The Japan Athletes Rehabilitation Trainers Association (JARTA) is a private organization of sports trainers providing athletes with rehabilitation and injury prevention skills, as well as training to up their skills and game based on Eastern medicine and Eastern studies of body perspective, cognition, and recognition. Special focus is also placed on using martial arts concepts — an advantage of our Japanese culture. We apply these concepts to our sports training theories, offering “a unique Japanese training style” to athletes and sports teams.
To support all participants of any sports activity suffering from injuries and/or poor performance, as well as to support coaches and trainers through our conditioning and training programs.
To nurture athletes to improve and increase their athletic abilities to reach internationally competitive levels.
To globally expand JARTA’s training theory, making our concepts of “body quality,” “quality of movement,” and “quality of training” world standards originating from Japan.
Training contracts* with professional athletes on Japan’s national teams, as well as Japanese and international professional sports teams.
*Includes contracts not made public.
Our major clients and trainers are currently involved in soccer, baseball, rugby, volleyball, basketball, etc.
We focus on expanding the scope of the body’s functional movements by relaxing muscles to their full potential, and getting the body’s innate sensors working fully. Most training styles today generally focus on enhancing a number of elements which leads to higher performance only by increasing contractile force. However, with its excessive emphasis on strengthening muscles, this style of training tends to cause a gradual loss of innate agility and flexibility of the muscles, resulting in a stiffer body.
A stiffer body can lead to the following adverse effects:
・Awkward body movements, leading to difficulty in executing relaxed performance.
・Stress accumilation in certain areas of the body (such as the shoulders, elbows, lower back, hip joints, knees) 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
・Pain developing in the area being massaged
・Reduced muscle contraction force
・Sense of daze
JARTA deals with these issues 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 the abilities of muscle sensing and body cognition.
Inside each muscle is a receptor organ called the “muscle spindle,” sensing the expansion and contraction of the muscle.
Its sensitivity becomes 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 intend.
In order to enhance athletic performance while preventing injury, it’s critical to achieve body quality and body usage by employing minimum muscular force under all circumstances, as well as by eliminating unnecessary stress and strain as much as possible.
Ability to make ultimate choices to use the appropriate muscles
This means having the ability to make ultimate choices in the state of your body to match the situations of your ever-changing competitive environment. No matter how strong or flexible your muscles may be, high performance levels can’t be expected unless you choose and manifest a state in your body that best fits the particular situation.
To achieve high-performance levels, it’s critical to attain the ability to create a “state of body” that is adaptive to an ever-changing situation, as there are unlimited choices of distribution between maximum power and complete relaxation. This includes for example, applying slight power while relaxing a muscle. This ability can be attained by training the body while in a relaxed state.
JARTA aims to enable our client athletes to master “body control” through an improved method of body use, thus allowing them to overcome 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. There are several English translations, including “A mud wall kills a cannon ball,” “Creaking doors hang the longest,” “Soft methods often get the better of brute force,” and the like. In Japan, the father of judo, Jigoro Kano further developed this statement into a concept of using the body flexibly to place a much larger or more powerful opponent behind the eight ball. This concept has since been one of familiarity to the Japanese throughout the ages.
The key point in the world of martial arts is to win by not allowing a larger or stronger opponent demonstrate their power. In fact, many skills hint at the effectiveness of utilizing the opponent’s power, instead, by shutting down an opponent simply by changing the direction of the opponent’s force or by gently absorbing it.
Controlling timing and distance
Martial arts provides superb concepts in terms of speed as well, including faster starts and undetectable movements among others, to control timing and distance.
For example, take the skill of quick acceleration without hitting the ground. Even though this may sound unimaginable in normal circumstances, applying the concepts mentioned above makes it happen. An unimaginable movement means that it’s also an unrecognizable movement unable to be dealt with, thereby leaving the opponent helpless.
The concepts discussed above also leads to an increase in maximum speed, as sharpening your senses to their max on how to use the body eliminates all elements of wasted motion.
Prevent injuries by changing the way you use your body.
One of the major factors preventing athletes from achieving higher performance levels in all sports, is injury. Although recent years have witnessed extensive advanced research aimed to develop new treatment methods, fundamental solutions cannot be found as long as people see injuries as something unexpected or unlucky.
JARTA believes that most sports-related injuries are caused by the accumulation of stress, which is the result of routine ways athletes use their bodies, including while training and competing. We can presume that how one uses their body leads to a lack of muscle force or flexibility, which in turn directly relates to injury. With few exceptions, we believe that the fundamental cause of injuries lie in how one uses their body.
One of JARTA’ s major and unique features is its training theory.
We focus on “the quality of physical functions and movement” as well as “quantity” represented by various forms of muscle training which comprises the majority of today’s sports-training programs. Quantitatively strengthening different elements of the human body one by one, as suggested by sports scientists, does not necessarily enable an athlete to achieve their best performance, as 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 each particular sport, improving the performance of the athlete. In particular, we work with a progress theory based on martial arts, which we find is far superior to other “sports-driven” theories. This theory of Japanese origin has been passed down through many generations. For all-around performance improvement, we believe that applying this theory unique to Japan is extremely effective in assisting athletes reach their full potential.
JARTA has built a unique system to improve these qualities and help athletes evolve. We support nurturing athletes who are competitive not only in Japan, but also around the world.
Learning the JARTA training method
The JARTA training method is based on a martial arts-derived advanced concept not easily mastered. The fact that martial arts was developed for “life-or-death” situations whereas sports originated as leisure activities explains why mastering our unique training method is more difficult than others.
Here at JARTA, we’ve developed systematic programs for athletes, teams, and trainers to learn our training methodology, the preconditions for body development, as well as our coaching methodology.
Why do athletes want to eliminate pain and discomfort?
Almost all answers to this question can be summed up in the following two statements:
“To exert their ultimate performance level” and “Improve 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 differs from one another, although they overlap to some extent.
This doesn’t mean we deny science. However, athletes don’t expect science from us, but instead treatment of injury or performance improvement. An athlete requiring injury treatment or performance improvements is the person standing in front of us, and not a data set or numerical value.
Lectures held by JARTA emphasize attaining “methods and attitudes which satisfy the athlete’s needs.” The lectures also focus on the development of the trainers themselves, and how they use their bodies because;
・How well they’re able to use their body affects the effectiveness of conditioning the athletes they’re training.
・It makes no sense for a trainer unable to use their own body effectively, to instruct others to do so.
JARTA-trained trainers in principle excel in body use and control during their JARTA training, even when compared to top-class athletes.
Now and then an athlete having both elegant and flexible movements overwhelms a muscular/rough- moving opponent, fascinating spectators.
JARTA supports the feasibility of establishing a training theory as well as a training system to actually “develop and nurture” the above mentioned type athletes, rather than simply labeling them as being “rare cases” born with “superior instincts” or “having gifted abilities.”
A number of cases have already proven to find that increasing muscular force and instantaneous force alone are not enough to become 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 power to fix the body and power to maintain movement exemplified by torso training, has gained momentum in sports. This type of training was developed based on Western theories.
In many cases in sports however, flexible body use, including all four limbs and torso are required. When we observe the movements of soccer players such as Messi, Neymar, and Ronaldinho, you’ll notice that they never use their entire body with a rigid torso during their beautifully agile performance.