Friday, 10 June 2011

Stiff Arming and Grips

Another fairly small turnout last night, along with Peter & Inez there was only 3 seniors including myself. I’m hoping the absence of the likes of Ryan & Jamie is only temporary.

For the second week running I was sporting a new pair of Gi Bottoms which I had purchased from Black Eagle, due to my old pair shrinking a little too much. Now the reason I was wearing my second new pair in a week was because the pair I received last week shrunk about 6 inches after one 30 degrees wash, which is totally unacceptable. To their credit Black Eagle agreed to send me a replacement pair straight away, which I think is excellent customer service. I haven’t however washed the new pair yet so I will wait before I pass judgment on the quality.

As part of our warm up Peter had us pair up and practice pulling our partners up and down the mats. We then progressed to a double collar grip and we pulled our partners in to position for Morote-eri-seoi-nage. I had trouble getting used to the entry for this throw as I couldn’t get my feet in the right position or get my grips and wrist in the correct position either. Now I was expecting that we would then go on to practice this throw but instead Peter told us to go in to some Newaza and practice going from Pin to Pin, with our partner offering resistance.

As usual the groundwork is where I feel most comfortable. Just moving from Pin to Pin I felt in control and everything flowed well between the moves.

Peter then showed us Hiza-gatame, first from a kneeling position, which is how it’s taught in Kata and then from our backs with uke in our guard. I liked this technique especially how the pressure is immediately on the elbow and a tap is usually forthcoming very quickly. Another good aspect of this submission is that by hooking your leg under uke’s chin and pulling their gi across their neck you also have a nice choke.

We then stood up for some light throw for throw randori. I was paired with big Stuart and it was whilst sparring with him that he showed me a nice entry in to Osoto-otoshi, which is especially useful if your opponent is “Stiff arming” you. Basically, assuming you are attempting a right handed throw and your opponent is stiff arming using their right arm, you take a grip on their gi under their right elbow with your left hand and pull down quickly, thus bending their arm. At the same time as you do this you come in for Osoto-otoshi. Even if your opponent is not “stiff arming” you, it’s still a useful entry as quite often your opponent will block your entry in to Osoto-otoshi with their right arm.

Following this Peter then showed us an alternative technique to do if someone “stiff Arms” you and makes you fail an Osoto-otoshi and this was a Yoko-guruma. It’s an interesting throw and I’m not sure how easy it would be to pull off in competition but I was able to perform this fairly well after only a couple of attempts.

We then progressed in to some more competitive randori where I tried and succeeded with a Tai-otoshi /O-uchi-gari combination and also a successful Tani-otoshi, after Peter told me to not attack the legs but rather the floor behind their legs. This made a difference and hopefully I will have further success with this throw going forward.

After we had all spared with each other Peter had one of us stand in the middle of the floor and the rest of us would take turns attacking for about 1 minute at a time. Once the person in the middle had fought everyone it was someone else’s turn. Following on from my observations last week where I noticed that I was being dominated by grips, this happened again against Oli and Big Stuart. Inez commented that I was using too much strength in fighting for my grips and I admit I could feel my arms getting heavier as the randori went on. Still both Oli and Big Stuart have years more Judo experience than me and it’s only fair that I should expect to be dominated by both these guys. What will be interesting is how I fair against the likes of Ryan and Jamie, assuming they come back that is.

An excellent lesson from Peter and I left in good spirits.

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