Thursday, 25 March 2010


Since last week I have decided that I would like to compete in the upcoming Judo Ne-Waza competition held in High Wycombe on the 11th April. Oli and Big Stuart are also going to enter, although they will be in the Blue/Brown belt category whereas I will be competing in the Novice to Green. My only concern is that the highest weight category is +90kg, now I weigh about 94-95kg so I could in theory come up against a much larger and more skilful opponent.

The class was split tonight with the first half being Ne-Waza. I did fairly well against everyone and actually got dominant position a couple of times. Peter, the head instructor keeps telling me not to use too much strength as although it works against the smaller people there will always be someone stronger and then I’ll be buggered unless I have good technique also.
When sparing Graham I got his back and he laid flat on the mat on his stomach with his legs stretched out and I had no idea how to turn him over. I tried choking him but he had his neck pretty well covered to so I ran out of ideas. This might be a position that I’ll find myself in in this upcoming comp so I’ll need to work out what to do before then.

After the Ne-Waza we did some Randori and drilled a few throws mainly Ko Uchi gari and O uchi gari. We also used either technique as a feint or set up for the other. For instance if I tried O ochi gari and my opponent moved his foot back it would be a perfect position for me to then go to Ko Uchi gari.

Ko Uchi gari

O Uchi gari

One throw that I did try tonight, which I had been taught when I did Judo a number of years ago was Tani-otoshi. I was reminded of this throw whilst watching some BJJ instructional DVD’s that someone from AV Forums kindly sent me. At the beginning of each DVD you see the two instructors (Mario Sperry and Murilo Bustamante) doing some techniques and one of the throws they do is Tani-otoshi. Anyway I tried it and it worked. I think it’s perfect for someone with long legs like me.


Next week is that last before the clubs closes for Easter so I will need to train somewhere different before this Ne-waza competition. I might drop an email to one of the local BJJ schools and see if they mind taking me for a couple of weeks. I could go to another Judo club but they may be concentrating on throws or Kata, at least with a BJJ club I know I’m going to get some excellent ground work in.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Red Horizon

Looks like I have impressed the instructors enough over the last couple of months as they want me to grade before Easter for my Red Belt. Tonight we basically went over all the techniques I need to know for 6th Kyu (Red Belt) namely


Escape from Kesa-gatame by trapping Uke’s leg
Escape from Mune-gatame using a bridge and roll action
Escape from Kuzure-kesa-gatame using sit up and push

We also did some free sparring Ne-Waza but this time the Brown Belts were being a bit more aggressive and I realised that just watching MMA will not enable me to out grapple well trained Brown Belt Judoka’s. We did discuss MMA tonight as Big Stuart (I know my name is Stuart and I’m 6ft 3 and weight 15 stone but trust me the other Stuart is bigger) is clearly fan as he wore an MMA t-shirt under his Gi.

There is apparently either a Judo Ne-Waza competition coming up or just a groundfighting competition coming up which I would like to go watch. Oli (another Brown belt) is keen to compete so maybe we will go together. I wouldn’t mind having a go myself but i don’t feel like I have enough experience and I have a feeling that some BJJ guys might turn up in their white Belts just to mess up a few Judoka who are unaware of the groundfighting skills of BJJ even at white belt level. I’m still keen to cross train in BJJ at some point but I want to get the old body used to the Judo first before I risk Limb, if not life, doing BJJ.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Burn Baby Burn

Not quite worked out the best way of posting video clips on here yet but I’ll get there.

We started with some Newaza (groundwork) and it was performed in a fairly relaxed manner, basically we took turns in going for a sub. I did manage to pull off what in BJJ is called an Americana but I can’t quite find the Judo equivalent. Looking on wiki it appears that Ude-garami is used to describe an Americana, Keylock and a Kimura.

Anyway I pulled an Americana which pins an opponent’s arm to the ground so that it is bent at the elbow, with the opponent's palm upwards. The wrist is grabbed with the opposite hand, and the arm on the same side is put under the opponents arm, gripping the attacker's wrist. This results in the necessary figure-four hold. While keeping the opponent's hand pinned to the ground, the attacker begins sliding his or her pinned arm down and parallel to his or her thigh while cranking the elbow upwards. The opponent will feel pressure on their elbow and/or shoulder. I did this both from the mount and side mount. This was one of the techniques I remember from a couple of BJJ lessons I had a number of years back.

After the Newaza we went on to Kata. I must admit I wasn’t looking forward to this as if it is anything like the Kata in Karate or Forms in Wing Chun then IMO it’s a waste of good training time.
However surprisingly it was ok. I think Kata is only needed for the higher grades and even then it’s not essential but it does teach you good form and for a beginner like me it was useful to go over Kesure Kesa Gatame

and also to learn Yoko Shiko Gazame

Basically I put the hold on my opponent and he tries 3 different set ways to get out of it and I defend each one in a set manner., we then swap over. Not as exciting as Newaza but certainly better than Karate Kata.

Next up we worked on a couple of throws and first up was Ogoshi,

which is a hip throw. Being tall like me makes this throw very difficult to pull off as I really have to bend my knees to get my hips under my opponents. The instructor showed us what to do if your opponent resists this throw or in my case if I cock it up and that was to go straight in to Uke Goshi

which basically allows me to swing them round kinda of in a discus throwing way, over your right leg. This was easier to pull off for me especially against the heavier guys.

We finished off with some light Randori again where we both alternated between throwing and being thrown. I worked on my Osoto otoshi

and De Ashi Barai and tried but failed at Ogoshi.
I did manage to drag the top of my foot across the mat at one point which gave me a nice friction burn from my big toe half way down my left foot, hence the title of this thread.

The pictures I have used on this thread I got from this website which has been quickly saved to my favourites.
Definitely worth a look as it has every technique listed and plenty of videos of great Judo players past and present on there.