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.