Friday, 10 February 2012

Witley Yamabushi Judo Club

As suggested in my previous post, I decided to visit Yamabushi Judo Club in Witley on Tuesday, to get some extra training in to help prepare me for the competition I have entered on the 19th February. Graeme very kindly volunteered to give me a lift as both himself and his son David train there on a regular basis.
Unfortunately a fire on or close the A3 meant that we arrived a little late but we both quickly warmed up and joined in with the rest of the class.

Oddly enough, following last week’s class at Dorking where we worked on O-uchi-gari, the first technique we practiced was ……..O-uchi-gari. After we had practiced a couple of combinations we moved on to some Uchi-Komi. As per last week I decided to concentrate on Uchi-mata.
The class ended with about 20 minutes of Randori. First up for me was a white belt, who had only been practicing for a few weeks. Coming from a club where I am the lowest ranked it was quite nice to randori with someone lower than me as it made me realise just how much I had learnt. Obviously being a beginner I didn’t throw him around, rather I encouraged him just to try all the throws he knew on me and told him not to worry about grip fighting as I would let him take whatever grip he wanted. Following two or three failed attempts of Osoto-otoshi on me, I stiffened up and threw him gently with the same technique, in the hope that he would realise why he was unsuccessful with his attempts.

My next opponent was a green belt and we fought a bit for grips. I took a high collar grip, which worked quite well as I was able to keep good control over him. This culminated in me being able to throw him with Uchi-mata and then before the end an O-uchi-gari.

I had three more rounds of Randori after this. Against another green belt I managed another O-uchi-gari and against a brown belt I managed another Uchi-mata. Both of these throws are fast becoming my favorites. My last round of Randori was against Graeme and despite a size and strength advantage I wasn’t able to get anything going against him. Graeme commented that I needed to relax but maybe I stiffened up because he is one of my instructors and I felt like I had to make an extra effort against him. I used to have the same problem when I did Chi-Sau against Kevin Chan back in my Wing Chun days.

We finished up with a couple of rounds of Newaza and I had a particularly good tussle with one of the brown belts.

Overall I really enjoyed the class despite it being a little short due to our late arrival.

Taken from Yamabushi Judo clubs website:
The head instructor Pete Swettenham started judo at the age of 6, gaining his 1st Dan at 17, and 2nd at 21. He was very active in student judo, winning the National title several times with London University before having to retire at the age of 22 with persistent knee injuries. Whilst taking a break from judo he became a triathlete, before moving on to road racing cycling. He spent 8 years as an elite road and track cyclist, riding professionally, and being a prolific winner, especially in the South of England. On returning to judo Pete started to compete again regularly. Last year, at the age of 35, he gained his 3rd Dan before winning the National Masters Championships in the 35 - 39 category, at U73 Kg. He is currently a member of the GB Masters Judo Squad. Pete is now the Children's Judo Coordinator at Yamabushi Judo Club, teaching at the Kingston and Guildford sites. He coaches judo and personal safety full time and has a special interest in ju jitsu (not sure if BJJ or traditional Japanese) and physical conditioning.

From my personal experience Pete is very enthusiastic and clearly loves his Judo. I think this rubs off on his students as they also showed a great deal of enthusiasm. I’m sure I will be come back and train here again when time permits.

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