Friday, 17 May 2013

Young at Heart

I’ve had a spike in interest in my blog recently which I traced back to a recommendation from Jadon on the Reddit website. I’m not sure how I feel about being described as a middle aged man but I guess I am 40. Still with a VO2 score of 51, resting pulse rate of 58, body fat at 14%, the ability to bench 100kg for 8 reps, I’m not in bad shape for a guy my age. I’ve also just signed up for the JP Morgan run, which is a massive event held in Battersea park each year and open to people in the Finance and Banking world. The distance is fairly short at only 5.6km but I haven’t done much running since my London marathon training came to an end two years ago so I’m trying to get out once a week just to blow the cobwebs away. The race date is the 10th July, so I have a couple of months to get in running shape however there is the small matter of baby number two being due on the 19th June, which will no doubt interrupt my training somewhat. I could of course just wing it as, like I said earlier, 5.6km isn’t far but I’d like to get a fairly decent time of around 28 minutes.

Jadon joined us for Tuesday’s class and was partnered with me for most of the evening. Following the warm up Graeme got us practicing the foot movement for Ko-uchi-gari in to Harai-tsuri-komi-ashi and once we had got used to that we partnered up and completed the throw. Kuzushi and timing is paramount in order to successfully throw your uke with all throws but particularly with Harai-tsuri-komi-ashi and this throw definitely favours the taller person due to the lifting motion.

The entry is different on the vid above as he is attacking with O-uchi-gari but the result is the same

Graeme had been given a masterclass in Juji-gatame at Witley JC, which is his other main club, by visiting Coach Chris Doherty 5th dan. He was therefore eager to share Chris’s version of Juji-gatame with us. Essentially there is only one way to do Juji-gatame and that’s the right way, the way that gets your opponent to tap. There are however many slight variations which suit different body types, whether you are fat or thin, short or tall, flexible or not flexible etc. So in learning as many different ways as possible you can hopefully find the one that suits you best, stick to it and master it.

Anyway Chris Doherty’s version, done against Uke’s right arm has you sitting in the usual position with your right leg either over their body or tucked under. Your left leg over their head but tucked in tight so that their head is almost touching their right shoulder. Then your trap their arm and hold your gi with your right arm but you do this quite low down on their arm, around their elbow. Then as you lean back their arm slowly straightens and because it’s so tight it forces them to tap long before you are lying on the ground, well it did for Jadon and myself anyway.

A good few rounds of Newaza randori followed with one of us starting in the turtle position. Carrying on from my change in newaza attitude i.e. attacking more from the top position rather than pulling guard, I went on the attack. However passing Jadon’s guard is not easy and I found myself in his half guard trying to defend a collar choke that he was slowly applying. When I tried to defend the choke he looked for the sweep and when I defended the sweep the choke was back on. Pretty soon I had that feeling that I was going to pass out so I tapped. Starting again with me in turtle was a case of surviving as long as I could. He managed to get both hooks in and was looking for the choke. I knew he had no intention of trying to roll me over for a hold so I played defensive but was still looking for ways to get him off me. I was pleased that I had managed to stop him from subbing me until matte was called. I’d be really interested to see how Jadon gets on at Yoshin Ryu where they have some very good Newaza players who can crush me with ease. I hope I get the opportunity to train there in the next couple of weeks so I can take him with me.


  1. I apologise if I caused any offence. Wanted to show how your blog was something alot of people could relate to and would find interesting. Your certainly in good shape!

    Looking forward to finally getting down to Yoshin Ryu. Im sure they will give me a very tough time of it!. So far whilst I have been pinned in Judo, I dont think Ive been submitted.

    1. No offense taken Jadon and I really appreciated you putting the link to my blog on Reddit. Sometimes I still think of myself as a twentysomething and yeah i'm in pretty good shape. However the day after Judo is when I realise I am not so young anymore as the aches and pains take a lot longer to go away than they used to.
      BTW, I won't be able to make Yoshin Ryu this Thursday as i've got to babysit. Next week should be ok though.