Recently we received questions from quite a number of judo coaches, teachers and other people dealing with A-Judo, asking us about the correct way to run a divisioning session: What should be in there? What is the actual purpose?
Remember that all our judoka are amateurs. The Monday after the tournament, they all go back to work, school or whatever else they do, and they should be able to do so without any injury. They rely on us, the experts, to have them put in the correct pool for maximal safety and fun.
In this article, we will try to put together some good practices and maybe some guidelines for divisioning.
First of all- what is the purposes of divisioning?
The purpose of divisioning is to put a judoka in one of the 5 FCS-classes, so that the competition can take place in a safe and fair manner, and that preventable injuries are exactly that: preventable. No more, no less.
Divisioning is done on what criteria?
- Power – How powerful is the judoka and how does he/she utilise that power?
- Responsiveness – How responsive is the judoka to sudden changes in situation?
- Balance – How well-balanced is the judoka and if not, is he/she able to utilise his/her imbalance?
- Will to win – Never mind how skilled a judoka is: If he/she doesn’t have a proper will to win, nothing will happen
- Tactics – Does the judoka have a preferred tactic?
Divisioning is NOT done on:
- The necessity to end up in a certain pool
..and nor is a higher evel a “promotion” from a lower level.
Let’s watch some video
SNJF have put together a number of instructional videos for EJU, to show examples of simple divisioning games. Please note: These games are just examples. Numerous other games can be figured out using the enormous toolkit that judo provides but remember: Judo is what the athletes are coming for and it is judo they should be tested on.
This video shows how to test ukemi-waza skills, and to see how fast and agile a judoka moves around on the tatami. The second part shows a test of the will to win.
Again, another test of the will to win, and how to turn over the other judoka.
A test of the judoka’s agility
A test of coordination and procedural insight
“The worst backpack in the world” tests power and the will to win.
In this game, one judoka lies on the ground and the other sits behind him in za-zen. Judoka one rolls away, judoka two tries to stop him. This game tests power and persistence.
Simple game: One judoka lies down and tries to stand up, the other tries to prevent this. Another test of power and persistence.
Two variations of a simple game: Both judoka turn their obi around so the knot is on their back. They will then try to grab each other’s knot. This game tests agility and movement speed and, if it is left to go on for a while, physical condition.
An escape game, where insight, tactics and agility is tested.
As can be seen, all these games have judo aspects. Testing judoka with ball games or by having them balance on a string is less relevant. Judo has an enormous toolkit of techniques and methods from which to choose and there is no reason to use alternative tools.
..can be downloaded here.