Rapid Weight Loss on Judo Athletes

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Rapid Weight Loss on Judo Athletes

Judo is a martial art, a combat sport and a Japanese method of self-defense formally born in Japan with the founding of Kōdōkan by Professor Kanō Jigorō, in 1882. Practitioners of this discipline are called judoists or more commonly judoka .

Judo later officially became an Olympic discipline in Tokyo 1964 and represented the third most universal sport at the 2004 Athens Games with athletes from 98 different countries, while 387 athletes from 135 different countries participated in London 2012.

Starting after the war, with the organization of the first International and World Championships, and subsequently with its inclusion at the 1964 Tokyo Games, judo has increasingly approached Western combat sport and wrestling disciplines, slowly detaching itself from tradition so much so that it assumes its own identity as a sport in its own right.

Even the teaching and training methodologies have changed accordingly and in fact the search for the minimum advantage that allows you to win the race has begun to be favored, to the detriment of the search for the masterful technique that is attributed the immediate victory but at the same time exposes the athlete at a greater risk of suffering a counterattack.

This path was possible using techniques derived from free wrestling which, for their effectiveness in the competition and biomechanical affinity, are well combined with traditional techniques of judo while betraying its vocation and martial genealogy.

The study Effects of Rapid Weight Loss on Judo Athletes: A Systematic Review, offers an interesting overview of this discipline and a physical interaction involving weight loss. Below the abstract: "Rapid weight loss (RWL) is commonly practiced among judo athletes.

Although it helps them to gain the advantage over their lighter opponents, previous studies have shown that RWL can have a negative impact on the athlete's performance and overall well-being. review aimed to synthesize the evidence that examines the influence of rapid weight loss on physiological parameters, biomarkers, and psychological well-being in judo athletes.

Rapid Weight Loss on Judo Athletes

We followed the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines. We searched for studies on Web of Science and PubMed that elaborate on the influence of ≥5% RWL achieved over ≤7-day period in judokas.

Out of 52 studies initially found, 14 studies met our eligibility criteria and were included in the review. In total, we examined data from 1103 judo athletes. Retrieved studies showed conflicting data concerning physiological parameters and biomarkers, while psychological well-being parameters were more consistent than physiological and biomarkers.

The feeling of tension, anger, and fatigue significantly increased while a decrease in vigor was demonstrated among athletes who lost weight rapidly. The evidence on the impact of RWL on performance remains ambiguous. More studies under standardized conditions are needed in order to provide firm evidence.

Considering the harmful effects of RWL outlined in the existing literature, it is important to determine and monitor athlete's minimal competitive weight to prioritize the health and safety of the athlete, emphasize fairness, and ultimately benefit the sport."