Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Getting old (turning 40)

Since I turned forty last month I’ve been plagued with niggling little injuries which have kept me off of the tatami. Two weeks ago my old shoulder injury reared its ugly head again probably due to over doing it in the gym. I had devised a nasty looking workout whereby I would run between each gym apparatus, for example bench press to lat pulldowns to bicep curls, you get the idea. Anyway I would perform each exercise for 10 reps and then run to the next one without pause. This went on for about 10 minutes before I took a break of about a minute and then repeated 3 more times.
The result was a lot of sweat, a lot of heavy breathing and the reappearance of my old shoulder injury. Luckily enough one trip to a sports massage place seems to have helped a lot so I’m hopeful that I should be ok pretty soon.

Whilst I was waiting for my shoulder to feel better I decided to go hell for leather on my legs by doing running, cycling and all manner of leg weights. I then, last Thursday, developed an odd pain in my right leg about two inches below my knee on the right hand side. It was very sore to touch and the pain would travel down the side of my lower leg. It got so bad on Sunday that I was limping badly and had trouble pressing the accelerator on my car. Ice and Ibuprofen seem to have eased the pain a bit but it’s still very sore.

In the normal course of events these injuries would be annoying but having sat and watched Judo in the Olympics every night last week, not being able to go and practise is driving me insane. While I’m on the subject of Olympic Judo well done to Gemma Gibbons and Katrina Bryant for picking up Silver and Bronze respectively. Both medals were unexpected but well deserved. I must say it felt odd watching Gemma fighting for gold on the TV in my office at work. Everyone was crowded around cheering her on but no one really understood what was going on. I couldn’t help myself shouting out things like “O-uchi” & “Go for the Tani”. I think most people clocked on that I did Judo afterwards and perhaps now I won’t get so many odd stares when I come in to work with bruises over my arms and neck after training.

USA Judo also appears to be on the up as they picked up their first ever Gold and also a bronze. Additionally American Judoka Travis Stevens fought in one of the most entertaining matches that I watched when he fought against German Ole Bischof. Stevens received numerous cuts on his face and by the end of the fight (which he narrowly lost) he looked like something out of the Mummy. Despite the fact that Stevens knocked out Euan Burton in the first round I couldn’t help but cheer for him as he showed Great Spirit and determination. I’ll certainly be looking out for Stevens in future tournaments.

I’m off on my holidays next week so its touch and go whether I will actually be able to get another session in before I go. However, seeing as I am going to the South of France I’m going to sneak my Gi into my suitcase in case the local village where we are staying has a Judo club. If they do I’ll no doubt post about it when I return.

Friday, 3 August 2012

British Judo’s FREE Adult Beginner Course Taster @ Dorking Judo Club

In this huge year for sport in Great Britain we are offering you the perfect chance get fit and try out an Olympic sport for the first time in a fun, friendly and enjoyable way. Throw yourself into judo with other new beginners!
Take part in this free taster session on 11th & 18th September; 8pm - 9.30pm at Dorking Judo Club.

If you like what you see in the taster session you can then sign up to the full course, or if you already know judo is the sport for you, you can sign up straight away!...

The cost of the full course is £60 which includes a British Judo membership, training diary, record book, insurance, the 10 weeks of coaching fees, first grading and judogi (judo suit). After this free taster session the course fully begins on 25th September at 8pm - 9.30pm.

Dorking Judo Club's contact details can be found here

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Olympic Judo – Ban theTurtle

I’ve been watching bits and pieces of the Judo when I can but yesterday I decided to record the whole day’s action and must have watched about 4 hours of nonstop Judo last night when I got in from work. I was surprised that I didn’t get bored watching for that long as even when I watch a UFC event I normally have to split it over two days.
Having never really watched high level Judo before, except for a few highlight videos on YouTube, I was a little surprised about a few aspects of what I have seen thus far.
Now this is based purely on what I watched yesterday which was the under 81kg Men’s and under 60kg Women’s but I found the lack of groundwork very surprising.

I know that the referee restricts the amount of time you have on Newaza and this is done largely to make the fights more interesting to the non Judo watching public and to an extent I can see the logic behind this. What I can’t understand though is why the fighters are not penalised for turtling up every time they hit the ground. Quite often the other fighter doesn’t even bother to attack the turtle as he knows he is just wasting time and effort on something which has a low percentage of success.

I know a lot of people on the Judoforum advocate cross training in BJJ to help improve your groundwork but on last night’s showing that would be a total waste of time. All you really need to practice is how to turtle, which can probably be taught fairly quickly. I’m not suggesting that the rules of Judo should be changed to allow unlimited Newaza as this would, imo, change Judo for the worse as Judo is first and foremost a throwing art/sport. However if you were penalised for using the turtle position every time the fight went to the mat, say with a shido, then it would make the limited amount of time that one spends in Newaza that more exciting.

Do you agree?