Demonstrations, pictures, and imagery Judo training

Technique demonstration followed by semi-supervised repetition is the most common way of Judo training. With plenty of published books, booklets, cards, and internet resources exists students of Judo at times even encouraged to go through set of techniques for current class upfront and visualize them.

The problem is that learning visual appearance is only small and easy part of Judo training. Developing muscle memory is much more critical and challenging.

Imagery training is widely used in many areas of physical training and can be very helpful in Judo, self-defense, and combat sport and martial arts in general. The only problem: you need to imagine the right things! Most critical is that image must be seen as first person only! If you imagine technique as an observer (as it inevitably presented in all and any technical demonstrations, pictures, video recordings, or animations) you’re building wrong mental motion structure. And this is not a small deal, as those errors are very hard to fix if they imprinted in memory. Saying this means that individual imaginary training can be successfully used only by well qualified martial artists. Instructor can and should teach his students imaginary technique repetition in class during resting intervals in meditation-like exercises, but should clear explain right and wrong ways to do it and discourage unsupervised imagery training until basic proficiency in the specific technique is achieved.

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