Friday, 26 October 2012

Anaconda Choke

This always happens when I don’t write notes about the lesson within twenty four hours, and that is I forget most of what went on. This is therefore just a quick synopsis with some photos to fill out the page somewhat.

The two throws we practised tonight were Sode-Tsurikomi-goshi and Morote eri-seoi-nage.

The first throw (Sode-Tsurikomi-goshi ) is one that I have practised before at Yoshin Ryu but on that occasion I struggled with it, although to be fair my Uke that day was Przemek who is a lot heavier than me. Tonight I was paired with Meho who is roughly the same height and weight as me and therefore a lot easier for me to get under his hips to make this throw work. Stewart did mention that you could always add in a reaping movement with your leg if Uke gets stuck on your back.
The version of this throw on the BJA website isn't that clear, the one below is a bit easier to follow.

Morote eri-seoi-nage is another throw that I’ve not liked in the past but it felt a lot easier again tonight.

Big Stuart went on to show us the Anaconda choke that Phil Davis used to submit Wagner Prado in his recent UFC fight. An anaconda choke, or Kata-gatame as it would be refered to in Judo, is an arm triangle from the front headlock position. Tori threads his or her arm under Uke’s neck and through the armpit, and grasps the biceps of the opposing arm.

                                                                        With Gi

without Gi

Tori then attempts to pin Uke onto the trapped shoulder so as to better interrupt the flow of blood, all the while applying pressure with the grasped biceps. Tori may accomplish this by rolling Uke over the untrapped shoulder, (known as a gator roll) and use the momentum to turn Uke onto his or her trapped shoulder.

 I’ve personally not seen the Anaconda style of this technique used in Judo but have seen it many times when watching MMA. It may have something to do with the fact that the gi in Judo can be a lot thicker than BJJ gis generally are and therefore grabbing your bicep may not be possible. Still it was a nice technique to learn and use against those Judoka’s who like to turtle.

Here is a link to a video of this technique.

Thursday, 18 October 2012


I was very excited on Monday to have received a package at work as I knew that this package contained my new gi which I had ordered form Toraki. I’ve read lots of reviews online regarding this company and all have praised their excellent customer service, which so far I have to agree with. As the gi does need to be shrunk to fit I can’t yet comment on it. In fact Toraki were quite explicit with their washing instructions (6-8 washes at 60c, hang dry before wearing). Out of the bag the gi is a little too long in the sleeves and body but have been assured that it will fit nicely after washing. I will write a full review on the gi in the next week or so.

With Chris and Andrew absent from class it was a perfect opportunity to work on a few advanced techniques, namely some from the blue belt syllabus.
First up was Yoko-guruma which we first practised on its own and then as a counter to Tai-otoshi, which coincidentally is how it’s shown on the BJA website. It’s an interesting throw this one, which would be pretty cool to pull off in randori or Shiai but not sure I’d be quick enough to get it.

The next throw, Koshi-guruma, was completely new to me but didn’t look too difficult to do as it essentially looks like an O-goshi with a different grip and a slightly deeper placement of Tori’s hip. Now hip throws, due to my height, are not my favourite type of throws however I was paired with Meho, who is a similar height to me, so it shouldn’t have been such an issue, but it was. I could probably perform this throw well enough in a grading environment but I would be unlikely to attempt it in randori.

We did a couple of quick rounds of randori next and I was paired up with Ivan. He started very stiff armed and bent over, which made it difficult for me to get to his legs but I eventually pulled him in close and when he backed off I caught him with a nice O-uchi-gari. He then tried, and was almost successful with, a couple of big throws on me, one of which was a drop-seoi-nage. Despite Ivan’s stiff arming, in my opinion, his randori seems pretty good for his rank and I liked the fact that he wasn’t scared to attack me.

Against Big Stuart I tried a couple of combinations, both of which were from a Tai-otoshi. The first was Tai-otoshi in to Tani-otoshi and the second was Tai-otoshi in to Ko-uchi-gake-mata-maki-komi. I wasn’t successful with either as I don’t think I ever really fully committed to either throw. Before tonight’s lesson I was reading a post on the Judoforum where a fellow green belt Judoka had stated that he was making a conscious effort to really commit to each throw, and if he fell over trying them or was countered then so be it. I think I need to keep this in mind next time I do randori as it shouldn’t matter if Stuart or anyone else throws me when attempting a throw as this is, after all, just practise.

Before we went on to Newaza randori we were shown two strangles.
And also another strangle which I can’t seem to find on the BJA website. It was a mixture of the above strangles with one hand up and one hand down. Both Ivan and I agreed that Nami-juji-jime was the most effective for us.

We then had just enough time for one round of Newaza randori and I paired up with Meho, our new Blue belt from Bosnia, for our first roll.

Meho tried to pull guard but I controlled his legs and jumped in to side control where he then rolled over on to his stomach. I jumped on his back, got my hooks in and rolled him on to his side where I attempted a collar choke. He then turtled up so I attempted the Neil Adams Juji-gatame roll but he held the sleeves of his jacket to prevent me from getting his arm out. After struggling with this for quite a while I decided it would be better to let it go so I rolled on to my back and pulled him in to my guard. I immediately saw an opportunity as he tried to pass my guard and slapped on a San-gaku-jime. I got it on pretty tight but he wasn’t tapping so I hooked his leg with my right arm to create more of an angle and tried again but he still wouldn’t tap. After what must have been thirty seconds I swung my leg over his head for a Juji-gatame but I couldn’t quite get the leverage so I went back again for the san-gaku-jime. This time he postured up and stacked me in to the matt, putting a lot of pressure on my neck and forcing me to let go. We then somehow ended up back in my guard where I again attacked with a Hiza-gatame but matte was called before I could finish him. It was a good tussle with Meho and I look forward to partnering up with him again next week as we are similar in size and grade.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Ronda Rousey, everything ends in Juji

I thought i'd post this as Ronda is a favourite at the club where I train and she demonstrates some pretty good techniques in this clip where everything ends in a Juji-gatame.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Judo Fundamentals

As we currently have two beginners in the senior’s class it means that we are going over ground already covered on numerous occasions. However I look at this in a positive way as it means I get to re-visit techniques like Kesa-gatame and Uki-goshi and each time I do I find little ways of improving my technique.
For example, Stewart showed the beginners and the rest of us Tai-otoshi which to be fair is a technique I’ve never really been comfortable with. To make it more interesting for the higher grades he showed us a couple of different gripping variations. The first was to plant the elbow of the collar hand under the armpit of uki. Both Oli and I found that we were able to generate a lot more power when performing the throw in this way and in fact Oli probably threw me harder than I have even been thrown when he first did it on me.
The second variation was to put the collar hand underneath uki’s left arm, thus gaining an underhook. I would assume this is the way one would perform Tai-otoshi without a gi.

We went on to Tani-otoshi which is in the blue belt syllabus and is a technique that I do favour in randori. To make it more interesting we used it as a counter to a failed Tai-otoshi.

Stewart then told us to pair up from some randori, with an emphasis on trying the techniques that we had just been shown. I squared up against Oli and to be honest our randori was probably closer to shiai. Neither of us managed to throw the other but I was pleased that I was able to negate Oli’s attempts at obtaining a dominant grip against me. Normally when we randori Oli and Big Stuart both dominate with grips and subsequently are then able to rag doll me around the tatami but the gripping drills that we do at Yoshin Ryu appear to be paying off.

Next up was Chris, one of the beginners, who assumed wrongly that I was going to bury him in to the mat. I told him to just try all the throws he had been taught and not once did I attempt to throw him. I didn’t make it too easy for him though and only took the fall if he got most of the components right, which he did on his last Tai-otoshi attempt.
My last randori was with Peter whom I managed to throw a couple of times with O-uchi-gari

We went on to some ground work afterwards and Kami-shiho-gatame and the various escapes were on the menu. I worked with both Chris and Andrew he seemed to have got the hang of this pretty well.

We finished up with Okuri-ashi-barai or the oomph throw as Graeme likes to call it. The reason why it’s called that becomes apparent as you hit the ground and all the air leaves your lungs.
We first practised this in the usual “strictly come dancing” way which makes it easier to get the timing right, and then practised it in a more alive way where you pull uki towards you in a circular motion and then sweep his legs as he steps in. I was paired with Andrew for this and was particularly pleased that I was able to not only time it right every time but was also able to cushion his fall buy holding on to him. He did struggle getting the timing right with this but I assured him that this is a particularly difficult throw to get the hang of as timing is everything.

Stewart mentioned to everyone, including me that they will look at grading us all by the end of term. I told him that there are several throws on the blue belt syllabus which I have not even tried before so hopefully this will be addressed in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Following last week’s rant at buying a Judo gi I’ve been in conversation with a certain company who have so far provided excellent customer service and have taken my measurements to ensure I get the best fitting gi possible. I will hopefully post a favourable review of this gi when I receive it a couple of weeks time, so watch this space.

I got to class a little bit earlier last night and was pleased to see that both Chris and Andrew had returned for the third successive week. There was also a new guy, whose name escapes me, who was previously a blue belt when he was a teenager. Also present tonight were Graeme and David so in total we had 10 seniors on the mat, which is as many as I can remember. Anyway the future is looking good for the seniors at DJC at the moment.

Big Stuart took the class tonight and after the warm up which also consisted of many breakfalls we moved on to Tai-otoshi. We first practised this in pairs; I was with Ivan at this point. Stuart pointed out to me that I was bending over a little too much and that I should be more upright. Once I made that adjustment Ivan commented that the throw felt stronger. We continued to practise this for many repetitions before Stuart split us into groups of three’s. Each group stood in a line with the guy in the middle running up to each guy and throwing them. We did this again for multiple repetitions and all took turns being tori. This was a very useful exercise as not only do you get to practise the throw multiple times but you also get to throw two different people in quick succession.
We moved on to some groundwork afterwards and worked on Kesa-gatame and Kezure-kesa-gatame, mainly for the benefit of the white belts. We also did a turnover from turtle in to kezure-kesa-gatame and finally ude-garami. I got to work with one of the new guys and passed on some advice that was given to me by Peter when I first started and that was: When doing Newaza try to only move one thing at a time, otherwise you leave big gaps. I think he took my advice on board as when we progressed in to Newaza randori at the end of the class as he was able to hold me down with the Kesa-gatame that I let him put on me.
I managed two other rounds of newaza with David and finally Big Stuart, with whom I had a pretty good back and forth tussle before the class ended.
Another good session taken by Stuart whose teaching methods I find very agreeable.