What is optimal Judo training schedule?
Class size?

In ourbusy days of early 21st century picking right Judo training schedule is critical to both, student success and student retention.

Those are two types of schedules based on the student type: amateurs and professional. First, I want to clarify those terms as I’m using them.

Amateurs means the student is devoting his free time for the training and this training is not his primary life activity.

Professional means that Judo training is primary activity that supersedes any other.

Professional schedule is applied to professional athletes and may include multi-hour training sessions two or even three times a day. I won’t address this type of schedule other then pointing out the risk of over burning that should be controlled by limiting of work load to less then full capacity of the athlete. How less is an open question and should be individually adjusted based on observation and vital signs control.

Rest of us will be much better with amateur schedule. The most effective schedule is three times a week (over day) of 2 – 2½ hour training sessions staring at 5:30 PM. (This kind of training schedule was used even for high achieving athlete training in 1960th – 70th). In this schedule every session work-out should be to full individual capacity. Physical recuperation for healthy young athlete takes about 36 hours and with 48 hours interval between training sessions it’s enough room to bread. Starting time at 5:30 is based on human daily biological life cycle.

With this training schedule coach has easier life to manage workout load as he doesn’t need to control upper limit.

The important thing is not to mix two schedules as training habits can pose a problem. In my own experience as I was temporarily moved from my normal three-times-a-week schedule to two-sessions-daily during pre-tournament training camp and I trained normally to full capacity in the first day I wasn’t able to recover till end of the camp as my over-work accumulated.


The other minor, but important, question is what is the optimal size of the training class. Well, it not always can be controlled, but I think optimal is about 12 students per instructor as it allows to for six working pairs that can be effectively supervised without much of bench-time.

Smaller class size will create a problem with partner diversity for each student. Partner diversity is not just nice to have convenience thing, but element critical for individual and group learning, as everyone makes his own mistakes exposing and working on witch benefits group in whole.


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