I’ve just returned from two weeks sunning myself in the Dordogne, France and have literally done no exercise whatsoever, I figured my body could do with the break. Before I went on Holiday I managed to get a good session in at Witley Judo club and I attended another excellent class there on Monday night.
This was to be a “simple class” as Pete, the head instructor put it, and by that he meant that we would only be learning a couple of techniques., one a simple turnover against the turtle and the other a version of kata-guruma where you do not touch the legs in anyway (so competition legal) Apart from that the rest of the class was Newaza and tachiwaza randori.
It was nice to catch up with Tim from Guildford Police Judo Club who is now sporting a blue belt. It transpires that Tim has been training BJJ at Andy Roberts place three times a week for the last couple of months and it showed when I picked Tim for my first round of Newaza randori. He was very active off his back, throwing up plenty of Juji attempts however I managed to defend well against them. The round ended after I had swept him to mount and was just about to apply an Ude-garami. Still his newaza has improved a lot and if he carries on the BJJ training he will no doubt be subbing me next time.
Following my roll with Tim I was able to pull off a number of submissions including a couple of San-gaku-jime’s, however it still took me quite a while to finish them and in doing so I really gassed my legs out, something to consider if I attempt this in shiai.
I’ve written before how I’ve had trouble in randori when I face guys who have superior gripping strategies. This is usually apparent when I visit places like Yoshin Ryu where they have a number of larger and/or higher ranked guys. For me there are three components to randori. Tachiwaza, Newaza and Kumi kata (gipping) but maybe I am getting too hung up on it.
Last night Pete showed me a couple of things I was doing wrong when I sparred with him. Now Pete is considerably shorter than me but it still able to dominate me with his grips, should he so wish. He told me that I was over reaching with my second hand when trying to get my sleeve grip, which when facing a shorter person is like Christmas as they are able to use my momentum to throw me. What he said I need to do is to pull them towards me and then grip rather than to go looking for it. Quite simple but it makes perfect sense. Another thing he pointed out is that I was a little too square against the shorter guys which gives them the space to step in to when they inevitably try there seoi nage’s against me. What I need to do is to have one leg slightly forward which then reduces the space they can step in to. One last thing he pointed out to me was that I need to fully commit to my throws rather than pull out if I don’t immediately throw the other person, which I have been told before but I am really making a conscious effort to do this now.
Dorking Judo Club is open again this Thursday so I’ll be back at my home club but I’m going to keep training at Witley on Monday nights and, when possible, Yoshin Ryu. I’m hoping this will be enough to see me improve significantly so that I can start to collect some points towards my dan grading although it might be a bit soon for this extra training to pay off with my first dan grading event coming up on the 13th of September at High Wycombe. I am, however, determined not to come away from it empty handed and will be disappointed if I haven’t made some inroads in to the 100 points needed.