Kids Judo Books by Koka Kids
Judo Books by Koka Kids

How to use Shadow Judo to improve Technique

How to use Shadow Judo to improve Technique

Shadow Judo (Tandoku-Renshu) is used throughout Japan as a regular part of most judo training sessions. No surprise, really. Shadow Training, or Visualisation is a well know technique that has been used by sports psychologists for decades. It is highly effective. And perfect for judo.

I’m a huge believer in shadow judo.

It’s such an easy skill to learn, and I can’t highlight just how useful it is for judoka of all levels and ages. 

Simply imagine you have an uke. You can do this ether by closing your eyes or if you feel safer keep your eyes open and visualising the movement. You can do shadow judo moving around the mat, or simply sit down close your eyes and picture the movement. 

It’s an exercise that works well in warm ups or use it just before you begin to teach any new technique.

Children with their great imaginations pick up the concept of Shadow Judo very quickly and so I wanted to share with you a resource to encourage your judoka to give it a go!


Download the Shadow Judo Certificate by clicking here
and use it with the Ippon Seoi-Nage drill below.

shadow judo certificate

Try it with this simple ippon seoi-nage shadow judo drill, as featured recently in the Koka Kids Junior Judo Magazine:

shadow judo

Throwing Shadows Around the Dojo

Easy enough eh?

You can of course do a million and one variations of this drill.

Backwards, forwards, sidewards… in combination, as a counter…speed it up, slow it right down…try it left-handed, right-handed etc.

So, how useful is Shadow Judo?

Well that’s up to you.

The only limit to its uses, is your own imagination.

Your shadow (uke) will obey your every instruction.

It’s the best uke; never tiring or complaining. You can throw your shadow over and over again for beautiful ippons and your shadow will keep standing back up for more.

Or, if you let it, your shadow will fight back.

It can be bigger than you, faster than you, or weaker and slower.

Use shadow judo to practise a specific technique or a combination of throws.

Use it to improve grip fighting, to work through tactical situations and you can even use your shadow partner to help you master the art of randori.

The ippon-seoi-nage drill above, is really just for starters.

Let your imagination run wild.

Or hand the idea over to your judoka, and see what they come up with.

Would love to hear how this drill goes at your dojo? Do send in photographs of your judoka with their certificates! 


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