It was nice to nice Oli back in the class tonight as I haven’t seen him since early December. Also Stewart was also present for the first time this year which meant we had a total of 6 seniors tonight, which isn’t great but a lot better than the last couple of weeks.
After our initial warm up, Peter had us go in to some light Newaza and after 10 minutes or so he told us to practice as many turnovers we knew in a minute. At this point I was paired with Big Stuart. I started with the usual turnover in to Kesa-gatame and then a couple of variations in to Juji-gatame but then my mind went blank. Big Stuart added a couple more but he also ran out of ideas. After a few minutes Graeme and Peter proceeded to show us a nice couple of turnovers, both of which I remember being shown before but the fact that none of us remembered them showed that we needed to drill them again. The one I remember the best was, with Uke in Turtle position you grab both collars with your front hand going over uke’s back but under his arm. Then you swing over uke with your momentum turning them over and pinning them as you have both their collars pulled under their arm pits.
Following the turnovers we went on to practice some Ashi-Waza (Foot sweeps). Last week I practiced Okuri-ashi-barai and we did it again this week but instead of practicing it in the usual manor where we both take side steps which sort of resemble something from Strictly Come Dancing, we did it this time using circular movements. So I would step back and pull uke around and as his trailing foot catches up I lift and sweep the foot. We then followed a similar exercise for De-ashi-barai.
Before we progressed in to Randori, Graeme had us warm up again with some Uchikomi, Uchi-mata being the throw that I practiced the most.
My first opponent in Randori was Oli. I attacked a lot but wasn’t able to throw Oli but I did nearly get him with an Uchi-mata and an O-uchi-gari before being thrown a couple of times myself.
Next up was Big Stuart and I tried a different strategy with him. I had seen a nice video on the Judo Forum recently over a Tai-otoshi in to Tani-otishi combination which I liked the look of so I decided to try this out on Stuart. I came to the conclusion at the end that I need to practice this one a lot more and probably need to commit more on the Tai-otoshi.
My final opponent was Peter and I finally managed a throw, a nice O-uchi-gari, although I had to really drive and hop forward to get him to fall.
Something I purposely did against everyone tonight was to take a higher grip, around their collars and my initial thoughts were that I had better control over everyone. Of course they are all much higher grades than me so it’s hard to say for sure but I guess I’ll find out when I enter this competition in February.