Edition No. 20. Autumn, 1999. Today is
Preparations for the 1999 World Championships

By: Udo Quellmalz (BJA Performance Director) and Nick Draper (BJA Performance Planner)
Diane Bell and Udo Quellmalz Judo is a highly technical and physically demanding sport. Judoka require high levels of aerobic and anaerobic endurance, speed, power, strength, flexibility and agility. As a consequence Judo is arguably the hardest sport in the world. Throughout the world a great deal of research has taken place regarding the fitness demands of the sport and about preparation training for elite players. However, because of the competitive nature of the sport much of the research remains unpublished. Therefore in each Judo nation it is necessary for experienced coaches and sports scientists to develop the correct training programme for their team.
In November 1998 the British Judo Association appointed Udo Quellmalz, 1996 Olympic Champion (-65kg) to be Director of the British Judo Team and Dr. Nick Draper to be the Team Planner. With the assistance of funding from the National Lottery (Lottery Sports Fund) it has been possible to provide a more structured national preparation programme for each member of the World Championship Team.
In Great Britain these preparations began with the 1999 A-Tournaments which were used along with the European Championships to select the World Team. In June, prior to the start of a final 16 week preparation programme for the World Championships the British Team took part in baseline fitness testing at the British Olympic Medical Centre. The tests used, assessed the main components of fitness required by a Judo player. They included a treadmill run to exhaustion - to measure maximal aerobic capacity, 30 second arm and leg Wingate cycle tests- to assess anaerobic fitness, one rep max tests of strength and the vertical jump test of power. At the end of August the British Team visited the BOMC again to repeat the tests and assess how the training was progressing. Every single player had improved upon their results from the first assessments!
The 16 week preparation programme was broken down into five phases beginning with a general conditioning phase. This was followed by strength, power and speed phases before the final taper to the World Championships. A new and key element to the preparations was the warm weather training camp that Nic Fairbrother wrote about in her article. Nic's article looks at the camp from a player's perspective. The remainder of this article will describe the camp from the coach's point of view and give an indication of the hard work the players have put in, in preparation for the World Championships.
Simone and Chloe -- windsweptThe warm weather training camp was held at a Sports Hotel on the Algarve from 17th June to 1st July 1999. The coaches had arrived two days earlier to organise the accommodation, check all the facilities and do each of the training runs prior to the arrival of the team!
The camp had a number of objectives with the main one being to begin the conditioning phase of training. As a very physically demanding sport Judo players have a high risk of injury while training and competing. The conditioning phase of training was included not only to provide a fitness base for the players, but also to help to reduce the risk of injury in later Judo specific phases of training.
Sports Science research has shown the benefits of cross-training and so the players left their Judogis at home for the duration of their time in Portugal! A second objective of the camp was to provide a physically and mentally challenging range of activities to bring the team together.
The 15 days of training were divided into seven traditional training days and seven adventure days. On the traditional training days the players did a run and body circuits at 7.30am, muscular endurance weights at 11.00am and a sports activity later in the day. The adventure days included, rock climbing, rafting, canoeing, triathlon and mountain biking. Each of the adventure activities was endurance based and mentally challenging for the players. The variety in activities was to make the training enjoyable and work all parts of the body.
From a coach's perspective the camp was very effective. The activities did impact upon fitness and provided some interesting mental challenges for the team, whether they be getting over a fear of heights in the rock climbing, the toughness of a 50+km mountain bike ride or the impossibility of making a square raft go forwards against the tide of a river! The training camp provided a demanding and memorable start to the British Team's preparations for the World Championships. The players have trained incredibly hard to be at their physical peak for the World's and we wish them all the best of luck.
Udo Quellmalz Performance Director
Nick Draper Performance Planner

World Championships 1999



Ryoko Tamura (JPN)

Noriko Narasaki (JPN)

Driuli Gonzalez (CUB)

Keiko Maeda (JPN)

Sibelis Verenes (CUB)


Noriko Anno (JPN)

Beata Maksymow (POL)

Daima Beltran (CUB)


Manolo Poulot (CUB)

Lardi Benboudaoud (FRA)

Jimmy Pedro (USA)

Graeme Randall (GBR)

Hidehiko Yoshida (JPN)

Kosei Inoue (JPN)

Shinichi Shinohara (JPN)

Shinichi Shinohara (JPN)

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