Tuesday, 30 April 2013

2nd Kyu

I was up all night Saturday with some sort of stomach bug and bed ridden most of Sunday. I managed a mouth full of toast on Monday morning which was the first bit of food I had eaten since Saturday, and another piece of toast on Monday night. I was much the same on Tuesday with a bloated stomach and severe lack of appetite so my wife was a little confused that I chose to go to Judo on Tuesday night.

We did a light warm up but I was already blowing out my arse and questioning my sanity for training when all I had eaten to sustain myself were a few dry pieces of toast.

Following the warm up we went straight in to some newaza randori and oddly enough, despite my lack of cardio I decided to attack from the off and make sure I got and maintained top position. I even managed to submit Oli with the bow and arrow choke that I attempted but failed with last week.

Graeme then told me that we would be finishing off my blue belt grading tonight. I was told that I had to pick four techniques not on the blue belt syllabus and perform them so I first chose San-gaku-jime. I had to perform this technique on my uke and explain the important parts of it. I then had to also perform the version of this where you attack the turtle. Graeme said that the next three techniques had to be tachiwaza so I went a bit safe with O-uchi-gari. I also had to show counters and combinations to this throw, Ko-uchi-gari and Tai-otoshi being the obvious choice.

My next throw was Uchi-mata. Again this was a little safe for me as it’s my 2nd favourite show, next to O-uchi-gari. For my final throw I chose something from the brown belt syllabus, Sumi-gaeshi and just about managed to pull it off to a satisfactory level.

The last part of the grading was some randori where I was told to use lots of different attacks, counters, combinations etc and despite being very tired I did enough. I was presented with my blue belt by Graeme at the end of the class.

I was told that I could grade for brown belt by the end of this year which would mean that by the start of next I would begin my dan grading….Yikes

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Space, the final frontier

This was the first class back at DJC since the Easter break, although I had trained at Yoshin Ryu and Nova Forca in the interim.

Peter had us warm up with some assisted break falls from a kneeling position. Then we practised rear breakfalls by pushing each other backwards. The person doing the breakfall had to do so with their eyes closed, which makes certainly made it interesting.

The warm up progressed in to some light newaza and I made a conscious effort to practise my top game, which I definitely need to do. I was actually quite pleased that I was able to hold Oli’s legs down on one side and sort of cartwheel to the other side where I had him in Mune-gatame. He was quick to turn away from me and roll on to his stomach so got my hooks in and attempted to roll on to his side. I was actually looking to get something similar to a hell strange or bow and arrow choke after seeing this lovely technique on the E-Judo forum.

Unfortunately I was sure about all the parts of this choke which gave Oli the opportunity to escape.

I found another nice entry to a choke, this time a San-gaku-jime, by the same person so thought I’d share this as well. I was actually very close to getting this one to work at Nova Forca last week.

We paused briefly to go over a Juji-gatame from the top position when Uke has one leg trapped (half guard) and then back on to Newaza. With many of the seniors still out injured I was paired with one of our juniors who was about 14. I was reminded that I am not allowed to armlock or choke anyone under the age of 16 in Judo, but I had no intention of being that rough anyway. I ended rolling with 3 of the juniors, all of whom were around 14-15 years old. I made a real conscious effort not to use any strength instead relying on pure technique to sweep them and go from hold to hold. Occasionally, when an obvious opportunity presented itself to apply a choke or an armlock I simply got in to position to do so and then verbally told them, or in the case of applying a Juji-gatame I held their bent arm but did not extend it. I was impressed with all the juniors, especially the last Orange belt I rolled with who had this annoying habit of trapping my leg in half guard every time I swept him.

We probably spent around an hour doing Newaza, either randori or techniques, which was really good. The last half an hour of the class was spent standing or being thrown. With the same partner, which for me was the junior orange belt, we were told to do throw for throw Tai-otoshi’s. This junior had really good technique and did that springy thing with his outstretched leg which really made me fly through the air. Most of the seniors are not able to do this, usually due to not being as flexible as the youngsters and not wanting to put that amount of stress on the old knee joints but the juniors certainly showed me up with regards to good technique. We then changed it slightly so that Uke had stepped over our first tai-otoshi attempt and tori had to attack with Tai-otoshi again but this time a really low down version. This was a good exercise as it got you in to the habit of stringing techniques together in an attack rather than just trying one and stopping, then trying another and stopping again. I felt I was doing well as my young Uke was easily airborne, however when I changed partners and paired up with Ynez she pointed out that my Tai-otoshi had too much hip in it. Duncan agreed and said the reason was that I was to close; I needed more space between me and Ynez so that I had somewhere to throw her in to. I think with my previous Uke, who was very light, it didn’t matter as much as I was simply able to strong arm him to the ground but against someone as experienced as Ynez my poor technique soon showed up. Being too close to uke was something that Roman Stawisinski, the coach to Aneta Szczepanska, pointed out to me at the seminar I attended last month. On that occasion I was practising Uchi-mata, but the principle is the same. Whilst the rest of the class practised doing other combinations using Tai-otoshi, for example O-uchi-gari, Ko-uchi-gari, Tai-otoshi, I decided to stick with Tai-otoshi on its own and try to get it working better, which I did but it still wasn’t perfect.

We finished up with some light randori, which was the prefect end to a very good enjoyable session.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Return to Nova Forca BJJ

I managed to find some time to pay Nova Forca a visit last night for some BJJ training and was accompanied by Oli. I didn’t realise it had actually been two years since I had last trained there and since then the club has had a change of venue to a much better permanent matted room within the Energie Gym located on Epsom High Street. There is a half Octagon in one corner of the room, for their MMA training and a row of Muay Thai kick bags along one side of the room. There was also a large TV with the UFC playing on it for extra motivation.

As per my previous visits here I was made to feel welcome by the head coach Ricardo and all of the guys I spoke and rolled with seemed very friendly. After the warm up, which would be enough of a workout on its own for most people, Ricardo showed us a variation on a guillotine choke. This was done against someone who had shot in for a single leg takedown. With their head under your left armpit you slide you right forearm under their chin and grab your left hand. Your left forearm then presses down on their right shoulder, which keep them from turning out and escaping the guillotine. The choke is then finished by twisting slightly upwards towards your left. When Ricardo showed us this technique he added a roll, which sort of resembled a Sumi-gaeshi, but both Oli and I had trouble with this which must have had something to do with our Judo instinct not to throw whilst a choke is applied.

We drilled this technique for about fifteen minutes before we were told to grab a quick drink as sparring was next. First up for me was a stocky looking white belt that I was able to pull guard and quickly sweep to mount. From here I was trying to get a kata-gatame choke but he realised what I was going for and defended against it, however I saw an arm tried a hiza-gatame but he was able to escape and I ended up on the bottom with him in my guard. I swept him to mount again and this time I managed to choke him with Sode guruma jime

Next up was a stocky blue belt and this roll was more about survival for me as he was able to constantly threaten me with submissions. I think I did pretty well to only get subbed once. One thing I did consciously do was no panic when I was mounted. In Judo this would be Tate-shiho-gatame but in BJJ it’s just a good position in which to attack from. Anyway I kept my arms close in and protected my neck and waited for him to make a move and then tried to explode out and although he was quickly able to get back to this position or side control it at least kept him busy and kept the submissions down to one.

My last roll was with another white belt who was pretty good. He was able to pass my guard pretty easily and attack me from side control. As before, I concentrated on keep my arms close to my body and protecting my neck, hopefully dispelling the myth that Judo guys always give up their back. He did finally mange to submit me with a cross collar choke which was the least he deserved.

We finished with a gentle warm down and stretch and then an obligatory belt whipping was given out to someone for forgetting their belt. Overall a really enjoyable session and hopefully I’ll be back there again before another two years pass.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

.Random Guy VS. Teddy Riner.

This could be bad for your health but funny nonetheless

Dead leg, BJJ and Ronda

I managed to train last Thursday at Yoshin Ryu but got thrown hard and then had a knee hit me in my upper thigh, giving me a dead leg and ending my training for the night. This was only my second randori session of the evening so it sucked that I had to sit out with an ice pack strapped to my thigh whilst everyone else carried on sparring.
In my previous fight I had a good tussle with Steve (as usual) and managed a Tani-otoshi. The rest of our session we kind of cancelled each other out and I even managed to stuff his obligatory Tomoe-nage attempt.

Before the class started I noticed a new guy wearing a BJJ gi and after chatting to him I found out that he trains BJJ at Roger Gracie’s place in London and that he is a Blue belt. I was partnered with him for our warm up and Uchikomi, but I never got the chance to roll with him in Newaza. However I’ve got the urge to do some BJJ training again, probably at Nova Forca, but I need to work out if this will be possible with work, looking after my daughter and Judo taking priority.

As this post is a little short and rushed I thought I’d share the following video of Ronda Rousey.

This is from the current season of The Ultimate Fighter or TUF for short and shows Ronda, who was brought in as a guest coach, doing some grappling training with TUF middleweight fighter Uriah. Uriah is the most feared fighter in the TUF house, having already KO’d two opponents in brutal fashion and is favourite to win the whole show. This video shows just how good Ronda’s grappling and Judo is as the 135lb female throws and armbars her 185lb male opponent. Enjoy