Flexibility is super super super important in a sport like Judo. Being flexible will help you not only escape a ton of throws and ground work moves, but also help you avoid injury.
few years ago I was at a Nic Gregoriades seminar and for the first 30 minutes he went over the importance of being mobile in ALL areas of your body. Neck , spine, shoulders, hips, back, knees etc so that you can avoid as much injury as possible when doing Judo and BJJ.
And I 100% agree with him.
As humans we suffer from a strength and conditioning principle called ‘reversibility.’ This principle means that if we don’t use it, we LOSE it. For example if I never turn my head to the left, over time my body will stop activating those muscles needed to turn my head left and I will be unable to turn left (yes just like derek zoolander).
This is why it is so important to take each joint through a FULL range of motion every single day, especially our hips and shoulders. Do you know that most lower back, groin, knee and ankle injuries comes because of a tightness in the hip area?
Also do you know that a lot of pec, shoulder, elbow, wrist and upper back pain come from a tightness in the shoulders?
Well that’s the truth of it. If you go to the physio saying you have lower back or knee pain I guarantee that the first joint they will look at is your hips, and they’ll be looking to see how mobile your hips are.
Same with your shoulders. If you have a sore neck or shoulder the first thing they will look at is how mobile your shoulder capsule is and how tight your shoulder muscles are.
So the moral of the story is to take your joints through their FULL Range of motion each and everyday because if you don’t USE the range that you have, you WILL lose it….and once you have lost your range of motion, injuries start to pile up, especially in a sport like Judo.