Reaction drills in judo

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Lech et al. (2011) observed that the activity of the contestants during the fight correlated with the ability to differentiate movements and speed, accuracy and precision of movement, whereas the achievement level during competition was connected with reaction time. In terms of combat sports in general, the low reaction time, including visual stimuli, is very important, because the athletes must take as soon as the appropriate responses to the opponent movements.

Nowadays we can find in the market different lights systems conceived to monitor and improve reaction time in sports:

In this article we suggest some ideas that don’t need expensive equipment and that are accesible to everyone. Simply download Octotrainer App by Check Your Motion to your personal mobile device or tablet and start to use it easily.

Judo athletes can use these drills in a comprehensive agility-training program to improve reaction. This sort of program helps judo athletes quickly perform sport-specific tasks during competition.

In all these exercises the coach will assign a judo technique or movement  (right or left) depends on the different commands previously fixed. Then, the Octotrainer App will make a random acoustic and visual signal (colour) to indicate which movement the athlete should do.


Practice solo. Select one or several techniques and depends on the command (colour) you must do some technical movement or other (Example: RED: seoi nage left side/ YELLOW: seoi nage right side)


Same exercise than #drill 1 nut add more commands with different technical movements. (Example: RED: seoi age left side/ YELLOW: seoi nage right side/BLUE: kouchi gari right side/GREEN: kouchi gari left side)

#DRILL 3 – UCHIKOMI with bands- stationary (I)

Repeat a technique/s alone by wrapping a band around a pillar and grasping both ends while performing the technique. (Example: RED: seoi nage left side/ YELLOW: seoi nage right side)

#DRILL 4- UCHIKOMI with bands- stationary (II)

Same exercise that #drill 3  but add more commands with different technical movements. (Example: RED: seoi age left side/ YELLOW: seoi nage right side/BLUE: kouchi gari right side/GREEN: kouchi gari left side)

#DRILL 5- UCHIKOMI with bands- dynamic (III)

In this exercise you will need a partner who must hold the band. Your must do uchikomi starting in a dynamic position. You can do the exercise with two or more commands (Example: RED: seoi nage left side/ YELLOW: seoi nage right side).

#DRILL 6- NAGEKOMI without previous grip- static (I)

In a static start, the judo athlete hold the starting position without grip and after visual/acustiic throw his uke as fast as possible with one technique or other, depends on the commands previously fixed. (Example: RED: seoi nage left side/ YELLOW: seoi nage  right side)

#DRILL 7- NAGEKOMI with previous grip- dynamic (II)

Same exercise that #drill 6 but dynamic start and gripping your use. (Example: RED: seoi age left side/ YELLOW: seoi name right side)

#DRILL 8- NAGEKOMI without previous grip and use is pushing me and going forward (III)

Same exercise that #drill 7 but dynamic start and without previous grip. Uke must push Tori trying to grip him and going forward and Tori must avoid the grip until command. When Tori listen the signal must take the grip and throw Uke as fast as possible. This is a typical situation could occur during real fight, for example when few seconds are left and Uke need score to win the match. (Example: RED: seoi nage left side/ YELLOW: seoi nage right side)

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