I wasn’t able to train last week due to personal reasons but last night’s session was my second of the week following a training session with one of my idols and a British Judo legend on Monday. I will write about that later on in the week, when hopefully I will also have some photos to go with it.
Back to last night and it was nice to see Dorking Judo Club legend, Graeme, back at the club and he was accompanied by his son David. Stewart took the class last night and after we had warmed up he got the crash mats out for us to practice O-guruma, which is a throw I haven’t done before. As this can be quite a big throw, we first practiced the breakfalling aspect of it. We each took turns holding our leg out and pulling Uke in towards the leg but instead of performing the throw, Uke was told to do a rolling break fall over Tori’s outstretched leg. This was a useful exercise particularly for us lower grades who still have a fear of falling.
We then progressed to performing the throw properly on to the crash mats and once we had all taken turns in throwing everyone we were told to pair up and practice the throw on the move. Stewart made sure that we all got to practice with each other which meant we had the opportunity to try this out with lots of different body types. The technique I used against Big Stuart differed from the one I was able to use against David as there is a substantial difference in weight and size. For this reason David made an excellent Uke.
Stewart then got the crash mats out again and this time we practiced O-soto-guruma following a failed O-guruma. We all took turns being Tori and therefore got lots of practice in. As this is another big throw I was thankful that we had the crash mats to fall on.
On to Newaza and Stewart showed us Gyaku-juji-jime which I was reminded by Graeme was part of the blue belt grading. To be honest, having only fairly recently been given my green belt, grading for blue seems a long way off but I have been putting in extra mat time by visiting Yoshin Ryu when I can so hopefully I’ll be there before the end of this year.
We started the technique from the knee on belly position sliding my left hand in as deep as possible. At this point Uke will normally try and tuck their chin down so Oli told me to slide my left hand under my right, which sort of crow bars Uke’s chin up and exposes his neck. Although the strangle can be finished from this position it actually works better if get the mount and then roll Uke over so that they are in your guard with you on the bottom. Then you simply perform a scissor like action with your arms and Uke will normally tap out fairly quickly. If they don’t submit straight away you can increase the pressure on their neck by pushing your foot against their hips and flattening them out.
There’s a real buzz around the club at the moment and everyone seems to be enjoying their Judo. I think this is largely due to the fact that both Oli and Stuart are actively pursuing their Black belts, I am doing the same with regards to getting blue and we have Ivan, a new starter, who is very enthusiastic to learn as much as possible. There are also some people from the Cadets who are 15-16 years old that are likely to join in with the seniors and apparently Ynez has started training again and was present last week, so good times ahead at Dorking Judo Club