Peter mentioned to me that they would start my Red belt grading this evening and that they would probably use Clive as Uke or the receiver of the technique as he was the closest size wise to myself. Although Clive was a Brown belt he was new to me as apparently he hadn’t been to the club for about 4 years due to other commitments.
Inez was taking the class this evening for the first time and her warm up was a little different to that of Peter’s. Ten minutes in to the warm up we all heard this noise like a pencil breaking and Clive, who was right next to me, asked who had just kicked him. At first I thought he was messing about but then he suddenly grabbed the back of his right ankle and collapsed to the floor in pain. He had snapped his Achilles tendon in his right leg and this unfortunately would put a premature end to his return to Judo.
Peter helped Clive off to casualty and we continued with our warm up. Inez’s style of coaching is different to Peter’s and she said that we would have a light session with little sparring. I hope she didn’t see the face I pulled as I love sparring. However my face pulling was to be short lived as this lesson really helped with my throws. Basically she broke down each throw in to 3 sections which we would first drill with an imaginary partner. For example if we were doing Tai-toshi, part one would be to step forward with my right foot. Part two would be to step across to my right with my left foot behind my right foot and part 3 would be the arm movements with the right foot moving across to my left whilst turning my back. It’s difficult to explain without showing but if you know the throw then you’ll understand. Anyway we did this for three or four throws and then we partnered up and did them with a partner and then eventually we moved on to some light Randori where we practised the throws we had just done. All the while this was going on Graeme was walking around marking me for my Red belt grading, so when we did Deashi-barai he ticked that off the list of techniques I had to perform. None of the other styles I have done have gradings like this so it was refreshing and meant there were no nerves.
After Randori we went to some groundwork where we worked on 5 holds and moved from one to the other whilst at all times trying to keep control of Uke. I was thus able to perform all 3 of the holds that are in the Red belt syllabus plus refine Yoko-shiho-gatame and Kazure-kami-shiho-gatame and then took turns with our partner, first doing the holds whilst the other tried to break free of the hold and then we swapped over. When I was being held down I managed to pull off the Escape from Kazure-kesa-gatame, that I needed for my grading so again I had ticked off another technique.
Overall apart from poor Clive this was a really good technical lesson which I really got a lot out of.
Graeme confirmed they would finish my Red belt grading next week so hopefully my next post will have the word “red” in the title.