I got an email during the week from Graeme to say that he would concentrate on grading everyone in the coming weeks which meant more blue belt syllabus for yours truly.
It was good to see Andrew return after Injuring his shoulder and Jadon was back sporting his new green belt.
After the warm up we did a couple of quick rounds of newaza randori and then I was asked to show the rest of the class various techniques from the blue belt syllabus which went like this:
Okuri-eri-jime –Wasn’t text book but it worked. There are a number of collar chokes/strangles in the blue belt syllabus, which is good for me. I’ve actively tried to use them more as it is a weakness in my submission game as I tend to favour no-gi chokes such as one would typically see in MMA like the rear naked. In newaza randori I’m often able to grab the collar around the neck but then have to stop and think how I apply the choke, by which time Uke has escaped. However, with the addition of Nami-juji-jime, Gyaku-juji-jime, Okuri-eri-jime and Koshi-jime, I at least have some options now.
Koshi-jime – I’ve used this recently in randori to good success so was ok performing this.
Soto-kibitsu-gaeshi, Uchi-kibitsu-gaeshi & Kata-uchi-ashi-dori are all techniques that I’m never likely to use in randori. In fact I think we’ve only practised them once in the class before, so taking all of this in to account I think I did ok.
Kata-guruma – My mind went totally blank with this one and I didn’t know how to enter in to the throw. I eventually performed probably the worst version of this I have ever done. Before Graeme could come and correct me I insisted on doing it again, which was barely passable. I’d like to blame my poor technique on Oli’s (my uke) expanding waistline but I was just having one of those days, at least where this throw was concerned.
With only 10 minutes of the class left we finished off with a couple of rounds of randori where I managed a nice Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi on Oli. I then paired up against Jadon, who I found really difficult to throw. He was particularly quick and able to counter me a couple of times, throwing me nicely with a Yoko-guruma or was it Uki-waza? (It’s very difficult to tell these throws apart in the heat of battle and without the benefit of television replays). Although it only lasted a couple of minutes I can definitely see the improvement in his tachiwaza since we last sparred.
I’m more than half way through the blue belt grading now so hopefully I can finish it off next week. I just have a couple more throws to perform and then it’s on to the performance part of the grading which includes things like showing counters and combinations of a certain technique followed by randori. If I do get my blue belt next week it will be just over 1 year since I got my green belt (2nd March 2012). I wonder how long it will take me to get to brown!