We had a couple of visitors tonight, Sophie and Peter, from a Judo club near Guildford. Sophie is a 2nd Dan and Peter is a 4th Dan. Sophie was given the task of warming us up and she soon had us running around the mats and then practicing various break falls. With it being so warm lately it didn’t take long before we started getting sweaty and I have never been so glad to have got this lightweight gi as I did last night. I can only imagine how hot I would have been had I been wearing my double weave Blitz.
Graeme took charge of the lesson tonight and had us practicing Ippon-seoi-nage which for someone tall like myself will never be my best throw but as I was paired with Oli, who is really good at explaining the throws, I soon got the hang of it. We then all lined up at the edge of the mats and took it in turns sprinting up and down the mats and then throwing the person to your left before continuing until you had thrown everyone. Once you had the next person would start. My mind went blank when doing this so I threw everyone with Ippon-seoi-nage( because I couldn’t remember any other throws) even Sophie who is about 4ft 11.
After this we did some Randori and I got paired with Peter the 4th Dan. Although he was quite a bit smaller than me he totally controlled me with his grip and really gave me a lesson in grip fighting. The tips of my fingers are all aching this morning because of this. Peter was able to move me around the mat at will and really made me work for my throws. He did let me throw him with O-soto-otoshi and I also tried Tani-otoshi but I didn’t set this up right and anyway he’s a 4th Dan so I’m unlikely to throw him.
Graeme called matte and it was time for me to move on to Ryan, the BJJ’er. Ryan and I fought for grip and I am sure we resembled a couple of noobs at first as we were both a little defensive. I noticed Ryan’s stance was literally side on to me so I pulled him in the direction he was facing and then pulled him back the other way and successfully got him with Tani-otoshi, lovely. I haven’t officially been shown this throw in class yet but it is one I remember from when I attended Westcroft Judo Club for a few months several years ago. I then went on to get Uki-goshi so I was pretty pleased with that.
All change again and this time I was against Big Stuart, again I got controlled with grip and pulled all over the mat and thrown a couple of times, all good though. When we changed again I even got thrown by little Sophie although I did manage an O-soto-otoshi on her.
Graeme then went on to show us a couple of choke’s, one was a fairly basic rear naked choke and the other a nice one using the sleeve of the gi. Basically your arms are parallel to each other with Uke’s head in between them. You then grab the sleeves of of your gi with both hands and twist your wrists which then crush’s Uke’s neck between both your arms. It was effective because you can pull this off from a lot of different positions, either on your back with them in your guard or even the other way around with you on top but in their guard. The beauty of this choke is that Uke is not aware that they are in danger of being choked until it is too late.
We then followed on to some Newaza and first up for me was Big Stuart. He was quite aggressive and attacked my neck straight away and at one point I thought he was going to guillotine me but then I remembered that this is an illegal move in Judo and maybe he remembered that as well as he allowed me to pull guard. From here he was constantly trying to pass but I worked hard and maintained position and then managed to land Hiza-gatame which forced him to tap. I think this was the first time I had subbed Big Stuart when he appeared to be trying properly. Although I felt that he ignored some chances of pins to go for a submission which then allowed me to get one myself.
We then changed and I wanted to roll with Peter the 4th Dan but I was too slow so ended up with Oli.
Oli was able to get me on my back but I straight away managed to sweep him and go to half guard. Oli was then attempting to choke me but I chose to ignore this and work on passing his guard which I did getting side control. I tried to trap his right arm with my left leg but he then managed to get out and before I knew it I was on my back but with Oli in my guard. From here I managed a perfect Hiza-gatame which is quickly becoming my favorite submission which is strange because I haven’t been shown this yet. Again i'm never quite sure how hard Oli or Big Stuart try when doing Newaza with me, I guess they must be letting me get some submissions.
What I have noticed after tonight’s lesson is that I now know all three throws required for yellow belt. The other techniques required seem fairly rudimentary in comparison so I am pretty pleased. Who knows maybe a Yellow belt grading will be on the cards within a couple of months.
A really good lesson tonight and Peter and Sophie were a welcome addition to the class.