Tapering for a Judo Competition

You must taper for a judo competition if you want to perform to the best of your ability. There are a few keys aspects to tapering, these include:

– choosing a competition

– dieting

– judo training

– physical training

– mental preparation

Choosing a competition

Choosing a competition is crucial if you want to perform to the best of your ability. The competition you choose should be one that you really want to do well in and one that you spend every waking moment thinking about. It is a good idea to choose a competition that is going to be pretty tough. There is no point choosing a tournament that will be easy to win or too hard to win. I believe that the competition you taper for must be one that you must dedicate all of your training in order to win. This way you will train hard leading right up until fight day.


Make sure that you diet for fight day. When you choose a competition you now know what day weigh in is. Therefore it is crucial that you diet. I have seen so many athletes running weight off and crash dieting to make weight. I ask the same question every time, “didn’t you know you had a competition on?”

Please make sure you watch what you are eating and make weight comfortably.


Your training should also taper towards fight day. There is no point doing one hour of randori one day before the competition day. When the competition is far away you should be doing a lot of randori, but at a lower intensity. Then as the competition gets closer you should shorten the duration and increase the intensity at which you are training.

Physical preparation

Your physical preparation is another very important aspect of your tapering preparation. As a competition gets closer you should be increasing your intensity, shortening the duration and lengthening the rest periods between sets. I usually do a three repetition max on bench press and dead lifts about a week out from competition. I find lifting heavy weights just before a competition gives me a lot of confidence coming in to fight day.

Mental preparation:

Preparing mentally is a huge aspect of tapering. You must be mentally prepared to fight to the hardest and best of your ability level. You should constantly be thinking about the competition and thinking about what you are going to attack with etc. This way when it comes to fight day it feels like you have been there before.

Knowing exactly what to do before every competition takes years of trial and error. When it comes to judo there is always something new to learn.