I normally write my blog either the same evening or the day after my last lesson but today is three days afterwards. In addition, I am also looking after my eleven month old daughter whilst sat here at my desk, watching her pull every book off of one of the book shelves behind me, so apologies if this entry is a little short and a touch vague.
It seems that winter has finally reached the south of England with temperatures dropping below zero and snow forecast for the weekend (As I write this I can confirm that a couple of inches fell on Saturday night). Although there is heating in the Dojo it still felt a little colder than normal so after our normal warmup Graeme had us do plenty of uchi-komi, taking turns to pull our partner the length of the mat. I stuck with one technique (Uchi-mata) a throw which I am trying to perfect.
Graeme said that O-uchi-gari was on the menu tonight but before we got started he had us practice drawing the letter “O” on the mat with our feet. This was actually a good exercise, especially for me as it emphasised the full range of motion of the leg which was doing the reaping.
After several practices of this throw we moved on to Ko-uchi-gari and again even though it’s a technique I have done many time previously I was able to improve and just tweak a couple of things which had made this a rather difficult throw for me to perform previously.
We were then asked to come up with a combination which would finish with O-uchi-gari and I decided that Tai-otoshi would be a good set up. After a few minutes trying out this combination we were all asked to perform it in front of the rest of the class. Of course I could have tried Ko in to O-uchi-gari but this felt a little too obvious.
Moving on to some groundwork and we practiced various ways of escaping the guard, something I definitely need to practice especially as I tend to favour pulling guard and looking for sweeps and subs off my back. I’m ok once I’m in a Mune-gatame position and feel comfortable moving between pins and looking for subs, and I was even praised for my top control by Stewart when we did some Newaza later on, but escaping the guard or half guard frustrates me.
One of the techniques that Graeme showed us was to slip my left hand under Uke’s right leg and grab his collar. To avoid being San-gaku-jime’d you need to make sure you put pressure on Uke’s right leg as you do this. Then once you have taken a grip of Uke’s collar you simply move to your left hand side to secure a Mune-gatame. It’s a very simple technique and its one we have been shown on numerous occasions in the past but I’ve never used it in randori as I tend to favour just putting pressure on Uke’s inner thigh with my elbow and escaping that way.
We finished off with some Newaza Randori.
Next week I hope to visit another club to get some extra training in to prepare myself for my upcoming tournament. Expect a write up to follow.