The rugby season is over now! How about trying some Judo as a means of cross training to improve your rugby.
We could have just said…
your Rugby training is good for Judo and your Judo training is good Rugby!
and ended it there!!
A quick Google search for “judo for rugby” will produce a long list of examples where rugby union (including teams such as the All Blacks), and rugby league teams have employed the services of judo to benefit their teams.
There is a whole host of technical elements when cross training in Judo during the pre-season that the junior and senior players can benefit from.
In this post we are not going to cover the details of these but focus on the core benefits of Judo for BOYS and GIRLS which will help players in the Mini Sections of rugby clubs, those in the age bracket 6-12 years, as they work through the age groups and are exposed / introduced to new aspects of rugby such as tackling, rucking and scrummaging.
Let’s look at 4 core benefits:
- The principle of “maximum efficiency least effort” that is paramount to judo players. By this principle, smaller players are able to manoeuvre bigger stronger players by making use of the bigger and stronger player’s power and momentum to gain the advantage. This leads to increased confidence in smaller players to take or make tackles and manhandle opposition in rucks.
- Balance and weight transfer are important for a tackled player to create extra time to offload the ball to a teammate. Coupled with strength can help to secure the ball from the opposition when tackling. These skills/attributes will also help the tackler to position the tackled player in such a way that makes it easier for his teammates to overturn possession. Judo will present rugby players with various options to clear out opposition from the rucks.
- The grappling / groundwork aspect in judo also increases upper body strength and is advantageous in enhancing “fighting for the ball” skills. Whether it is to secure the ball from the opponent or to take it from them.
- Judo also teaches safe falling as core skills which goes a long way in minimising the risks of injury on the Rugby field.