Solo Judo: Using Kata Build Arm and Grip StrengthEvery student of Judo knows that we only have one solo Kata it is called Tandoku Renshu. But this Kata is so flexible I thought I would show you some of the things that I do with it to add value to this already very valuable Judo activity. So in this post, I am discussing using the first set of Judo’s Tandoku Renshu Kata and hand grips to help build arm and grip strength.
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Whilst I have only included the first few movements of the first set of the Kata in the video, you can obviously continue to put full pressure on the handgrips throughout the whole of the Kata. Thus building arm and grip strength whilst doing Judo by yourself.
My advice would be to do the Kata first as a stretch alone, to make sure you don't risk muscle strain. You should then follow that with a repeat of the Kata using the grips to build strength.
There are a variety of different handgrips available. You can even use a stress ball to start with if the handgrips are too much or even just make and hold a strong tight fist. If that is too much just do it until you can't hold the grip any longer and work up to logger gripping each day or even every second day if you need to. But you can get a whole variety of difficulty in grips strengths, some with soft grips if you need that and if you intend to use this a serious exercise you should get an adjustable handgrip so it can get harder as you improve.
Personally, I have found that giving my muscles a break of a day or two allows me to do increased exercise more rapidly in the long run. Whereas trying to increase endurance each day every day only tends to give me sore muscles.
Tandoku Renshu Kata to Build Arm and Grip strengthHand grips come in a large variety of resistance levels, so you can start off with very light resistance and build up too much bigger resistance. Actually, the tight fist is more than enough to increase arm and grip strength but the big advantage of going from a stress or squeeze ball and then gradually increase the level of resistance is that any sort of handgrip gives you feedback. With the feedback, you can tell if you are actually maintaining your grip consistently throughout the exercise.
If you end up liking this approch you can extend the idea further and repeate the whole process using weights in your hands. You will have to experemints which weights and how to hold the weights when you are doing the kicks but that only adds to the fun I think. Besides holding a weight in the opposite hand to the legs you are kicking with can sometimes help with your balance.
I guess the only question that might come up maybe, "is using a physical piece of equipment consistent with the spirit of Judo"?
To my mind, the answer is an unequivocal "yes". Using a physical piece of equipment IS consistent with the spirit of Judo. You have to keep in mind that this Kata was developed as a warm-up or stretching Kata. Professor Kano did it deliberately because he found other forms of such exercise boring and not associated with Martial Arts. It only seems logical to me that anything that can be done to this exercise by way of improvement would well and truly meet with his approval.