Saturday, 18 December 2010

End of Term

A shorter than normal lesson took place on Thursday as it was the last of the term before the Christmas break. Normally I update my blog the day after the lesson as it ensures that I don’t miss anything out but due to a couple of nights out drinking I can’t quite recall of the techniques that we did so this will be a shorter than usual write up.

It was the first time I had worn my newly earned yellow belt tonight and it felt nice not having to worry about being asked to perform part of my grading which meant I could relax. We started the lesson with some Newaza and I paired up with Mark. I pulled guard and was looking for a San-gaku-jime. Whenever I have caught Mark previously with this he has left his left arm in and again he was trying to pass my guard to my left so I grabbed his left arm and was preparing to throw my legs up but then he decided to try and pass to the other side so I quickly changed arms and grabbed his right arm and threw my legs up and caught him. It took me a little while to pull his right arm across my body but once I did he tapped. We restarted and this time I tried to get him on his back but as he is quite stocky and heavier than me I decided pulling guard was the safest option. This time I was looking to sweep him but I couldn’t quite manage it before Graeme called matte.

Graeme decided it would be a good idea for one of us to wear a blindfold. We changed partners I paired up with Troy. Troy wore the blindfold first and as he couldn’t see we both took grips before we started. I wrestled Troy to the floor and held him in Mune-gatame before I grabbed his arm and submitted him with Ude-garami. We restarted and this time I pulled guard and managed to submit him again with San-gaku-jime. The last person I did Newaza with was Big Stuart and this time I wore the blindfold. Yet again I was able to pull off a San-gaku-jime this time I went for the Ryan Hall version which worked well for me the previous week and Stuart duly tapped.

We went on to do Blindfolded Randori and I actually found that this improved my Tachi-waza as I was relying on feeling and therefore felt more relaxed. I found this similar to when I would do Chi-Sau or sticking hands, back in my Wing Chun days. Chi Sau is a drill used for the development of automatic reflexes upon contact and the idea of "sticking" to the opponent. In Wing Chun this is practiced through two practitioners maintaining contact with each other's forearms while executing techniques, thereby training each other to sense changes in body mechanics, pressure, momentum and "feel". This increased sensitivity gained from this drill helps a practitioner attack and counter an opponent's movements precisely, quickly and with the appropriate technique. Although I have my doubts weather Wing Chun is the most effective form of fighting there are definitely certain training aspects which I think are useful and Chi-Sau is one of them.

I suggested to Graeme before tonight’s lesson that it might be a nice idea to have group photo so before we put the mats away the below photo was taken. We then all retired to the local pub for a well earned end of term pint.

Back Row, left to right: Stuart, Mark, Peter, Me, Oli
Front Row, left to right: Troy, Ynez, Stuart, Graeme.

Friday, 10 December 2010

5th Kyu

No Judo last week due to the heavy snow, so the club will stay open an extra week to compensate which means next week will be the last class until January 13th.

With the last class of the term usually being a shorter session followed by a Christmas drink in the Bar, I knew tonight’s class would be my last chance to pass my yellow grading before the New Year. Whilst checking the BJA website I realised that there were one or two techniques that I had never practiced before so I felt sure that I could not pass. However these techniques were simple looking turnovers so I memorised the moves from the video just in case I was called on it.

It was a fairly small turnout tonight with just seven seniors including the instructors making it to class. Graeme took most of the class and he said he would be trying to finish off both Ryan’s and my grading. After a warm up Graeme asked Ryan to lead us all in performing various breakfalls which were in the 6th Kyu syllabus and he duly received ticks next to them.

The rest of the lesson was structured around the techniques that both Ryan and I needed for our respective new belts. For instance, Graeme would ask me to show the class basic grips and variations on those and after I did this Graeme would then have us practice various grip fighting techniques. That way I could get this ticked off my grading sheet before he taught the rest of us. If we had had a normal turnout he would have taken myself and Ryan to one side and graded us whilst the rest of the class got on with their normal lesson but because there were so few of us he couldn’t do that.

After the grip fighting Graeme asked me if I could perform a turnover in to Kesa-gatame. Now as I said earlier I have not been taught this technique before but I told Graeme I would give it a go and luckily enough not only did I perform this one correctly I also managed to perform turnover in to Mune-gatame and turnover into Yoko-shiho-gatame (who said you can’t learn from the internet?)

All that was now left for me to do was two minutes of Randori whereby I would need to show good technique with a variety of throws and good ukemi when I was thrown. Graeme asked me to pick an Uke and of course I picked Oli. I mainly used throws that are in the 6th and 5th kyu syllabus but I did end the Randori with a nice Sumi-gaeshi, which I was very pleased, worked.
Peter then quizzed my knowledge of Japanese by asking me to translate all of the 5th kyu techniques and once I had done this I was presented with a shiny new Yellow Belt. As Ryan had also passed I gave him my Red Belt as they didn’t have any new ones at the club. I joked to Ryan that we should get a belt whipping ala BJJ but luckily in Judo all we got was stiff handshake from both Graeme and Peter.

No more Judo now until the 13th of January and with NCT classes (Anti Natal) taking up my Tuesday evenings I won’t be able to substitute with BJJ either. Still the Marathon training is going up a notch with a 10 mile run due this Sunday so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.