Japanese Judo Reviews AIS – JFA Innovation


Military Training for Elite Judoka Development
Japan Sport Council (JSC), All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF),
Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)

On the 26 February 2015, the Japan Sports Council hosted a series of meetings in Tokyo involving the AIS Combat Centre (Dr. David T. Martin) and Senior AJJF Judo Coaches including head coach, Mr. Kosei Inoue.

The primary purpose of these meetings was to review recent collaborations and discuss future options for joint Australia - Japan Judo Camps. Dr. David T. Martin and Head Japanese Judo coach Kosei Inoue delivered presentations during a 2-hr Symposium designed to review sport science application and innovative training methodology for Elite Judo Players. Discussions focused on Australian “Special Forces” style training drills aimed at promoting confidence, team cohesion and mental toughness.

At the Symposium, Japanese Judo Coaches and Sport Scientists provided a detailed evaluation the previous Japan – Australia Judo camp help late September 2014. The seminar was established to discuss the innovative use of Military Exercises in attempt to enhance resiliency and allow Judoka to adapt to a unique psychological stress that could lead to increased competitiveness. Japanese Judo coaches were particularly interested in the AIS Combat Centre sport science support structure for Judo and the partnership with ex-Australian Commando and Combat Centre Director for Special Projects, Paul Cale.

The military exercises and format introduced into the AUS – JPN Judo camp were based on methodology used to select Australian Special Forces soldiers but activities were modified to improve sport’s specificity. The military-based training conformed to the AIS Combat Centre Philosophy of “Performance in Relevant Challenging Environments” (PIRCE).

Japanese Judo Coaches recognise that maintaining a number one world ranking for Japan will require a global awareness of fighting techniques and innovation. Kosei Inoue was very complimentary of the innovative “Military Training” and suggested that many top Japanese Judo players could improve their “mental toughness” and “resiliency”. In addition one of the senior judoka who participated in the camp commented that he felt more confident following the military training and he came to realise that he could tolerate far more adversity than he initially thought. Following the AIS Judo camp this particular athlete commented that he fought extremely well following this collaborative camp and he attributed his positive mind set to the Military Exercises. Japanese Judo coaches that travelled to Australia were also impressed with the commitment of Australian Judo Coaches (some who participated in the Military Training) and Sport Scientists.

The Symposium was limited to 30 top coaches from Judo and other sports. In addition, visitors from JAXA (space exploration) and Defence (Japan Defence Academy) were allowed to attend. Much of the discussion focused on the importance of relevant adversity for the development of athlete independence and growth. IJJF is keen to continue collaborations with the AIS Combat Centre supported by both the Japan Sport Council and Judo Federation of Australia.

Figure 1.  Upper left (Mr. Kimura AJJF), Upper Centre and Upper Right (Mr. Kosei Inoue AJJF), Lower Left (Mr Koji Yanagawa JAXA - who was in charge of the last astronaut selection in 2008 and  Mr Morosuke Kusaba Japan Defence Academy Staff), Lower Centre and Lower Right (Mr. Takanori Ishii Mr Kaihan Takagi AJJF).

Figure 2.  Japan National Training Dojo – Japan National Training Centre – Tokyo

Figure 3.  Japan Sport Council staff responsible for High Performance Coaching Seminar focusing on International Judoka Development with a special focus on Military Training (Mr. Kohei Funasaki, Dr. Akira Fujiwara, Dr. David T. Martin AIS, Dr. Taisuke Kinugasa, JSC))