After a summer of disappointment, where my Judo training is concerned, I was finally back at Dorking Judo club for my first lesson of the new term. As mentioned previously, I had intended to train at both Yoshin Ryu and Westcroft Judo club’s in the summer months but unfortunately a broken toe on the last weekend of July put paid to that, coupled with a mysterious stomach bug which has kept me laid low over the last week, although I did manage one outing to Yoshin Ryu a couple of weeks with Oli.
Anyway I was back tonight and although my stomach was still playing up a little bit, I was very much looking forward to getting back in to training.
Unfortunately, despite a very good exhibition stall at the Capel Flower Show (yes I do live in the countryside) that the club put on and lots of interest from people watching, there were no new seniors. In fact there were only 6 seniors in total, Graeme, Peter, Ynez, Big Stuart, Oli and myself.
What was new tonight was a giant crash mat that the club purchased with Sainsbury’s vouchers (over six thousand apparently) and before the class had started both Graeme and myself were practicing flying break falls on it and generally acting like a couple of juniors.
After a quick warm up we lined up at one end of the mat and practiced some Uchi-komi, finishing off with a throw of our choice on to the lovely new crash mat. Feeling rusty as I did I went with O-goshi and then progressed on to Tai-otoshi, the throw I’m determined to make my own but am still sadly some way off of doing. After several throws each, Graeme told us all to practice Ippon-seoi-nage. At this point I was paired with Ynez, who being over a foot shorter than me was probably to worse person I could have been paired with for this throw especially as the old knee’s aren’t what they used to be.
Graeme critiqued my throw as Ynez had got a little stuck on my back and he remarked that I needed to turn my head more to the left, which in turn would help drop my right shoulder, allowing her to drop on to the mat. A good tip and one I must try to remember for next time.
Peter called a halt to our fun with the crash mat and said we would be concentrating on throwing combinations this term, which is something I definitely feel I need to work on so was pleased about this. Tonight we would be working on the O-uchi-gari/Ko-uchi-gari combination, taking it in turns to attack with each throw first. Although this is a combination we have worked before I’ve never been any good at Ko-uchi-gari but tonight, whilst partnering Ynez, I felt like I started to get the timing right for this throw and also improved my O-uchi-gari, especially in regards to my reaping leg.
Following on from this combination we then worked on Ko-uchi-gari in to O-soto-gari and then progressed in to a left handed O-soto-gari, which seemed to flow better than the right handed version preceding the Ko-uchi-gari.
The last throw we looked at this evening was Ko-soto-gari, another one of these tricky foot sweeps that require good timing and balance.
We finished off with some Newaza, the highlight of which was a nice Juji-gatame from the turtle that I managed to pull off against Oli.
It was great to be back doing Judo again and I even managed to get through the whole session without causing too much pain to my broken toe. At the end of the class Graeme mentioned that both he and Stuart will be away quite a bit this term, with work commitments abroad, so it’s likely the class will be even thinner on the ground. I do hope we can soon get some fresh blood in to the place as I’m sure the club is sustainable, certainly not from a senior’s point of view, if this continues.