Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Breaking Grips - Yoshin Ryu

Still buzzing from Tuesday’s class at DJC I was able to visit Yoshin Ryu for their Thursday night randori session. Despite a smaller turnout than usual we still ended up with about seven dan grades and another seven kyu grades so 14 in total, which isn’t bad.

After we were warmed up I was paired with Jamie, a white belt who displayed skills higher than one would expect from a white belt. We first drilled Juji-gatame from the bottom and were then shown various different methods of breaking Uke’s grip should he try to clasp his hands together to resist the armlock. Some of these are shown on the following Kashiwazaki  Video:

We probably spent around 15 minutes drilling these before we were told to get ready for Newaza.

Staying with the same partner I pulled guard to gauge his skill level. He immediately grabbed my legs and tried to pass to my right but I managed to get my knee in and returned to full guard. He then tried to cross collar choke me but at this point I had both my feet on his hips, so was never in danger. He was strong so I decided to stay in this position as I tried to conserve some energy whilst at the same time hoping that he would eventually burn himself out. After what must have been a minute or two I was able to secure a San-gaku-jime, pulling my right leg in really tight to ensure he tapped. We started again and he attacked straight away so I went to my back and looked for sweeps. I eventually swept him using the one I had been shown by Graeme on Tuesday and from there I got one hand in for a cross collar choke but matte was called before I could finish.

Przemek beckoned me over for my next roll which turned in to total annihilation. It didn’t matter what I did, every roll ended quickly with me being crushed underneath him. If I pulled guard he simply brushed my legs aside and pinned me. If decided to play top game he quickly swept me and pinned me. If he started in turtle he reversed me and pinned me. Of course sometimes he didn’t pin me, instead preferring to submit me with an armlock or choke. I think Przemek must have set some sort of record for the most subs in one roll. He commented afterwards that he had been practising his Newaza a lot with Sensei Tim and it really showed. The last time I rolled with Przemek he was good but last night he was on another level altogether.

After Przemek I was relived to get someone considerably smaller, a brown belt and proceeded to have an excellent tussle. None of us managed any subs or pins but there were plenty of sweeps, reversals armlock and choke attempts, with both of us at sometime having our back taken but managing to spin out of it.

My last roll was with Sean and we also had a good tussle, with both of us managing to submit the other. I was particularly pleased as I managed to submit him with Koshi-jime, a technique from the blue belt syllabus and one that I hadn’t been successful with in the past.

With Newaza finished we had a quick water break before a couple of rounds of randori. I lined up against a brown belt who got the better of me. But despite not being able to throw him, I was close on a number of occasions and never felt dominated by his grips.

My last opponent was Sensei Tim who, after throwing me a couple of times with ease stopped to discuss the grips he was using on me. I had a similar discussion with Peter regarding grips on Tuesday and what Tim said reinforced what I had been told as well as offering me some alternatives. Although I often use a high shoulder grip myself, due to my height advantage, I feel very vulnerable when someone uses the same grip against me especially if they pull me in close and start controlling my posture. It’s definitely something I need to work on but no more so than the rest of my Judo.


  1. Did you have a week off at the end of Jan, start Feb?

    1. No I was just too busy to post and by the time I had time I had forgotten what had taken place in the class.