Judo Blog: MoveSensei Virtual Learning Environment for Judo

Move Sensei Video Game

Recently Antti Renko from Finland creator of the MoveSensei wrote to me about the success of virtual learning platform aimed at beginning judo students. It was published by the IJF Science on Biomechanics research this past January.

MoveSensei is a virtual learning environment for judo throws. It is available on mobile devices in Android and Apple Play stores for free. Being interactive, MoveSensei allows people study details and phases of the throws independently. There were multiple reasons for developing a modern tool like MoveSensei for judo, i.e. to support judo as a sport to improve and especially help people new in the sport to have long life in judo. Judo is highly demanding sport activity where reaction must be done fast and execution of the throws must be effective. This requires clear vision on the movements that have been practiced into skills.


Figure 1: MoveSensei is a virtual learning environment for learning judo throws and it runs on mobile

Judo has maintained traditions well all over the world which is making judo community united. This is a benefit, but it will make starting the sport more challenging with vocabulary and many new things to learn.

With MoveSensei, it is possible to learn names of the movements and directions of the throws. Then on tatami it is possible to train physical skills for the movements. In Figure 2 ukemi is presented. Ukemi falls are important for safe landing and base of health and long training career in judo.


Figure 2: Ukemi for different directions is done first before throws

Main principles in judo are maximum efficiency and minimum effort. Methodology for constructing the throws in MoveSensei is based on Biomechanical re-assessment by Professor Attilio Sacripanti. Biomechanics is the most general and comprehensive classification for treating the techniques, and therefore is the most suitable for MoveSensei purposes. It is perfect way to demonstrate functional phases of the throw and it is possible to also give some measures for the forces during the throws.

All the throws are expressed by two forces F1 and F2 that are affecting from opposite sides of uke. With these movements it is possible to control rotational movements which are causing uke to fall down and land into his back. Forces are describing the forces during kake throwing phase in Japanese. Kake phase was selected because that it is a moment during the throw where energy is consumed the most.

Biomechanics reassessment is useful for teaching purposes, since it is expressing well that movements from the whole body are needed for completing the throw. So even in leg or hip or hand techniques whole body rotations are used to complete the throw effectively. In Figure 3 sample throws are shown with Throw analyses.

Throw analyses are calculated after the throw based on user’s height and weight. Based on these quantitative figures, it is possible to get an idea between the throws and see how well principles in judo are executed. Currently separation is done between two forces. Later, they can be further divided into Lever- and couple type throws.

Figure 3: Throw analyses after completing the throws are presented

Figure 4: The players can be given individual names and country - Watch Video

Although MoveSensei is still at its early days, it can be used as a supplementary learning material for serving judo community. It gives teachers one extra way to activate and engage group between lessons. Students can see information on the throws they have contributed themselves.

As an example of using MoveSensei for supplement trainings, teacher tells the group that next week we practice osoto gari - major outer reaping throw in the training sessions. Students learn osoto gari during time off the tatami. They can discuss on principles and directions of forces during the throw. It is possible to compare needed energy for the throw and compare how much relative energies are needed for completing the throws. After this, physical skills are developed during trainings.Future development for the MoveSensei will include more dynamic situations and interactivity. There will be scenarios for action-reaction studies, in which the principles of judo throws will become even clearer and more interesting.

Additional throwing techniques will be introduced. As an interesting part, throw-analysis will be continued further. With proper throw analysis functions it is possible to tune any of the throwing phase parameters independently and range can change between maximum efficiency to maximum safety.

Based on the information gathered from virtual environment, it is possible to formulate ideas and strategies on judo before physical skills develop. This can keep people longer in the sport and help them reach their goals.

MoveSensei will make judo community around the world more united and active. It helps this great sport to expand and community become larger and impact of judo principles executed more effectively.

Link to Highlight Video by Josh Khoury of the –

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World Champion Higashi Clinic

I’m always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to gary@garygoltz.com, thanks.

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