I was very much looking forward to my first class of the New Year especially as it’s been 1 calendar month since I last trained. Although I wasn’t training Judo, apart from 10 days off over Christmas, I have been back in the gym for nearly two weeks and have been hitting the weights hard as I attempt to bulk up a little.
Rather disappointingly there weren’t any new faces on my arrival at the Dojo, not even people on a New Years “I want to lose weight and learn how to defend myself” resolution. In fact there were a number of the regular seniors not present tonight which meant that only Peter, Graeme and Big Stuart were in attendance.
After warming up we got the crash mats out and practiced Osoto-gari. Before we actually performed the throw, Graeme had us all practicing the leg movements emphasizing the fact that this is a real committed type of throw. After performing the throw several times each we then worked on setting this throw up with Ko-uchi-gari as a first attack. Graeme then showed us a nice left handed (from a right handed grip) Osoto-gari as a different variation to the Ko-uchi-gari entry and this seemed to flow even better than the traditional right handed version.
We moved on to some groundwork shortly afterwards and Graeme showed us an interesting way of turning your opponent over if they are laying flat on their face and are trying to waste time, waiting for the ref to call matte. Lying across them, looking towards their feet, you lift up their nearest leg and put your furthest leg underneath theirs. You then put your furthest arm under the leg that you have lifted up and grab the bottom of their jacket. Then, whilst keeping hold of their jacket you simply work your way up their body and ever so slowly the movement forces them to turnover. At this point you should be looking to gather up their arms, pushing them across their own neck, making it rather uncomfortable for them as you secure Yoko-shiho-gatame.
We finished up with some Newaza and started from various positions, each taking turns to start in the turtle or lying on your stomach etc. Considering I hadn’t trained for a month I felt pretty good with my Newaza and especially with my fitness. Actually when I say I haven’t done any Judo for a month it’s not entirely true. I posted an entry back in May last year called “Newaza is for Babies” in which I spoke about how my then 3 month old daughter Florence appeared to have a very good ground game and the fact that changing her nappy was fast becoming a Newaza session. Well since then her Newaza has improved a lot, especially as she crawls everywhere now and doesn’t like to sit still for more than a few seconds. She especially doesn’t like to be put on her back, which makes changing her nappy very difficult indeed.
She is literally impossible to pin down. Even if I pin the top half of her body flat on the changing mat she is still able to turn the bottom half of her body completely over. If I had half of her flexibility I’d be a Newaza god by now and would be mentioned in the same breath as an Adams or Pedro.
Anyway, an enjoyable first session of the new year despite the lack of seniors present. Lots to think about though, especially as there is a competition in February that Peter and Graeme have recommended I enter. Should I try and keep under 90KG or continue to bulk up and enter the under 100kg division. We shall see.....