Monday, 24 February 2014

South Coast Senior Kyu & Dan Split Grade Event, Worthing.

Worthing is a place I know quite well as my Mum lives there so, seeing as the weigh in times were quite early (8.45-9.45am) I travelled down on the Saturday night and stayed with my Mum.

I was a little concerned about making the U90kg weight division, something I’ve not been able to do before, as I was bang on 90kg when I weighed myself Saturday night. However when I woke up on Sunday morning I had miraculously lost 2kg in my sleep and that was even after eating breakfast.

I got to the venue just after 9am and weighed in at 88kg. I then took my seat on the bench seats with everyone else. At around 10.00am they let everyone on to the mats to warm up. As I was alone I wasn’t able to do any uchi-komi so I just jogged around the mats and generally just loosened myself up which was nice and helped with the butterflies I had had in my stomach all morning.

Warming up

I guess it must have been around 10.30am when the fights actually started, which was great if you were the first to fight as you were nice and warm, However I had to sit on those uncomfortable bench seats with no idea when my fights were likely to start until ……………2.30pm. By this time I was starving hungry as I hadn’t eaten anything, save a couple of bananas, and very stiff. I wrote about this before when I fought at High Wycombe that there needs to be a warm up area that we can access all through the day. The warm up I did at 10am was useless four and a half hours later. It’s like me going to Judo on Tuesday and Graeme saying “ok no warm up today lets go straight in to hard randori instead.” It’s crazy and is just asking for injuries to happen. Also there needs to be better communication between the event organisers and Judoka about when they are likely to start their fights. I appreciate it isn’t an exact science as a fight can last seconds or go in to overtime and last 5 minutes. However they should be able to give the competitors a rough idea when they are likely to fight by providing a timetable telling them in what order each division is fighting in. That way, when the division before yours is called you know it’s time to start some sort of warm up.

On to my actual fights.

My first fight, I found it hard to get a grip. The guy was wearing a Fighting Films BlackLabel which was incredibly stiff. He was able to grip first and attack whereas I was just trying to survive and live off of counters to his attempts. I actually scored a wazari with a Tani-otoshi so was winning the fight. We hit the mat a couple of times and I was able to get a nice Juji turnover but he defended well against me finishing and just when I was going to turn it in to a hold down the ref called matte and stood us back up. Then with seconds left he tried an osoto and I countered again with a tani otoshi. Unfortunately I fell on my back and he fell straight in to kesa gatame where he held me down for the win.

My second fight lasted 10 seconds. He tried an osoti-gari but he was so far away I didn’t feel threatened so was sure I could turn in for my own osoto but he was able to jump through and get the Ippon, which was quite a big throw.

My third and last fight I was thrown with o-uchi-gari and he scored a wazari but when he fell on top of me he had his forearm across my throat and drove it hard across my throat and jaw with all his weight in to it. I wasn’t choking that much but my jaw hurt as it was being crushed so I taped.

It was a good experience and I didn’t feel a million miles away from their level but these guys weren’t taking any prisoners as they were all fighting for points towards their black belts. What was slightly annoying for me was that I wasn’t able to mount any attacks of my own against any of them. In my first fight I couldn’t get a grip and the last two fights I never had time as the fights ended quickly.

I ended up getting a bronze medal because there were only 4 in my weight category. I felt like a bit of a fraud getting it and I certainly won’t be telling anyone I finished 3rd and neither will I be listing it in my medal table on the right of my blog.

What I’ll take from this is that I need to practise more shiai type randori against brown belts my own size. My fitness wasn’t too bad considering I haven’t been able to train much, what with all my injuries. If I can get 100% fit and train hard for a few months I will be fine in that respect.

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