Improve Your Judo by Using a Training Diary

How to Take Your Judo Training to a New Level- With a Diary

You can buy one for less than a pound, they can travel everywhere with you and it will help to take your training to a new level. What is it?

A training diary!

You can call it a journal, a note book, a diary or even a training book. The name is not important however, what is inside is!

 The strength and conditioning coach I took on in the early 80's advised that I start a Judo training diary so that’s exactly what I did, and it soon became an obsession.

Most athletes fail to fill in training diaries however in my experience they are an invaluable tool because as humans we simply cannot remember everything and a diary helps to keep us on track. It will help you to reach your goals far quicker, it will help you to learn about what works and what doesn’t and when you start to apply this type of thought process to your training in the end it all adds up.

Where to buy one?

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a training diary, in fact, in the UK you can pick up a decent diary, or a note book from the any discount shop on the high street.

However I would suggest that you purchase one that can fit into your training bag, that way you can take it with you on your Judo travels. For those of you who really want to invest time into this you can have a training notebook in your bag and then a larger diary or book at home that you can transfer your rough notes into.

This really can be as detailed or as minimal as you like.

What and When to Write in Your Diary

You have to remember that this is YOUR diary! So we are not writing a novel that makes sense to others. So the only person that needs to be able to read your diary is yourself, unless you and your coach are working together on this (which is something you can do and really should do).

I used to write a variety of things however here is a list to help your imagination, lets divide up just how detailed you can become.


Fitness outside the Dojo:

· What exercises

· What weight you are

· Warm up used

· Weights lifted

· Timed runs- what was your time today?

· Mental state- What is feeling good/bad etc

Inside the Dojo:

· What warm up you did

· New techniques- details, grips etc

· Randori- who you fought, what techniques worked well, how did you set them up, what you were caught with.

· Fitness how did your fitness feel?


· What Judo Books are you reading? What key points have you learned

· What DVDS are you watching?

· Which players/techniques are you studying?

· What techniques do you want to try?


· What happened?

· Who you fought, were they left handed or right handed?

· What style did they use?

· What penalties did you get? What were they for? Could you have avoided them?

· Were you thrown? What with? How did they set you up?

There a really are no limits to what you can put into your training diary

Using Modern Resources

Although I prefer to use written notes, you can also now use modern methods to assist your Judo. If you are studying using online methods you can easily record your notes into an online folder.

But how do you actually record or track the things you find on line?

One of the easiest method is YouTube. Yes we all love a good video, be it a Judo technique, or contest footage. You can of course create a playlist. Youtube offers this facility and you can name your playlist whatever you like and keep it private. Perhaps call it Judo training and add all the video’s that you think add value to your Judo knowledge.

If you want to take this to the next level you can even use free applications such as ‘Pocket’ or Evernote to record what you find on the web.

When the new and improved ‘Judo Excellence’ programme is released you will have access to the largest digital collection of Judo technique training on the planet, which will help you to improve your technique. For example you might be struggling to get your Osoto Gari to work, the solution might well be that you are not stepping at the correct angle to break the balance of the opponent or your head direction is going the wrong way. For the first time ever you will be able to instantly access world class Judo instruction, and you can make notes as you watch.

Putting it together

By developing a training diary or even a whole portfolio, your knowledge starts to compound and you will soon notice improvements as you start to focus mentally on your Judo. This helps on the next step of championship Judo – Adapatability. The more you educate yourself, the more you have to draw from and out-manoeuver your opponent.

You will start to see areas for development and look for solutions and with the assistance of your coach or Judo Excellence you will find those solutions.

Remember train smarter and not harder.

Now as a special gift for reaching the end of this article we have an example of an actual training diary sheet we have used. Simply click on the link to download.

Feel free to print it out and use (just scrub out the date), or even better construct your own. We hope this gives you an idea of what a diary entry might look like.

Thank you for reading and another article to help your Judo is coming soon.​

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