Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Gokyo by Neil Adams

Neil Adams performing all the throws from the Gokyo followed by competition examples.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Kashiwazaki Turnover

I’ve been suffering with Man Flu for the last couple of days so it was touch and go whether I would actually make training last night. However with the prospect of grading for blue belt soon I knew I couldn’t afford to miss any lessons, so I dragged my tired, snot ridden body to Judo.

Graeme was present tonight, specifically to grade both Andrew and Chris for their red belts (6th kyu).
Whilst Graeme took Andrew and Chris to one side to start their grading, Stewart took the rest of the class for a Kashiwazaki masterclass in turnovers.

Kashiwazaki was well known for his obi tori gaeshi (belt-grab reversal) and used it to great effect on his way to becoming world champion in 1981. When I was practising this I always seemed to end up in Mune-gatame, rather than in Tate-shiho and I think it’s because I grabbed the belt palm up, which twisted my arm and forced me to let go of the belt before Uke was flat on their back.

The following are some videos of Kashiwazaki using his famous turnover.

A quick round of Newaza randori followed and this is when I realised I was still suffering the effects of Manflu as I gassed out after only a few minutes. I still managed to hold my own against Meho but was glad when matte was called.

The first throw we worked on tonight was Soto-ashi-dori-ouchi-gari, which was the final throw from the blue belt syllabus that I had yet to be shown. As it is a leg attack we were shown this as a counter against a failed Hiza-guruma. As it can be quite a heavy throw for Uke we were told to keep hold of their collar so as to support their fall.
We were then shown two sacrifice throws, both of which are very similar to the untrained eye. Yoko-tomoe-nage was the first and the crash mat was brought out to soften our fall. We all took turns being tori and throwing the rest of the club on to the crash mat and everyone seemed to have got the hang of this throw pretty quickly.

We went on to practise Sumi-gaeshi, as a counter to a Tai-otoshi and this proved a little harder for everyone to grasp. However I managed to get the hang of this throw quite well. Sumi-gaeshi is a throw that I try quite a lot in randori and rarely ever pull off but I think it’s due to the fact that I’m not planting my right foot first before going to ground.

We finished off with some standing randori and I had a really good back and forth tussle with Meho. Although we have done newaza randori previously, this was the first time that we had faced off in standing randori. Being similar in height, weight and grade we are a pretty good match for each other, similar to my friendly rivalry with Steve at Yoshin Ryu. Hopefully we can use this to our advantage and push us both to progress.

At the end of class we were informed that both Andrew and Chris had successfully passed their grading and were now Red belts, so I suggested a club photo.

Back row, from left to right - Chris, Me, Oli, Meho, Ivan, Andrew
Front Row, from left to right- Peter, Stewart, Graeme

GSP retains UFC Belt

Georges St Pierre (GSP) retained his welterweight title on Saturday night in Canada against a very game Carlos Condit. This was after GSP had been out for a year with a torn ACL and Carlos Condit had been made the “interim champion” after defeating Nick Diaz.

GSP dominated much of the fight with his grappling skills. He consistently took Condit to the ground and landed several elbows and punches.
A left elbow opened a nasty cut above Condit's right eye in the first round and GSP used an elbow in the second round to widen the same cut.

The third round was Condit's best, as he landed a hard kick to the top of GSP’s head, making the champion look vulnerable for the first time since his shock defeat to Matt Serra, but GSP roared back during the fourth and fifth rounds, again utilising his superior wrestling skills to keep Condit on his back.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Blue belt Jamboree

On arriving at the club I was informed by Stewart that all the techniques on the lesson planner tonight were from the blue belt syllabus which was very pleasing to hear, especially as there are still a number of techniques that I have never even practised before.

After a warm up, which paid particular attention to our legs, we were shown a “Roy Inman” special Soto-kibitsu-gaeshi. I found this a fairly easy throw to do when Ivan was Uke, due to him being a lot shorter than me, but less so when Meho, who is my own height, was Uke. This was due to the fact that you have to grab Ukes ankle and still control their upper body to push them over, which obviously requires long arms if Uke is very tall. Stewart commented that it was a technique that you hardly see anymore, probably due to the fact that leg attacks are illegal in Shiai, at least as direct attacks anyway. However I recognised it as a throw used in MMA and assume it’s a valid Wrestling takedown.

We then progressed on to Uki-waza, which we have practised before. Stewart told us to think of it as a forward facing Tani-otoshi, which when you look at the two throws makes perfect sense.

A quick couple of rounds of Newaza randori followed but despite getting Meho’s back I wasn’t able to submit him. Coincidentally the next technique was Koshi-jime, which if I had been shown ten minutes previously would have come in very handy. In Newaza I often myself attacking someone who has rolled over on to their stomach. I normally favour a Juji-gatame roll when attacking the turtle but sometimes I do attack the neck but struggle to get both hands in to finish it. With Koshi-jime you only need to get one hand on the collar, the rest of the choke is finished by adjusting your body position to get the leverage. When practising this with Oli we both found that the choke comes on almost immediately so it’s definitely something I’ll be adding to my Newaza repertoire.

Back to the Tachi-waza and Kata-guruma or the Fireman’s Carry, as referred to by Wrestlers, was the next throw we were shown. To ensure we kept a straight back throughout and also to get Uke used to being thrown, we first practised this from a kneeling position. After 5-10 minutes the crash mats were brought out and we each took turns throwing everyone else in the club on to the crash mats. I actually found that it was easier to keep my back straight whilst doing the full version, compared to the version we practised earlier on our knees.

The last throw we were shown this evening was Morote-gari or the double leg takedown as it is more commonly referred to in MMA. When I did this I kept on, wrongly, ending up between Uke’s legs instead of to the side of them. After studying the video of Fallon performing this throw I don’t think I was picking Uke up high enough, which makes dropping them to the side a lot easier. I was doing the initial leg grab and then just driving forward with my legs, which made it look more like a Rugby tackle.

It was an odd lesson tonight in that most of the throws, baring Uki-waza, are illegal in Shiai and randori unless they are counters or used as a continuation. To be honest, who would want to take the chance using these in competition as it would be easy for a referee to view these as direct attacks and disqualify you. However I think it’s important they are still taught as they are valid throws and, after all, Judo is not just about Shiai. Also, who’s to say they won’t be allowed back in Shiai sometime in the future.

So I’ve now covered most of the techniques from the blue belt syllabus with the exception of the following:


However Yoko-kata-guruma-otoshi is basically a kneeling version of Kata-guruma

Kata-uchi-ashi-dori is identical to Soto-kibitsu-gaeshi, except you perform the throw using the opposite hands/legs.

This just leaves Soto-ashi-dori-ouchi-gari as the one technique I need to practise before I could grade for blue belt. Of course I also need to swat up on all the names and terminologies and put together counters and combinations to a number of throws. It will be interesting to see if I can get all this done before the Christmas break but I’ll try my best.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Neck issues and the return of Ynez.

Due to the half term holidays, DJC was closed last week. Normally I would visit Yoshin Ryu but I’ve been suffering from a stiff neck for the last couple of weeks so instead of Judo I went to see a sports physio. The neck has still been locking up on me from time to time, especially when I’m in the gym but its slowly getting better. I’ve been given a series of stretches to do when I’m sitting at my desk at work as per the below.

I’m trying to do a few reps every hour and making a conscious effort to sit up straight as I do have a tendency to stoop forward towards my monitors.

Ynez took the class last night, which was a nice surprise as we haven’t seen much of her since breaking her elbow in a competition almost a year ago. It was also nice to see all the seniors present which meant we had a full mat. I was sporting my new Toraki gi and I must say it feels really nice and comfortable and fits pretty well to. I will attempt a Meerkatsu style review in a couple of week’s time, after some further washing and shrinkage.

Ynez warmed us up with some circuits of press-ups, sit ups, star jumps & squats etc which meant we were all nice and warm for the Newaza randori which followed.

Ivan’s newaza seems to have improved a lot recently as, despite me having a considerable weight advantage, he is quite difficult to hold down and submit now although I did finally submit him with a Juji-gatame from the top.

Next up was Andrew, one of the white belts, and we were told to start in the guard of the lower ranked person. My top game is definitely a weakness I need to work on with my Newaza so I was thankful for the chance to work on passing the guard of Andrew, who to be fair has also shown an improvement. Once I passed his guard I moved from hold to hold as much as I could before he eventually rolled on to his stomach, to escape a pin, and was submitted by me with a gi choke. I know rolling on to ones stomach is encouraged in Judo as a legitimate escape from a hold but I still can’t bring myself to do it.

My last roll was with Peter who I managed to submit first with a kata-gatame and then with another Juji-gatame form the top.

Ynez then showed us some nice variations of the Yoko-shiho-gatame and we also got to work on Ude-garami from this position.

We finished off with some uchi-komi before Ynez showed us a right handed Ippon-seoi-nage from a left handed grip, which due to the fact my left hand had a hold of Uke’s right sided collar, felt like a stronger throw. Oli, who was my Uke, said that swapping grips is actually quite common for this throw which I wasn’t aware of. I remember that Graeme used to show us quite a few left handed grip versions of various throws, for example Tai-otoshi, which I will start looking at again as I think as one gets higher up in rank it gets harder to throw one’s peers and a few tricks are probably necessary.