Friday, 22 October 2010


My Marathon training has started slowly due mainly to a niggling knee injury but I was able to get a couple of four and a half mile runs in this week during my lunch hour at work. The problem is that, because I am literally training every day bar Saturday and on some days (Tuesday and Thursday) I am training twice a day, something has to give. This is the reason I have not been to BJJ for the last couple of weeks as doing those hard workouts after a run is taking its toll on my body. This doesn’t mean I have stopped BJJ altogether but while my body adjusts to the extra workload it makes sense to give it a rest for a while.
The workouts in Judo however are a lot easier on the old body and so despite running in my lunch hour I am to complete a Judo class with no problem.

Graeme was back tonight but had injured his ankle doing Judo in the week at another club he attends so Peter took the class and Graeme assisted from the sidelines.

We worked mainly on one throw tonight, Sumi-gaeshi , which incidentally is a 1st kyu throw, so quite advanced. It does look quite complicated when you first see it but in fact I got the hang of this fairly quickly. Big Stuart was my Uke for this throw, so I knew I had to get the technique right to throw him properly. We were shown two versions of this throw, the first is like the one on the link I’ve provided which clearly shows separation between the person throwing and Uke. This is important if you want the throw to count in competition and score an Ippon. The other way of doing this throw is, instead of letting go of Uke you roll with them and end up in the mount position. In a Judo competition this would be a good idea if you wanted to get your opponent to the ground but you would be unlikely to score as a throw this way as it would be judged as a takedown rather than a throw. I do wonder whether this throw would work in BJJ as this would be an excellent and unusual way of getting mount from a standing position.

Juji-gatame or the classic armbar was then shown to the class. In Judo this is a Green Belt technique and in fact looking at the Green belt syllabus there is five different versions of this submission that you have to know for that grading. I would therefore imagine any newly promoted Green belts would be particularly proficient with this technique, something to take note of should I face a Green belt in competition anytime soon.

Although I have been shown this technique in BJJ it was nice to finally be shown this in Judo. Again this does show the different goals within Judo Newaza and BJJ as in BJJ this is one of the first submissions you learn and I was shown this within my first month of lessons. In Judo, if I waited until I was grading for my Green, it could have taken over a year before I was shown it. I’m not sure what Ryan made of this, as being a Blue Belt in BJJ this will be a bread & butter move to him.
However I was shown a slightly different version to the one I have been shown before because you only put your leg across Uke’s neck and your second leg is bent and lodged under their body rather than both legs over Uke.

Just before the end of the class I was asked to perform Tai-otoshi, as part of my Yellow belt grading. I hadn’t practiced this throw since before we had the summer break so I was more than a little rusty. I was expecting that I would have to perform O-uchi-gari as this was the throw that we had practiced a lot in previous weeks. Oli was Uke for my throw and I thought I performed it pretty well as I threw him with no effort. Unfortunately my technique wasn’t quite right so I was asked to perform it again and again I was doing something wrong. After my third and final attempt I was shown my Graeme what I was doing wrong which basically me using my leg too much for the throw. Tai-otoshi is classed as a “hand throw”, which means that ideally the throw should work even if my leg wasn’t there blocking Uke’s leg. I think was slightly reaping Oli’s leg, which is why I failed. All this means is that I will have to perform the throw again in the next lesson so I’m not too upset about it. I’d rather know how to do the throw properly than get a pass as getting my yellow belt is not my goal, getting better at Judo is.
After my failed attempt at Tai-otoshi I was then asked to perform three holds. Yoko-shiho-gatame , Tate-shiho-gatame and kami-shiho-gatame . Having practiced all of these in recent weeks I was fairly confident I could perform these correctly and I did.

The club is closed next week for the half term holidays so my grading will have to wait a couple of weeks. I still have three turnovers, three escapes, one throw and three throws into the holds which I performed today, left until I pass so it could take me another 2-3 weeks.