The warm up tonight was more intense than usual with lots of breakfalls, shrimping, shuttle runs with press ups and exercises that involved pulling your partner across the mat, with the duo finishing last getting press-ups for their efforts.
After we were suitably warmed up or knackered in my case, we worked on the set up for O-uchi-gari, practising pulling uke in to position to be able to execute the throw properly. Sensei Neil also stressed that we shouldn’t be hooking the leg but taking it out wide to the side, the same way Duncan showed me at DJC which I wrote about here . We then did a drill where, following the O-uchi-gari, we pulled uke up and then did a two footed Tomae-nage on them but instead of throwing them we did a number of reps of leg presses with Uke being the weight. This started off fairly easy but as the reps piled up and the lactic acid built up it got progressively more difficult.
Then, with our existing partner (I was already paired with a dan grade), Sensei called out techniques which we had to perform. Most of these techniques were dan grade theory level and as such I hadn’t heard of or seen them before. The Kyu grades, of which there were three present, were told to try and copy what our black belt partners did to us. I was particularly impressed with how easy I was able to replicate these throws, especially as I had never tried them before. I was also able to complete the throw with a decent amount of control and my uke mostly got a clean soft landing, as did I when I was thrown.
I was feeling pretty good about my Judo after this but a few rounds of Newaza randori soon put an end to that as I was ritually crushed by everyone I rolled with. To be fair I didn’t roll with anyone under 1st dan so I guess it was to be expected. My first spar was probably my most successful as I was only pinned once and was mostly able to keep my opponent from passing my guard. The next two people I sparred with were both 3rd dans and as such they were able to do pretty much whatever they wanted. My guard against them was passed in seconds and if I was able to get top position I was quickly swept and pinned, choked or arm barred.
Following a very quick water break we progressed on to Tachiwaza randori and I didn’t fare much better here either. I tried in vain to move my opponent in to a position where I could execute any of my throws but again they were all black belts so I shouldn’t be too harsh on myself.
Another hard but enjoyable class at Yoshin Ryu.