I haven’t had time to write about the class at Dorking this week but just wanted to say that we had a new beginner start. His name is Ivan and from what I could see he was very enthusiastic. Let’s hope he becomes a regular.
I was back at Yoshin Ryu this week and was joined by Big Stuart. After warming up we were told to pair up for some Uchi-komi and I was paired with a black belt whom I had not seen here before.
The Sensei told us to first practice Hiza-guruma and we then followed that with Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi. As I have mentioned in my previous posts I’ve taken a liking to Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi and I think it showed in my Uchi-komi as I was able to unbalance my Uke and finally throw him, once the Sensei told us to do so.
Moving on we were told to use Te-guruma as a counter to a failed Harai-goshi. Te-guruma is not a throw I’ve ever practiced before and to be fair my Uke, at 16.5 stone, was rather difficult for me to pick up. Nonetheless I did finally manage one clean throw and was even able to be a good Tori by dropping my Uke gently to the floor.
Next up was Koshi-guruma, again a throw I have not practiced before but it didn’t take me too long to get some success with it. I found that the version where my arm went under Uke’s arm pit worked better than the version shown on the BJA website.
Newaza was next and another very tiring 30 odd minutes without rest ensued. I managed one submission only against the blue belt whom I had a good tussle with the other week. This week he managed 1 pin on me and I submitted him once whilst he was pinning me with Mune-gatame by pushing my elbow in to his neck and grabbing the material on my trousers with the same arm and crushing his neck for a choke. He told me afterwards that I was actually crushing his jaw and, having had that happen to me before in class I could sympathise with his pain.
All of the rest of my rolls were against dan grades and thus I was largely subbed and pinned on multiple occasions.
On to Randori where a lot of grip fighting was involved and I didn’t manage a single throw. Again everyone I faced was a dan grade so it’s to be expected. One of the sensei’s, Tim, took me aside after the class had finished to help me with my Uchi-mata as he felt I had all the right components apart from one thing, and that was essentially the part where I set Uke up for the throw. He told me to pull him towards me using my sleeve arm, which then meant his back leg had no weight on it. This is then the perfect time to turn in with the Uchi-mata as my reaping leg wouldn’t feel any resistance. It worked a treat too as I was then able to perform one of those throws where you don’t feel like you have put any effort or strength in to it, he just flew through the air and landed hard and fast. Its bit like hitting a golf ball. Sometimes you hit the perfect drive which flies 300 yards down the fairway and don’t even feel like you have hit the ball. Other times you use all your strength and you get feedback from the club and the ball doesn’t travel half the distance. It’s also the same as kicking a football in that “sweet spot” or that perfect serve in Tennis. It’s all down to timing and technique and for one throw last night I had both.
One observation from last night’s training was that my arms felt totally gassed. Thursday is normally the day I train Biceps and Triceps at the gym but maybe I need to have a rethink on this as I had absolutely no strength left in my arms at the end of the class.
Another tough, good lesson at Yoshin Ryu which was made particularly good by the extra tuition I received at the end.