Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

Duncan took the class last night and our warm up consisted of very light newaza randori. For Jadon and I this quickly descended in to a little more than “light” randori, so Duncan stopped us and reiterated the point that this was just a warm up so try and flow between positions and not use any strength.

There was a distinct lack of seniors tonight, just myself and Jadon present, but there was an abundance of cadets so we changed partners regularly. Following our Newaza warm up Duncan had us practice Tai-otoshi in to Juji-gatame. The point of this was moving seamlessly from tachiwaza to newaza, with no pause. In fact the technique could have been called Tai-otoshi-juji-gatame (a Roy Inman special) such was the emphasis of flowing from one technique to another.

This set the tone for the night as we practised other throws straight in to groundwork like O-uchi-gari, Harai-goshi and Morote-seoi-nage. First with little to no resistance from Uke and then, following the throw, full resistance.

When I was practising Morote-seoi-nage I was paired with Ynez, who is, shall we say, vertically challenged somewhat. This meant that I had to get even lower than normal to throw her. I was unable to perform even one throw properly on Ynez and even when I changed partners to someone approaching my own size I still was not able to throw them. This was in stark contrast to a lesson we had in June where I seemed to have gotten the hang of this throw. With the parents of the cadets looking on they must have wondered how the highest ranked kyu grade on the mat was not able to perform the throws that their Yellow and Orange belt sons were able to do so easily. I found this both frustrating and demoralising.

We finished off with some throw for throw randori, with the caveat that we use the throws we had been shown tonight, and we were told to follow in to groundwork but not to spend too long trying to get a pin or submission. Again the key here was that the throw and the groundwork were as one. I felt quite comfortable doing this but it’s hard to gauge my skill level when most people are half my size and strength. My Harai-goshi works great on the cadets but I could pick them up and throw them without any technique because they are so light. All of this has made me realise that I need to get 100% fit quickly so I can get myself back to Yoshin Ryu where I can test myself properly.

It was an excellent lesson tonight with plenty of throws and groundwork, however I’m left with mixed feelings. My inability to perform Morote-seoi-nage at all, following last week’s class where my Ippon-seoi-nage was almost as bad, has really dented my confidence. Graeme mentioned to me the other week that he expected me to grade for brown belt by the end of this year which would leave me one step away from black. At the moment I feel as far away from being a black belt as I ever have.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

How many of these throws can you do?

Found this posted in the new Judoforum, under the tagline "how many of these throws can you do" I was particularly impressed with the double O-uchi-gari at 1:08. Enjoy

Bicep Injury

I’m nursing a bit of an injury at the moment, picked up whilst doing Lat Pulldowns in the gym last week. Basically my bicep just started getting very tight, like severe cramp, so since then I’ve been icing it as much as I can and taking Ibuprofen. Anyway I still managed to make it to Judo on Tuesday, although I was a bit wary when we worked on Juji-gatame.

Ippon Seoi-nage was on the menu tonight, with Ko-Uchi-gake-mata-maki-komi used in combination. The Seoi-nage was for the benefit of Andrew, who needs it to pass his yellow belt theory and the Ko-uchi-gake-mata-maki-komi was for Jadon and yours truly as it’s on the brown belt syllabus.

Now I’ve never been a fan of any Seoi-nage throw, mainly due to my height and the fact that presently there isn’t anyone near my height at the club. This means I have to get really low down, which at my age isn’t particularly easy. It’s the reason I have never really attempted this throw in randori and the reason I don’t give it much thought when doing uchi-komi. As I was partnered up with Duncan I knew that my sloppy seoi-nage was not going to work but it was as much about my poor kuzushi as it was about my inability to get low enough. I do feel that, at blue belt, I shouldn’t have so many things wrong with my technique. Sometimes it feels like I am a complete beginner who doesn’t deserve to be wearing a blue belt let alone to be looking towards grading for brown. If the class had ended straight afterwards I would have left feeling a bit depressed but Newaza and tachiwaza randori made me feel a lot better. There’s nothing like throwing someone with a Harai-goshi or submitting someone with a Juji-gatame roll to get your confidence back up again.

So with this annoying bicep injury keeping me away from doing any upper body weights I have been concentrating on doing squats, lunges and other horrible leg exercises in a bid to strengthen my legs, which should hopefully help when I have to bend down low for seoi-nages. One legged squats were particularly nasty. Hopefully the injury heels quickly as I do not want to miss any Judo whatsoever and, assuming it does, I need to pay Yoshin Ryu, Witley and Guildford Police Judo clubs a visit to get some extra sessions in.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Dorking Judo has a new Black Belt.

I was back at Judo last night after two months of training solely BJJ and was very much looking forward to it. Upon arriving we were given the good news that one of the clubs brown belts, David, got the final 30 points needed for him to get his 1st dan black belt, which at just 17 years of age is a great achievement. David is the son of one the clubs coaches Graeme and will be presented formally once all the paperwork is completed and signed off by the BJA. I will post photos of his presentation in the coming weeks.

After we warmed up I was paired with Andrew for some Newaza randori. We started with one kneeling up right and the other standing behind them. The person standing pushed the other to the floor and once they hit the mat the Newaza begun. I started in the kneeling position first and Andrew attacked. I went in to the turtle position but turned the attack on him and quickly got his back. From here I secured a collar grip with my right hand across his neck and swung my leg over his head to finish the choke. I got the same submission on him when we restarted and finished off with a nice Juji-gatame. Now it was my turn to attack him. I tried and San-gaku turnover but he managed to squirm out, however he left his arm behind and I finished with another Juji-gatame. We restarted again and this time I turned him over on to his back and held him in mune gatame but my grips were not great and he was slowly escaping so I moved to tate-shiho gatame , pushed him arm across his neck and sunk in a Kata-gatame. To finish I moved from Tate-shiho to side control and he duly tapped.

Next up was Jadon. I attacked first but his turtle was good and he managed to grab my leg and use that to get me on my back where he was quick to pass my guard and mount me. Now if this was BJJ I would have defended my neck and waited for him to attack before trying to escape but as this was Judo and I was in a losing position, the emphasis was on me to escape, which I tried in vain to do. When Graeme called matte Jadon had one cross collar grip in place and was seconds away from applying his usual choke on me. I do struggle to escape from the mount, or tate-shiho-gatame, and this is something I need to work on. I could of course roll over on to my front, which would mean I have escaped the pin but would then expose me to being choked. Not only that but, from a self-defence point of view, I really don’t want to get in to the habit of escaping this way. That said, if I was losing in a competition I would certainly use it as a last resort.

Anyway here are some simple escapes from the mount demonstrated by the excellent Roy Dean.

We restarted, this time with him attacking and somehow we ended up in the same position, me on the bottom and him sitting on top waiting to pounce. Again he secured one of the cross collar grips and I knew it wouldn’t be long until he sunk in his choke. I tried to push his hips back but they wouldn’t budge and eventually I made the mistake of pushing his chest with a straight arm which he collected up and put me in Juji-gatame. I tried to escape from here but it was on tight so had to tap. When we stopped I realised that his foot had hit me in the face and my nose was streaming with blood. This meant I had to sit out the next 10-15 minutes until my nose stopped bleeding.

After my nose stopped gushing blood I paired up with Andrew again for some on the move Uchi-Komi, concentrating mainly on Tai-otoshi. Then Graeme got out the crashmats and had us do an interesting exercise with our partners whereby one of us (Andrew) would assume the turtle position and I would do a rolling breakfall over Andrew towards the crashmats. Then Andrew stands up and moves quickly towards me where I take a grip and immediately do a forward throw. I really enjoyed doing this as it got us all working hard doing multiple repetitions of throws and encouraged us to grip and throw. We changed this around after a while so that the person who had been in the turtle got up and did a rear throw on the one standing by the crashmats.

The class finished with 4 rounds of Randori. Jadon and I had a really good scrap, with multiple throws for both us and not too much attention paid to grip fighting.

Against Andrew I was allowed to follow my throws in to groundwork which was good fun. I managed quite a few successful Harai-goshi’s, which was encouraging and was the perfect ending (Nose bleed aside) to a perfect Judo class.