First thing I noticed when I lined up tonight was that Steve was wearing a new Brown belt, so I quickly congratulated him on his promotion before we bowed.
After the warm up we paired up for some grip fighting, which is something we rarely do at Dorking but definitely something I need to work on especially against the higher grades. We progressed on to some Uchi-komi which finally evolved in to throw for throw Randori, using combinations. Following on from Tuesday’s lesson at Dorking I practiced Uchi-mata into O-uchi-gari and O-uchi-gari in to Tai-otoshi, both of which worked pretty well.
After several minutes of Randori, Sensei had us practice arm rolls from the turtle position and then we practiced Juji-gatame off of our backs. Every 10 minutes or so Sensei would tell us to lock feet with our partner and do 20 sit ups or get one of us to turtle up whilst the other did 20 jumps over his back. This is quite normal for a Thursday where the pace rarely slows down for the whole hour and a half lesson.
Newaza was next and I had a couple of good tussles, one of which was against Steve who I managed to catch with a San-gaku-jime and another against a black belt who attacked me for the whole five minutes and I was quite pleased that I managed to defend myself and not get subbed. However I did face off against the biggest guy at the club, a brown belt, who is 120kg + and the majority of his weight is made up of muscle. Sometimes when I am in a bad spot I muscle my way out of things but that didn’t work against this guy as he was easily stronger than me. He managed to sub me whilst in my guard with techniques that he shouldn’t have been able to get but he put them on with such force and speed that I had to tap or fear losing a limb. I did at least make him work hard for his subs on me so I will go away and work on a few things and then seek out him out next time to gauge my process.
A roll against one of the white belts meant I was able to get a few subs in myself, one of which was of course another San-gaku-jime. Overall it wasn’t a bad session of Newaza and I was quite pleased that I managed to avoid being cross collar choked, something that I often get caught with.
I sought out Steve for my first Randori of the night but we were both very tired at this point. He almost caught me with a Tomae-nage and to be honest I should have taken the fall rather than spinning out of it by putting my hand down as this often leads to injury.
Next up was one of the senior Sensei’s who apparently hadn’t trained for a while. Not surprisingly he dominated me with his grips which meant my attacks were easily blocked. He told me that my high collar grip gave him space to get in under me but this confused me as, due to my height, I’ve been told in the past to hold higher on the collar. Right towards the end of our Randori I attempted a foot sweep but stubbed my toes against his ankle. Ouch, it was the toe that I had previously broken and it hurt like bugger. I was given an ice pack to put on them and I sat out the next two rounds of Randori but I fancied one last fight before the class ended so when the Sensei said this was the last round I jumped (ok, I climbed) up and took my place opposite a rather stocky black belt. He threw me around with ease, sometimes throwing me with the kuzushi alone, probably due to the fact that I didn't want to put too much weight on my bad toe. I was glad when the class ended as it was really starting to hurt by now.
24 hours later and the Toe looks broken which is a real bugger as it took over 6 months to heal properly last time. I’ll ice it as much as I can and tape it up for the foreseeable future. Hopefully I can avoid making it any worse in the meantime.