When I last trained here I found out that they had added an extra days training to their existing three, so that’s four in total now. However Wednesday night is newaza only, which is my favourite part of Judo, mainly because it hurts less than being thrown on your back. The format of this class is similar to their Thursday night randori session in that there is a long warm up/work out of about 30 minutes, followed by a couple of techniques and then about 30 minutes of continuous sparring. There were about 20 people on the mats, half of whom were dan grades, so I was in for a tough night. Sensei Dave (3rd dan) took the class but Neil and Tim (also both 3rd dans) were also present and gave extra coaching where needed.
My first roll was against a stocky yellow belt so I decided to try and work on my strangles, a week point in my game in my opinion. I was pleased that amongst the submissions I got were two Sode-guruma-jime’s. One off my back and the other when I was top, in the mount position.
This proved to be my easiest roll of the evening as my next three were against Sensei Tim, Sensei Dave and Prezmek, all of whom crushed and submitted me in various ways. In the three minute roll with Prezmek I counted 6 submissions, surely some kind of record!
After rolling with these three I mustered up enough strength to submit a black belt with Okuri-eri-jime before my last roll with another yellow belt who I suspect had some BJJ training, due to the way he pulled guard was very active on the bottom, way more so than any Judo yellow should be. However I was so gassed at this point that all I could do was play defence and not let him sweep me. I just didn’t have the strength to open his guard and mount any attacks and I apologised to him afterwards for being so negative.
At the end of the class sensei Neil took me aside to show me how I could have got Juji-gatame against Sensei Dave from a certain position off my back. Despite not being a regular at Yoshin ryu the instructors still have time show you little things like this to improve your game even after the class has finished. It’s for reasons like this that I’m prepared to travel that little bit further to train at Yoshin Ryu.