Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Judo

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Introduction

The word Judo roughly translates to "the gentle way" in English for a good reason; though most fans of mixed martial arts, Kung Fu films, or fighting games know Judo as grappling based combat style, practitioners of Judo know that it's more than just a form of martial arts. It's a way of life and a code of discipline. The founder of Judo, Mr. Kanō Jigorō (1860 - 1938), created Judo to serve as a means of self defense when he was bullied in youth during his years as a boarding school student. As he grew older and wiser, Mr. Jigorō began to emphasize Judo more as a means of being flexible and adapting to oppressive forces (both physical and metaphysical) as opposed to trying to match their strength and straining oneself as a result.

Practice Judo Rolls

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Exercise Mat
Active Wear
Activity description
This first activity on our list is one of the most tried and true basic Judo Drills out there. In line with helping you become more adaptable, Judo Rolls can help a practitioner learn how to, quite literally, roll with the punches. This activity emphasizes form more than anything else, as performing a Judo Roll properly can be the difference between evading a hazardous situation and rolling right into another. You may initially seem puzzled by this activity, but as you progress further into it your dog will be eager to join in and start rolling around with you in time.
Step
1
Tuck in your knees
For the first step of this activity, you'll want to lay your back down on your mat and lie down facing the sky or ceiling. Then, you'll want to tuck in your knees and grab them with your arms. Lastly, you'll want to rock yourself back and forward at a moderate pace for a set period of time.
Step
2
Kick your legs up
The second part of this activity requires you to roll without holding your knees with your arms. This is for the express purpose of allowing you to kick your legs up as soon as your shoulders touch your mat a la the Jackknife Pilates exercise. After a period of doing the activity like this, you'll want to use the momentum to swing your legs towards the floor and touch it with your toes.
Step
3
Roll out
This is the part where your dog may instinctively start following suit; from a standing position, roll on your shoulder and use the momentum to roll all the way back to your feet, then repeat the motion going backward. Go as quickly or as slowly as you need to, but be certain that your dog isn't in your path or vice versa, as your dog will likely start rolling around as well.
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Deashi Harai Softball

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Softball
Exercise Mat
Activity description

Deashi harai is one of Judo's core techniques; Deashi harai is essentially a very meticulously executed leg sweep that meant to help one escape a scenario where they've been grabbed against their will. As you may have guessed, this technique takes a lot of focus and practice to properly pull off as failing to properly execute the move will render it ineffective. For many Judo practitioners, the hardest part to get down is the leg sweeping motion involved with Deashi harai. That's where this activity comes in; you and your dog can essentially pass a ball back and forth using Deashi harai! We'll explain down below.

Step
1
Slow and steady
Deashi harai works by taking one of your legs and essentially bringing it all the way around and in front of you in an arc until it reaches your other side. so before you add your dog or the softball into the equation, try practicing the motion by yourself a few times to get warmed up.
Step
2
Back and forth
Now that you've got the motion down, try use Deashi harai to lightly kick the softball over to your dog at a slow pace. The idea is that when the ball rolls over to your dog, they'll be prompted to nudge the ball back to you at an equally slow pace. Once they do, you'll use Deashi harai to pass the ball back. Try to repeat this as many times as you both can.
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Dog Assisted Sit Ups

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Any Day
Free
Hard
15 - 25 min
Items needed
Exercise Mat
Active Wear
Activity description
While some might consider sit-ups to be any easy activity on their own, things become much more complex and interesting once your dog has been added to the mix. The benefits of this activity are twofold, as you'll work up a sweat getting more abdominal muscles toned up while your dog's ability to follow your commands and hold still will be refined in the process. Sit-ups can be performed in a number of ways depending on how you position your arms, and you can also hold on to some lightweight dumbbells or a medicine ball if you'd like to increase the challenge of this exercise.
Step
1
Practice proper form
As mentioned numerous times before, proper form is key to completing a number of Judo related exercises. The same principle applies to sit-ups as well; practice lifting your upper body up off your mat without the aid of your arms a few times before you get your dog involved.
Step
2
Get your dog to spot you
After getting warmed up, you should be ready to call your dog over to you and ask them to place their front paws on your knees. You may have to get a hold of your pup's paws in order to place them yourself. Either way is fine, so long as you accompany the act with a "stand" or "stay" command to let your dog know not to move anywhere for the duration of the exercise.
Step
3
Add weights into the mix
If you feel that this activity is too easy for you, consider getting a medicine ball and holding it above your head as you complete your sit-ups. Depending on how strong you are, consider grabbing hold of a weighted plate in order to provide an extra challenge instead of the medicine ball. Just be certain to only grab one weight at a time and to not try this with an amount of weight that's too heavy.
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More Fun Ideas...

Box Jumps

Despite the name, you and your dog can attempt box jumps anywhere there's an elevated surface and enough room for you two to try together. Box Jumps involve squatting down and then jumping up to the elevated surface before carefully dropping back down to the ground. A bench or an array of sturdy boxes would help you and your dog pull this activity off.

Run With Your Dog

Running is an excellent way to stay in shape for Judo, so consider running with your dog for a warm up before getting right into Judo practice. We advise that you go for a quick jog around your dojo or around the block so that you won't have to go too far away.

Conclusion

Judo is concerned with self-improvement and seeking inner peace more so than trying to best anyone else. We feel that's it's no exaggeration to suggest that the only person a Judo practitioner would be aiming to best is themselves. While your dog may not be able to entirely grasp some of the weightier, more philosophical, aspects of Judo, we believe that they'll appreciate the time spent with you and will begin attempting to best their past selves as well.