Friday, 18 March 2011

Okuri-ashi-barai ( The Oomph throw)

Judo has had to take a bit of a back seat for the last couple of weeks due to the early arrival of my Daughter Florence, who decided she wanted to make an appearance 10 days earlier than expected and low and behold a future Ju-Dan was born.

So with the birth of Florence and with the continuing physiotherapy I am having on my shoulder, the result has been no Judo for almost a month.

Anyway I was back last night and although I wasn’t exactly raring to go, due to weeks of broken sleep, I was looking forward to seeing everyone again.
We warmed up with some pushing and pulling exercises and then we all took turns running up and down the mat before throwing each member of the club once, which meant we were all nicely warmed up.

The lesson focused mainly on two foot sweeps, De-ashi-barai and Okuri-ashi-barai , which is apparently known as the “oomph” sweep (the noise uke makes when he hits the floor and all the air is knocked out of him).
This was very similar to a lesson we had in November “foot sweeps” but whereas I struggled slightly with my timing, especially with Okuri-ashi-barai, tonight I was able to perform it fairly well. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that my Uke was Ynez who is considerably lighter than Black Belt Stuart, whom was my Uke previously, but I’d like to think that I’ve just got that little bit better since then.

Following this we did some Randori and for the first time ever I got to spar with Peter. Understandably I found Peter particularly difficult to control, of course when I say control what I really mean is that he controlled me and put me down with ease but again I attacked constantly and he complemented me on some of the entries to my throws, even though I wasn’t successful with them.

We changed partners and this time we were told that from a throw we were to go into ground work. I was paired with Ryan and managed to get him down with Osoto-otoshi but I ended up in his guard. I attempted to pass but was quickly reminded by Ryan that he has superior ground skills as he almost reversed me. Luckily for me you are only given a short amount of time on the ground in Judo and I managed to stay in his guard without being swept for the next 20-30 seconds before matte was called.

We then changed to Newaza and I got a chance to roll with Peter. I got side control and got a nice Yoko-shiho-gatame on him, to which he complemented me on. Not wanting to sit there with the pin for the whole of my roll I mounted which gave me Tate-shiho-gatame. I held this until matte was called. We then had a second roll and this time I decided to pull guard and try for a sweep but Peter gave me the opportunity to get my favourite San-gaku-jime and although it took a while I did eventually make him tap.

As I sit here writing this I’m trying to work out just how hard Peter was trying against me. I could never submit Ricardo, my BJJ instructor and he would never let me submit him, not because he has an ego but because he wants you to be able to gauge your progress by how long you can survive against him. When I did Randori against Peter he took it easy on me by not smashing me to the ground but he never let me throw him because that would have given me false confidence. So why then was I able to submit him? I know that when Big Stuart and Oli are really trying that they have too much for me and maybe if we rolled ten times I could submit them once or twice so surely I couldn’t submit a black belt. All this has fuelled my desire to go back to BJJ and do some more training but I know that until I have gotten the Marathon out of the way that I just don’t have the energy and also training BJJ increases my chances of getting injured so I will wait until after April 17th.

At the end of the class we were informed that Graeme had recently passed an advanced Dan grade theory test which meant that he was a black belt but unfortunately he could not wear the belt for another year as he had only been a 1st kyu for 4 years and the minimum time spent as 1st kyu is 5 years unless you earn your black belt in competition. This is good news as Graeme is very deserving of a Dan grade especially with all the time and effort he puts in to the club and with the coaching of the juniors so well done Graeme.

I really enjoyed last night and I was pleased that I didn’t show any signs of being rusty. Hopefully my shoulder can hold out and I can now start pushing towards my 4th kyu which I would like to get before the summer.


  1. Hi! I started judo in October, and found your blog when looking up information for my first grading. I've been reading it ever since, great job. Just wanted to comment so you know it's appreciated by others.
    Huge congratulations to you and your partner on the birth of your daughter. When there was no blog I had guessed that the baby had arrived. I hope you remember sleep fondly lol

  2. Many thanks for the congrats and thanks again for letting me know that you are enjoying reading the blog, comments like this keep me motivated to keep on writing it.
    Where do you train btw?



  4. Hi! I wrote the original comment. I train in Belfast with my university. I'm a mature student (25) and decided to try something new. Best decision I've ever made!

  5. This is the correct link