute of Sports Training, Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Taipei, Taiwan


Judo practice seems to enhance the general physical conditions of older adults improving their health and quality of life (1,2) Therefore, we were interested in investigating the effects of a judo training program (1 hr training session, twice a week) on walking performance in older individuals (age 60-76 yrs).


The participants were divided in a judo group (8 females and 8 males) and a age matched control group (5 females and 9 males) which did not receive any training.
Before and after the judo program, we measured their step length, gait cycle time, speed and cadence with a high tech engine (Optojump Next photocell system). The novice judoka practiced taiso, ukemi,nage waza, tachi waza and kata.

Results and discussion

After the 4 months of experimentation, the judo group improved the spatiotemporal walking parameters.
Conversely, the control group worsened the step length. Considering that walking is the most frequent daily activity among older adults, the results highlighted the efficacy of judo as a comprehensive exercise program. In fact, judo can lead older adults to improve their physical condition and dynamic posture, promoting balance, functional walking and coordination (1,2,3).


Considering that older individuals tend to adopt sedentary lifestyles, interventions are needed to increase their level of physical activity and reduce the negative effects of lack of exercise (4). The present findings indicate that judo practice could be beneficial for the walking performance of older individuals and can be included within a comprehensive preventive against fall injuries (3).

Thanks to all participants and to ASD Adriana, Scuola Judo Tomita (Rome, Italy). Credits for the photos to Daniele La Malfa.


  1. S Ciaccioni, L Capranica R Forte, H Chaabene C Pesce G Condello. Effects of a judo training on functional fitness, anthropometric, and psychological variables in old novice practitioners. Journal of aging and physical activity 1 (aop), 1-12.
  2. S Ciaccioni, G Condello, F Guidotti, L Capranica. Effects of judo training on bones A systematic literature review. The Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, 33 (10), 2882-2896.
  3. S Ciaccioni, L Capranica R Forte, C Pesce G Condello. Effects of a 4 month judo program on gait performance in older adults. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 60 (5) 685-692.
  4. Spirduso et al. Physical dimensions of aging. Human Kinetics Publisher, 2005.

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