Fitness Friday: Judo For Blind Athletes

On today’s Fitness Friday evening, we showcase judo. Like wrestling, it’s a great sport where opponents can gain excellent physical conditioning while in martial art, hand-to-hand combat. Judo means the gentle (or yielding) way in Japanese. Invented by Dr. Jigoro Cano, the sport takes the principles of balance and swift efficiency in jujutsu and puts it to the athletic venue.

Judo clubs (or dojos) exist in most mid to large-size cities and. Through learning this sport, you don’t just gain the ability to whip your opponent in a fight. Judo trains the mind as much as it trains your brawn. You learn how to prioritize the moves you made for keeping physical balance and mental alertness. You can, of course, transfer these skills to other areas of life like your family leadership, educational and professional pursuits, and financial responsibilities. That’s because when you stretch your mind, you cross-train yourself to recognize and defeat thos obstacles in your path.

As explained on this video from the United States Association of Blind Athletes, (USABA), blind judo differs from the mainstream event in that competitors begin with gripping each other’s judogi under one elbow and on the opposite collar. They must maintain constant, physical contact throughout the practice fight, randori, or an actual match.

Here’s a longer video showing several matches from last year’s International Blind Sports Association  world championships.

If you are sighted and viewing this post, you can watch several or parts of matches and get the idea that these boldly blind athletes compete in judo just like anyone else. Learning to coordinate agile footwork with grips and throws takes incredible patience over many years. As younger blind judoka master the art, they learn to anticipate their opponent’s movements beyond mere guessing.

If you are interested in getting yourself or your children in this amazing sport, contact your local dojo and then get them connected with the USABA so that you receive the most accurate support for your training possible.

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