Athlete Analyzer

Josh Hagen

Analyzing Penalties in Athlete Analyzer Judo

by Josh Hagen on

When you see a pattern in the way your student receives penalties or shido’s it can often be associated a few different larger issues with your student. Being able to find the patterns is very important as well as finding the deeper reasoning behind these penalties.

For instance, if your student is regularly receiving penalties for passivity or defensive posture, it can often be a sign he/she is getting out-gripped and needs to improve upon their kumikata strategies. Another issue could be penalties late in matches for false attacks or passivity, may be a sign that your athlete requires better conditioning. Studying penalties is often a forgotten detail in the analysis of your judoka, but it could turn out to be of incredible importance.

Here are some things to look for when studying the penalties received by your students.

Are the penalties against lefties or righties? I know this may seem obvious to some but, competing against lefties or righties can really mess with your athlete’s ability to perform especially if they are not properly prepared for it. If your athlete has difficulty adjusting to the difference in gripping someone of the opposite side, bailing out of the exchange may be their only way to avoid being thrown and a shido is a better result than being thrown for ippon.

At what point in the match do they happen most often? Throughout the match? At the beginning? Near the end? The timing of the penalties can tell you a lot. If it is at the beginning of the match, it often points to your athlete not being focused, maybe they do not have a good warm up routine. If the penalties are occurring throughout the match this could mean that they are having issues with strategy of how to fight the opponent.

Finally and most obviously what are the warnings for? Passivity, false attacks or stepping outside of the tatami?
Knowing objectively why an athlete is receiving these penalties can have the affect of the canary in the coal mine. Addressing the particular issue can often lead to great immediate benefits.

Scouting your opposition

Knowing what your judo opponent wants to do has obvious as well as huge benefits. This type of video analysis requires you to have access to your opponent’s matches on video. When the two judoka have a history you can very quickly pull up all matches that have occurred on Athlete Analyzer Judo (or if someone else of your students that use AAJ have met the opponent before). If not, you can watch matches that are available from the or if your opponent competes internationally, or on any other Youtube channel available.

It is very important to know if your opponent is right or left handed. As well all matches that you watch should be against athletes that are the same side as your opponent.  If the matches you watch of your opponent are against left handed fighters and your students is a right-handed fighter then you are not going to have a lot of relevant information to go on.

PATTERN: a discernible regularity in the world or in a manmade design. As such, the elements of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner.

What is your opponent’s favorite technique? Not only do we want to know which throw they use the most and are the most successful with. But also, the important details that precede the attack. The grip that your opponent attacks from. Which grip his opponent has when he attacks, and what type of movement does he force his opponent to make before attempt his technique.

Every athlete has tendencies. Finding those to prevent against their strongest attack as well recognizing opportunities to use your best techniques can quite easily be the different between winning and losing a match. Once the tendencies are found you want to create a game plan to either prevent their actions, or counter them.

Finally and maybe most importantly you have to drill the game plan in the dojo. Have another student assist, the closer their behavior matches that of the opponent the better. It will be very difficult for an athlete to perform the game plan in a tournament if they only talked about it in the dojo. The game plan must be drilled.

I have found this has helped my students not only against the specific athlete we are preparing for but in all athletes that fight in a similar manner.

As athletes fight in specific patterns, like minded athletes do as well.

Book a personal demonstration of Athlete Analyzer Judo

If you would like to have a personal one to one demonstration of AAJ just click on one of the links below and pick a time slot.

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Correcting errors made in competition

Previously, we looked at reinforcing previously applied skills. For part 2 we are going to look at correcting errors made in competition. This method is one that you have to be a little more careful with, as too many examples of your athlete making a mistake is likely to harm their confidence.

Remember: We don’t want to get too hung up on what they did wrong: we want to focus on what to do right going forward.

Once the problem has been pointed out, the next thing to do is to find the solution, and then train that solution repeatedly. You don’t break habits by just looking at the problem, but rather, by creating a new habit through practice.

Tip: Create a new coaching habit for yourself

Another practice that I have found helpful is to book a period of time every week to review a couple of your athletes’ matches. This weekly coaching habit keeps you in the practice of reviewing matches, and there are always little details you can find to improve upon. Allowing some time to go by after a tournament will take all emotion out of your review process, allowing you to be more objective, and thus do a better job.

As you review more matches by more of your athletes, you may even find patterns of mistakes made by your athletes. The necessary corrections can then be implemented on a large scale.

Reflect on this: Reviewing your athletes is in fact a form of self-assessment. Keep on top of your own coaching skills as part of your regular weekly routine.

Book a personal demonstration

If you would like to have a personal one to one demonstration of AAJ just click on one of the links below and pick a time slot.

Europe (English):

Europe (French):

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The importance of video analysis and three ways to perform it

It is has become clear that video review (or video analysis) is an integral part of developing athletes across sports. To register and analyze sportdata is crucial to develop today’s athletes. The problem is that it is relatively new to judo, especially at the younger development level. Sportdata for judo is finally gaining greater interest even in younger levels and is now here to stay.

Learning how to perform this process correctly can lead to huge benefits for your judoka. As a general rule there are three practical ways to utilize video review, or some combination of the three.

1. Reinforcing previously applied skills
2. Correcting errors from previous matches
3. Reviewing your opponent for tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.

In all three cases you want to create multiple small clips (or a single short clip) of the the action that you are targeting. You don’t want to sit down with your athlete watching full matches all day waiting for the perfect moments.  This means that video review days require a little pre-production and game plan of what you want your athlete to see. The idea being that watching hours of matches, is for one thing an inefficient use of time, but also there is so much information in a match that they may lose context of what the specific skill or action you want them to take. Short clip(s) keep them engaged in the process and focused on the immediate task at hand.

Positive reinforcement

My favoured of the two methods for video review on my own student is in reinforcing a previously applied skill. I believe that positive reinforcement is our most powerful tool as a coach.  It builds your student up by showing them something they have done successfully before, which clearly means that they are capable of performing this action again. It builds your athletes confidence which is essential in high performance.

Humans are also incredibly good at mimicking, it is how we learn all of our skills as a baby.  To watch something and imitate it is an innate and incredibly powerful way for us to learn.  Showing athletes what they are not only capable of, but what they have achieved, can be a great motivator towards future success.

Book a personal demonstration

If you would like to have a personal one to one demonstration of AAJ just click on one of the links below and pick a time slot.

Europe (English):

Europe (French):

US/Canada (English):

Report your workouts in seconds!

Finally, after hard work based on valued feedback from our users we have now released new apps for iPhone and Android. The apps are remade completely and runs much faster than previous versions. The design matches the design on our webapp and we hope that you will love it!

Our focus has been to enable a smooth and fast register of workouts. It’s now possible to report workouts in seconds.

We have also implemented the “Flow” in the app which makes it very easy to like and comment posts from training and competitions. As a coach you can keep track and give feedback on everything your team does on a daily basis. This is very good to keep the motivation up for the athletes. Try it out, it will take your work to a new dimension!

Introducing Wellness reporting!

We have introduced wellness reporting together with the new apps. This feature is now available for all our Athlete Pro subscribers. The reporting covers five basic areas and takes a few seconds to report:

  • Motivation – How motivated are you to train?
  • Muscle soreness – Your current muscle soreness
  • Stress – Your current stress
  • Mood – Your current mood
  • Energy – Your current energy

AAJ calculates a Wellness index based on the answers above.

It’s very important to keep track of the wellness of your athletes and see how the training periods and competitions affects their wellness over time. The wellness should be reported by the athlete at the same time every day in order to be accurate. Early morning is often the best time to report. This can be easily set up in the app settings.

You can easily analyze the wellness via Analyze/Wellness both in the webapp or in the mobile apps.

You can download the apps here:



Over the last few years we have witnessed a growing professionalization of Judo in its various strands, but most of the times we continue to find a model of “artisan coach”.
In the form of artisan education, the path of learning is based on the relationship between the teacher and the student and is essentially practical in nature.
This form of artisan education in judo comes from its origin, where a student accumulates the knowledge of the techniques of his master until one day the student becomes instructor.
Education through the trade should not be overlooked, but it is not enough for the growing complexity in society and judo in particular.
Among the various areas which today a deep knowledge is demanded, urges the technological one. Most probably in our sport this is the least developed area, but I have no doubt that it is one of the most important.
This is how Athlete Analyzer, a Swedish Judo software, comes as a fundamental tool for any coach, regardless of the level of your athlete. I must confess that I initially was a bit sceptic myself. I thought I would have too much work and would not have the answers I wanted, but I could not be more wrong.
I am not going to explain all the skills or technical characteristics of this program, those responsible for the program have all done well in their communication, I would just like to help spread the word in helping other coaches growth, because it will be my growth as well.
I only regret the fact that when I was an athlete I did not have this tool at my disposal, I’m sure the Judo would have been a lot more fun and I would have even been able to go a little further.

Pedro Dias

Head Coach of Sport Algés e Dafundo Judo, Portugal

2008 European bronze medallist in Lisbon

Pedro Dias at the European Judo Championships 2008

12.04.2008 – Pedro DIAS – Campeonato da Europa de Judo.Photo: Carlos Alberto Matos / IMAPRESS

Big news today for all our users! We have released AAJ Flow for coaches and athletes. Flow makes it very easy for the coaches to keep track of their athletes’ daily updates regarding both training and competitions. The coaches can “like” and comment all posts from the athletes in order to give feedback and motivate their athletes even further. No extra work is needed, it just got a lot easier for the coaches to give feedback on daily basis to their athletes!

What is AAJ Flow?

Flow get its updates from registered data from the athletes’ daily updates in AAJ and create automatic posts in the Flow. The posts being displayed from start is:

  • Workouts (both native AAJ workouts and workouts from Polar)
  • Competition results
  • Match videos
  • Ippon sequences

The posts (and linked “likes” and comments) from an athlete can only be seen by the athlete and the athlete’s coaches. Coaches can see all posts from their athletes and also the other coaches’ “likes” and comments regarding these posts. This enhances the collaboration between the coaches for the benefit of every athlete.

Why AAJ Flow?

To give feedback to athletes on a regularly basis is most important to keep the motivation high for the athletes. Now it can be done in a very easy and fun way!

AAJ Flow also brings new possibilities for the teams together with the quite generous “Team Coach Package” which allows the teams to have up to eight coaches in the team. Most teams have former coaches with a very solid and high judo knowledge but they maybe are not so interested to hang around in the dojo anymore for different reasons. Now it’s possible for these excellent resources to use AAJ Flow and for instance give feedback on the athletes’ matches and techniques. The former coaches can help the athletes from wherever they are, whenever they want. By doing so they also transfer their knowledge to the team coaches.

What’s next in the Flow?

That’s up to you! We have a lot of ideas but we would love your feedback for the current version and suggestions for new functionality in the Flow!

We have got a lot of requests about the way attacks are registered in AAJ. We are now pleased to announce that we have listened to our users and released the requested change.

Earlier we only registered the number of attacks and that has been used to calculate scoring rate and attack rate.

With this new release you tag an attack exactly the way you tag a score. Register the technique, grip, direction and set “No score” as the outcome. This opens up for new analysis in the system –  “Attack outcome” (Technique efficiency). It’s now possible to see how many of the throw attempts which leads to score. You’ll find the new graph under Analyze/Techniques.

It’s now possible to watch and analyze every sequence of a technique which don’t results in a score so it can be improved in the dojo. Maybe a technique is used very often at competition but rarely leads to a score? Maybe one technique is seldom used during competition but it actually has a very high efficiency and should be used more?

This now takes seconds to find out! The rest is up to you and your judoka to work on in the dojo. Evidence based coaching has never been easier!

This is a feature many of our customers have requested and we’re very happy to announce this new feature for our Athlete Pro users!

How does it work?

All workouts from Polar Flow will now automatically be added to your calendar as completed. If you already have scheduled workouts in your AAJ calendar then the Polar workouts will be tied to them automatically if they are within +- 1 hour.

The data coming from Polar does not include a RPE value for workout sessions. Therefore, we approximate an RPE for each workout coming from Polar in order to still be able to calculate Training Load for you. The approximated RPE is calculated from your age and average heart rate from the session. This means that you might need to adjust the RPE manually in some cases to get a correct Training Load. For example, heavy strength training might result in a RPE that is a bit too low due to a low average heart rate even though the session was perceived as hard.

How do I start?

Go to your profile. Click on “Manage external data providers” and connect to your Polar Flow account and you’re done!