Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Judo in Anime and Manga: Masahiko Kimura's Training

There aren't as many main characters in manga with judo backgrounds. There's Yawara (which is pretty awesome), but other than that, I've not come across too many judo manga. There are some judoka in Grappler Baki, Shamo, Holyland, and History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi; however, the judo players in these manga were secondary characters and are often taken out relatively early in whatever fight they are in. Poor Ukita in HSDK just gets the raw end of just about every deal he's involved in.

I mean, just look at the poor bastard.

I think this is unfair. Judo is badass.

Look at current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey-- she's 11-0 in professional MMA and won a Bronze Medal in Judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Judo is the precursor to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Helio Gracie, the founder of BJJ, was beaten by a judo player. However, to be fair, it took the one of the greatest fighters, if not the greatest fighter, in the world at that time: Masahiko Kimura, to accomplish that feat. This man was ridiculous. His philosophy was that if he put more effort into his training than his opponents, he would be victorious-- he did... and he was. Kimura will be the basis for this workout.

So, this workout is dedicated to all the judoka who've been overlooked. This is for you guys!

Masahiko Kimura's Training

  1. 1,000 Push-ups or Hindu Push-ups
  2. Bunny Hop- 1 km
  3. Headstand- 3 x 3 Minutes
  4. Judo Practice- 100 Throws 
  5. One-Arm Barbell Lift and Press- 15 Reps each side OR Bench Press- 3 Sets: 3, 2, and 1 Reps
  6. 200 Sit-ups off Partner's Back or Decline Sit-ups
  7. 200 Squats with Partner/Log/Barbell/Sandbag (150-200lbs)
  8. Judo Practice- 100 Submissions
  9. 500 Shuto (Knife-hand Strikes)
  10. Judo Practice- 100 Entries
  11. Judo Randori- "X" x 3 Minute Rounds
  12. Practice Throws (particularly Uchi-mata) Against a Tree- 1 Hour
  13. Additional Judo Practice- 1 Hour


  • This is a day workout and can be broken up throughout the day as needed. 
  • The 1,000 push-ups can be in any number of sets and reps. 
  • Bunny Hopping a kilometer will be pretty rough, so rest as needed during it. 
  • Do the headstand against a wall or with a partner. Also, you should use a mat or a large folded towel. If you can't do the full 3 minutes, you can rest and do it in sets, but try to do the full time. 
  • Examples of Judo Throws: Animated, Video/Pictures, Animated, and Video. Needless to say, you'll need a partner for this. 
  • The One-Arm Barbell Lift and Press can be a single-arm Clean and Press, a deadlift followed by a curl followed by a press, or it even be a snatch (I know there is not a press in the snatch, but whatever.) Here are some examples: 1, 2, and 3 (content warning on this one!). Start off light and really focus on the form here.
  • The bench press is here so that you can occasionally focus on some heavier upper body lifting. 
  • The sit-ups off a partner's back will require a partner (no crap!) to be on all fours. You will sit with your butt across their shoulders and your legs wrapped around their body. You will do sit-ups from this position, but obviously be careful, since you'll be laying back over your partner's head. Alternatively, and possibly better, you can just do decline sit-ups. 
  • This is a lot of squats with a lot of weight. What I'm going to suggest is to pick whatever weight you are going to squat with and just squat it as many times as you can. You can do it in whatever sets and reps you need to, but the eventual goal is to be able to do a 150-200lb squat 200 times without stopping. (Mind you, I did say eventually.) To keep from getting bored, it might be fun to switch it up and occasionally use a partner or a barbell or a log or a sandbag. Each will offer their own challenges and tax your body in a different way. 
  • In case you didn't know, judo is not just throws. It has submissions, too. Unfortunately, due to the rules in judo, you don't get to see them as much. However, if you think about it, BJJ is essentially just judo with a crap-ton of newaza (ground techniques) in it. Check out some newaza here and pay attention to shimewaza (chokes) and kansetsuwaza (joint locks). Here's also a video. You're just practicing the techniques here, so you're going to need a partner.
  • Kimura was also known to practice some Karate, especially the shuto or knife hand strike. You can just do it in the air or against a target. It's 500 total strikes, so 250 on each side. 
  • Entering means just practicing the footwork before a throw, like the spin for a hip throw or the leg set up for an Uchi-mata. For example, this video here.
  • Judo Randori is essentially just sparring. You're going for a decisive throw, a 25 second pin, or a submission. Old school example and new school. Do it for as long as you like, but do it for at least 3 minutes. 
  • Kimura would often go into the forest late at night and practice his throws against a tree, particularly his entering techniques for those throws. Particularly, he would practice Uchi-Mata. Knowing the throw was one thing, but getting into the position to use the move is absolutely essential. That's why there is an additional hour of practice for this. 
  • The additional judo practice can be randori, technique practice, or practicing the entering for your throws. Whatever it is, just fill the time slot. 
Hope you guys enjoyed this one! You guys have been asking for a judo workout for a while now, so here it is! Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Kimura is not impressed.

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