As a warm up we were told to do some very light Newaza so I paired up with Jadon. However Duncan had to keep telling us both that we needed to go lighter and use no strength whatsoever as this was just a warm up. Now for me this posed a problem as Jadon is clearly a lot better than me at Newaza. Not using my size and strength advantage meant that he could do basically whatever he wanted and he made me look like a complete beginner as he dazzled with some funky guard passes and transitions in to dominant positions and then to rub salt in the wounds he even caught me in my favourite submission, San-gaku-jime, right at the end.
Continuing with our warm up, Duncan had us do Uchi-komi practising our entry in to a number of throwing possibilities.
It was similar to the one below
From this position a number of throws present themselves and Duncan had us practice first O-uchi-gari and then Morote-seoi-nage. Duncan’s way of doing O-uchi-gari was different to the version I have been shown in the past and indeed the one I often use to great success in randori. Duncan takes a wider reap of uke’s leg and sweeps it wide to his right, similar to the version you can see below.
The way I normally do it is more like a gake, which is a sort of hooking movement which when coupled with the hand movement forces uke to the floor. With Duncan’s version you can quite often make Uke fall down without even using your arms. Personally I liked Duncan’s version a lot and will practice it from now on.
Seoi-nage throws are not for me, seeing as I am 6ft 3 and have stiff knees. I think the only time I practice them is for gradings and then I quickly push them to one side and continue with throws that do suit me. That said, however, by the end of this session I was very comfortable with Morote-seoi-nage. We used this in combination with the O-uchi-gari, so Uke steps back and pushes forwards and then tori simply turns in and pulls uke on top and then over the top of them. With both Oli and Andrew not present there wasn’t anyone even remotely near my height but through perseverance I think I got quite good at it. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I have a habit of getting a little too close to uke, which has the effect of putting them back on balance, after the effort of putting them off balance. But once I got my distancing right my uke was soon flying over the top of me.
Duncan then added Ko -uchi-gari to this combination, so that tori firsts goes for the o-uchi-gari, tori steps back out of the way and pushes forward. Tori then turns in for Morote-seoi-nage but uke braces himself and leans backwards. Tori then slides his right leg behind uke’s for Ko-uchi-gari, following uke to the mat.
We got to practice this a number of times before we went on to do some randori with the caveat that we could only use the three throws we had just been shown. We were also told not to resist the throw as we wanted to get lots of throwing practice in.
To finish up we all took turns walking backwards up the mat with an uke whom we had to throw with Morote-seoi-nage. We probably did three of four rounds of this, throwing everyone else in the club before joining the lien and being thrown yourself. I think this is an excellent exercise as not only do you get to practise the throw on lots of different sized people you also have to perform the throw under pressure as the rest of the club are watching.
I had to thank Duncan after the class as I felt I really got a lot out of it. If I was able to train like this 3-4 times a week my Judo would improve immeasurably. But alas this is not likely to happen.