BRIEF REVIEW: Time Motion Assessment in Judo


Visual, non-automated time-motion analysis has been used as a method of analysing performance in both competition and training conditions in a variety of sports, including combat sports, and is thought to have some utility in detecting change in performance as a result of training interventions. 

Two separate studies were conducted on high-level Brazilian judo athletes. The first study had 25 male athletes perform 2 5-minute simulated matches, one week apart, and compared performance in these matches with measures of blood lactate and heart rate. The second study had 12 male athletes perform 4 5-minute simulated matches, 72 hours apart, and compared performance with blood lactate levels only. 

The aspects of performance analysed in the time-motion analysis were 

– Number, total time, and time per sequence in tachi-waza (standing fight)

– Number, total time, and time per sequence in ne-waza (groundwork fight)

– Time per combat sequence and total combat time

– Time per interval phase and total interval time

– Number of attacks

– Number of scoring actions

– Number of penalties received

– Efficiency (scoring actions expressed as a percentage of total attacks)

– Number of ashi-waza (leg techniques)

– Number of te-waza (arm techniques)

– Number of koshi-waza (hip techniques)

– Number of sutemiwaza (sacrifice techniques).

Variables were relatively constant across the testing periods, indicating that the athletes performed in a similar manner when matched against the same opponent. Time-motion analysis was able to detect moderate variation in time in tachi-waza and peak blood lactate, but for all other variables could only detect large variation. 

The findings of this study suggest that time-motion analysis of simulated judo matches lacks the sensitivity to detect variance in performance. 

  1. Franchini E, Dunn E, Takito MY. Reliability and usefulness of time-motion and physiological responses in simulated judo matches. J Strength Cond Res. 2020;34(9):2557–2564.

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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By Sam Gilbert