Friday, 21 September 2012

Sumi-gaeshi & Gripping - Yoshin Ryu

I’ve been looking at buying a new gi for a number of months now and finally decided on this one from Kicksport
I’ve written in the past about how frustrating buying a new gi can be due to no standardised sizing for example my 190 Blitz Olympian would have fit an adult male gorilla, whereas my 200 Black Eagle has shrunk so much in the arms it’s more like a t-shirt. Also some gi’s shrink a lot, others a little and others none at all. Of course you don’t know how much until you have washed them by which time it’s too late to send them back for a refund. I currently have two Black Eagle single weave gis which have served me well but after 2 years or regular wearing they are beginning to look a little off white added to which they have shrunk considerably and would be illegal in shiai.

I did think of buying another cheap single weave but as the Tagoya was in a sale I thought it made sense to get one. I am of course conscious about not being that guy who has the best gi in the dojo with the worse Judo, however there are enough top quality Judo gis on display at both the clubs I train at to not have to worry about that and my Judo probably isn’t the worst anymore.
Anyway I’ll write a mini review when I receive it next week.

Training at Yoshin Ryu last night was good as always. Plenty of uchi-komi and grip fighting drills warmed us up before Sensei Neil showed us a slightly different way of doing Sumi-gaeshi. The difference was in the placement of the foot, which normally hooks inside uke’s upper left thigh. Instead Sensei Neil had us stepping in closer and trying to kick uke up the arse. This meant that you were less likely to misplace your foot and improved the chances of the throw being successful.

I managed a few subs in Newaza but was also unable to finish a couple of san-gaku-jime’s against some dan grades. Sensei Neil pointed out that the crook of my leg was not in the right position on uke’s neck to finish the strangle. To be honest I have been getting a pain in my knee recently when performing this technique, which means that I can’t hold it for too long without being in agony. Another injury perhaps??

Randori was interesting in that I squared up against Sean for the first time since he crushed me as an orange belt. This was short on throws but very heavy on gripping, as we both fought to maintain our grips. He mentioned afterwards that I felt a lot stronger and much improved since the last time we did randori, which was encouraging.

Against Steve, he got the better of the grips and managed to break my posture with his collar hand. Sensei Neil pulled me to one side afterwards and told me ways to break his grip and keep a good posture so that I could remain more upright. This is something I will work on in the coming weeks. I hear Jimmy Pedro has a good book on gripping so I might have to look in to purchasing that.


  1. Just discovered your blog. I am finding it very inspiring. I am 36 and took up judo 2 weeks ago. Stick with it.

  2. Glad you are enjoying it Neil. I hope you stick with it as well

  3. If you grip over your the top of your knee and pull it down (cant grab the back of the head in judo) this will apply the choke faster. Also angle yourself so you can look into the ear of your opponent. On the side that has his neck in your knee crook.