Thursday, 30 April 2015

Newaza @ Yoshin Ryu

Since my last post I haven’t trained that much due to my elbow being popped, however I have being doing stretching and rehabilitation exercises which seem to be having a positive effect so hopefully It’ll soon be 100% again.

Before the injury I started doing the 5x5 stronglifts routine in the gym. For those who are not aware what it is you can find more information here . I liked the look of this routine mainly because it focuses on leg strength which is something I am lacking, especially when I have to get down low to do seoi nage’s. With my injury I had to stop all upper body training but I have recently started doing deadlifts and bench press again, albeit with fairly light weights but I’m already up to 80kg deadlifts, 80kg squats and am pressing 30kg dumbells (Using a bar for bench hurts my shoulders, old injury, long story)

I’ll update my blog with any gains I make and as I’m still in the early phases of the routine I expect my gains to be quick especially as I have, in the past, squatted 130kg and benched 120kg. They do say your muscle has memory so I’m hoping I can get back to that sort of weight sometime, assuming my old body holds together.

Last night I trained at Yoshin Ryu (Newaza night) which is a class I really enjoy. Although I originally injured my elbow in a Juji-gatame I feel that I’m less likely to re injure it doing groundwork than I would if I was thrown and had to break fall using my left arm, which less face most people get thrown by right handed throws so always use their left arm to break fall.

There was a really good mix of experience in the class last night with plenty of kyu grades from white up to brown and then 6 dan grades from 1st to 4th dan. Last week I had trouble sweeping a heavy yellow belt from inside my guard so this week I pulled guard again so that I could try and solve this problem. Again I was not able to sweep him. He seemed wise to the flower sweep and being strong it was difficult for me to control his arms. I attacked his neck and got close with a  couple of collar strangles but it ended in a stalemate with no submissions of hold downs to either of us. I complemented him afterwards for having a good strong base and will try again next week to solve this problem. Obviously I could refuse to pull guard and push him down but I like the challenge and besides this a clearly a weak spot in my game that needs working on.

Next up was another stocky guy, an orange belt, but unlike the yellow belt before him I was able to sweep and submit on multiple occasions, changing between playing guard to working on my top game and passing. So I was feeling good and then Sensei Tim called me over for a roll and I was made to feel like a beginner as he constantly passed my guard, strangled and arm locked me at will. I managed to take his back at one point and had both hooks in but he very calmly and slowly reversed the position and squashed me in to the mat.

Next up was a young brown belt (anyone under 30 is young in my book). I’ve rolled with him before and I mentioned in a previous post just how good his newaza is. I think the biggest compliment I can pay him is that he moves like a BJJ’er, very light and quick with a good guard. I’m sure he’d beat the majority of brown belts on the ground. I decided I wanted to play top game and he seemed happy to play guard and so the chess game begun. Most of this roll was me trying to pass his guard, all the while being aware of his sweep attempts and his attempts to choke me. It was a good tactical battle and right near the end I managed to pass to side control but he quickly escaped. However in the scramble I found an arm and got the tap with a belly down juji-gatame. I think I got lucky but will always seek this guy out as he is really technical and presents me with different problems to some of the others.

Against Sensei Neil and Sensei Paul I faced a familiar problem. They both like to use the same technique to pass my guard, ie one arm under my right leg which leaves them open to the san-gaku-jime. However each time I try this I get stacked, folded in half and eventually passed and subbed or just held down. To be fair against Paul I’ve been close to getting the san-gaku-jime but against Neil he never seems in trouble. I need to look in to ways of either perfecting my san-gaku-jime or  defences against that particular guard pass.

Another excellent Wednesday evening at Yoshin Ryu which is now my favourite class of the week.


  1. Hi Stuart,
    I was really interested to read that you were doing the Stronglift 5x5. I stumbled upon that workout on a Google search one night and thought that it would be a perfect supplement to my judo training.
    I haven't started it yet, but I'll look forward to reading about your progress with it and if you think you're experiencing any benefits in your judo and BJJ.

    It's great to see you blogging again. I've enjoyed following your progress.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Kar-ming, thanks for the comment and glad you've enjoyed the blog. I've had a knee injury which has made me re-evaluate the Stronglift 5x5, at least for the time being. i'll blog about my latest injury soon.