The Japan Athletes Rehabilitation Trainers Association (JARTA) is a private organization of sports trainers providing athletes with rehabilitative and preventive skills as well as training based on Eastern medicine, the Eastern body viewpoint, body cognition, and recognition studies. A special focus is placed on using the concepts of martial arts as an advantage of our Japanese culture and applying it to the theory of sports training, offering “a unique Japanese training style” to athletes and sports teams.
Provide support to participants of sports activities suffering from injuries and/or poor performance, as well as the support of coaches
and trainers through our conditioning programs and training.
Nurture athletes to become competitive in the international sports scene.
Expand JARTA’s training theory worldwide to make our concepts of “body quality,”“quality of movement,” and “quality of training” world standards originating from Japan.
Training contracts* with several athletes, many of whom are professionals and/or on Japan’s national teams and sports teams both in Japan and overseas.
*Includes non-public contracts
Our clients and trainers are currently very active in soccer, baseball, rugby, volleyball, basketball, etc.
We focus on expanding the scope of the body’ s functional movement by relaxing muscles to their maximum extent and getting the body’ s innate sensors to work fully. Training in the field today generally aims to enhance a number of elements leading to higher performance only by increasing contractile force. However, such training, with its excessive emphasis on strengthening muscles, tends to cause a gradual loss of the innate agility and flexibility of athletes’ muscles, resulting in stiffer bodies. A stiffer body is subject to the following adverse tendencies:
・Awkward use of body, making it difficult to execute relaxed performance
・Accumulation of stress in certain parts of the body (e.g., shoulder, elbow, lower back, hip joint, knee) resulting in injury
・Prone to fatigue
・An imbalance of sympathetic versus parasympathetic nerves, or the autonomous nervous system, lowering resilience from fatigue and causing sleep disorders
・Performance relying on brute force
In contrast, massage and other conditioning methods placing too much emphasis on relaxation alone can also have the following negative impacts:
・Physical lassitude due to excessive relaxation
・Development of pain in the area being massaged
・Reduced muscle contraction force
・Being in a daze
JARTA deals with these problems using the concept of laxity. Instead of hardening or stiffening the body through training, we encourage body development that enables increased functional movement based on a wider range of body contraction and relaxation by enhancing the ability to relax while attaining contractile strength.
This style of using the body flexibly through relaxation has advantages recognized scientifically and neurophysiologically, namely enhancements in muscle sensing ability and body cognition ability.
Inside each muscle is a receptor organ called the “muscle spindle” that senses expansion and contraction of the muscle.
Its sensitivity is reduced when the body is stiff, but increases when the body is relaxed with softer muscles.
In other words, this laxity (flexibility) can improve the ability to control the state and posture of your body, thereby improving your ability to move your body exactly the way you wish.
In order to enhance athletic performance while preventing injury, it is critical to achieve body quality and body usage by employing minimum muscular force under all circumstances and by eliminating unnecessary stress and strain as much as possible.
Ability to make the ultimate choice to use the appropriate muscles
This means having the ability to make the ultimate choice for your body status to match the situation of your ever-changing competitive environment. No matter how strong or flexible your muscles are, a great performance cannot be expected unless you choose and manifest the body status that fits the particular situation.
To achieve a high level of performance, it is critical to attain the ability to realize a body status that is adaptive to an ever-changing situation because there are unlimited choices of distribution between maximum power and complete relaxation, including, for example, applying power slightly while relaxing a muscle.This ability can be attained when training is performed on a body which is based on a relaxed state.
JARTA aims to enable our client athletes to master control of their bodies through an improved method of body use, thus overcoming physical differences.
“Flexibility is stronger than muscle”
This well-known maxim originally appeared in Huang Shigong’ s Three Strategies, a famous military text written in ancient China. It has been translated into English in many ways, including “A mud wall kills a cannon ball,” “Creaking doors hang the longest,” “Soft methods often get the better of brute force,” etc. In Japan, this statement was developed by Jigoro Kano, the father of judo, into the concept that using the body flexibly could put a bigger or more powerful opponent behind the eight ball and it has been familiar to the Japanese throughout the ages.
The key idea in the world of martial arts is to win by not allowing a larger or stronger opponent to demonstrate his or her power. In fact, many skills hint at the effectiveness of utilizing the opponent’ s power, by shutting down an opponent simply by changing the direction of his or her force, or by absorbing the opponent’ s force softly.
Timing and distancing under control
In terms of speed as well, martial arts provides superb concepts including faster starts and undetectable movements, among others, for the control of timing and distancing.
Take the skill of quick acceleration without hitting the ground, for example. Even though this may sound unimaginable in normal circumstances, applying the concepts discussed above makes it happen. An unimaginable movement means an unrecognizable movement that cannot be dealt with, thereby leaving the opponent helpless.
The concepts discussed above can also lead to an increase in maximum speed as sharpening your senses on how you use your body to its max eliminates all elements of wasted motion.
Changing how you use your body enables you to prevent injuries
One of the major factors keeping athletes from achieving higher performance levels in all sports is injury. Although recent years have witnessed extensive advanced research aimed at developing new treatment methods, no fundamental solution can be found as long as people see an injury as something unexpected or unlucky.
JARTA believes that most sports-related injuries are caused by the accumulation of stress, which is the result of the routine way that athletes use their bodies, including during training and in competition. We can presume that how people use their bodies leads to a lack of muscle force or of flexibility, which in turn is directly related to injury. With few exceptions, we believe that the fundamental cause of injury lies in how people use their bodies.
One of JARTA’ s major characteristics is its training theory.
We focus on “the quality of physical functioning and movement” and on “quantity” as represented by various forms of muscle training that comprise the majority of today’ s sports training programs. Quantitatively strengthening the different elements of the human body one by one, as suggested by sports scientists, does not necessarily enable an athlete to achieve the best performance because this approach misses the point of integrating various performance-affecting elements.
A high-level of performance requires fine harmonization and integration of skill, cognitive ability (mental power), and physical elements. Although a variety of training methods have been introduced in recent years, most of them deal only with physical elements.
There are numerous examples of athletes who suffer from poor performance or injuries after undergoing intensive physical training in the name of “body remodeling.” This is because most of the training methods are meant to strengthen physical elements alone.
Under the concept of integrated training, JARTA offers comprehensive and integrated training programs satisfying all elements essential to a particular sport so as to improve the performance of each athlete. Of particular note is a progress theory based on martial arts, which is far superior to other sports-driven theories. This theory is of Japanese origin and has been passed down over many generations. We believe that applying this theory unique to Japan to improve all-around performance is a highly effective way to assist athletes in reaching their full potential.
JARTA has built a system to improve these qualities and help athletes progress. We support nurturing athletes who are competitive not only in Japan but also in the world.
Learning the JARTA training method
The JARTA training method is based on a martial arts-derived advanced concept not easily mastered. This difficulty in mastering our unique training method can be explained by the fact that martial arts was developed for life-or-death situations whereas sports originated in leisure activities.
Here at JARTA, we have developed systematic programs for athletes, teams, and trainers to learn our training methodology,
preconditions to body development, and our coaching methodology.
Why do athletes wish to eliminate pain and discomfort?
Almost all answers to this question can be summed up in the following two statements:
“To exert their best possible performance” and “to improve their performance.”
JARTA consistently clarifies the relationship between eliminating pain / discomfort and improving performance and prioritizes satisfying each athlete’ s requests.
Using science-based approaches and responding to an athlete’ s needs by whatever means necessary differ from one another, although they overlap to some extent.
It does not mean that we deny science. However, what an athlete expects from us is not science, but the treatment of injury or improved performance. An athlete wishing injury treatment or performance improvements is the person in front of us; and he/she is not part of a data set or numerical value.
Lecture classes held by JARTA emphasizes attaining “methods and attitudes that satisfy athlete requests.”
The classes also focus on developing the trainer’ s own body usage, as:
・How you use your body affects the effectiveness of conditioning.
・It doesn’ t make much sense to have a trainer who is unable to use his/her body effectively to instruct body usage to others.
JARTA-trained trainers, in principle, excel in body usage in JARTA training even when compared to top-class athletes.
Now and then an athlete with both elegant and flexible movement overwhelms a muscular and rough moving opponent, fascinating spectators.
JARTA advocates the feasibility of establishing a training theory as well as a training system to develop and nurture such type of athletes, instead of simply labeling them as “rare cases” born with “superior instincts” or “gifted abilities.”
A number of cases have already proven that increasing muscular force and instantaneous force alone are not enough to be globally competitive. It’s time for us to go back to our point of origin and review body concepts as well as training methods.
In recent years, training focused on enhancing the power to fix the body and the power to maintain movement, exemplified by torso training, has gained momentum in the field of sports. This kind of training has been developed based on Western theory.
In many cases in sports, however, flexible use of the body, including all four limbs as well as the torso, is required. Take a good look at the movements of soccer players such as Messi, Neymar, and Ronaldinho once again. You’ll notice that they never use their body with a rigidly fixed torso during their agile play.