Oli & Jadon joined me last night for another Newaza only session at Yoshin Ryu. This was the second week running that Oli had attended this class which, until last week, he hadn't been on the mats’, other than to assist teaching the kids class at Dorking, for almost 1 year. It was perhaps for this reason that I refused to tap when he caught me with a nice collar strangle last week. I was pretty close to going out but for some reason (ego perhaps) I decided I was not going to tap to him, due to his inactivity and how that would look for me tapping to someone who, by his own admission, was a little rusty. Luckily for me I was able to eventually escape his strangle and the rest of the roll was a good back and forth exchange although neither of us were able to get a submission or pin.
Last night Oli was the first person I sparred with and again we had a good back and forth tussle. Both of us actively going for subs and defending and reversing our positions. No subs were forthcoming again but it was a very enjoyable roll.
I had a nice roll with Jadon where I was able to pass his guard in to Yoko-shiho-gatame but in a moment of madness I looked away from him and he was able to trap my head with his leg and turn it in to a San-gaku-jime where he eventually got the tap. The rest of our roll was pretty close and I was actually able to return the favour when he passed my guard and got a Yoko-shiho-gatame on me as I used the same escape on him but matte was called before I could try for the submission.
An orange belt was next, who also trains BJJ at RGA in London and is a blue belt. He pulled guard and tried to play spider guard but I was able to shake off his grips, pass his guard and sink in Sode-guruma-jime for the tap. We started again and he continued with a very open guard, clearly trying to play spider guard. I grabbed his legs and spun him over where I attacked the turtle with a Juji turnover and finished him with a Juji-gatame.
Sensei Dave was next and he played guard to start with. I attempted to use the techniques he had taught the class earlier on him (Sode-guruma-jime) but this obviously wasn’t going to work on him. It was when he decided he wasn't going to play on his back anymore that I started to get in trouble and he caught me with a couple of subs towards the end and a pin.
Something that I took from watching the Judo at the recent Commonwealth games was said by Neil Adams regarding attacking the neck and then the arm and vice versa. I noticed last night that when I attacked someone’s neck they invariably presented an armbar opportunity. The same thing happened when I looked for their arm, they left their neck unguarded. This may seem quite basic and I've probably been told this before but it really worked for me. I’m gonna have a play with this and see if my submission ratio improves. It certainly did last night.