Monday, 28 June 2010

Richie "the Neck"

The club has been closed for the past two weeks as the water has been contaminated with legionnaires or something like that but as I have been having treatment with a Chiropractor on my shoulder maybe it’s a good thing.
I met up with a friend of mine, Richie who I used to train freestyle Kung Fu with some years ago, at the weekend. Richie took up Judo about 6 weeks after I did but as he lives somewhere up north (Nr Liverpool I think) I don’t get to see too much of him. Anyway he came over to my place and we watched some UFC and checked out some BJJ DVD’s that Boris sent me and then we decided it would be a good idea to try a few things out.

As there isn’t really enough room for throws in my “Den” we decided to look at some groundwork techniques as I was interested to see what he had learned in his Judo lessons and compare that to what I had learnt.
Also as it was 30c outside I had no intention of wearing a gi so we just grappled in our t-shirts, no-gi style if you like.

We started off with me on my back and Richie in my guard. Straight away I noticed he was very compact and wasn’t leaving my much to go for but maybe not having a gi had something to do with it. Richie said his favourite technique was Ude garami (Kimura) and tried this on me even though he was in my guard. I’m not sure if it’s possible to pull this off when you are inside someone’s guard but he had a go. I hadn’t told him about my bad shoulder on my left side but I was ready to tap to protect it but luckily I didn’t have to as I managed to escape and then almost pulled of a nice reversal but the coffee table got in the way lol. Richie was still working and making himself heavy so I tried to isolate and arm and threw up an attempt at Juji-gatame (arm bar) but I was never really in the right position for this and Richie easily got out of this and almost got side control but luckily I was able to quickly retain full guard.

At this point I showed Richie the benefits of San-gaku-jime which is my “go to move” so we broke this down and both tried it on each other. When we used to train in freestyle we did some chokes and strangles and Richie was/is very hard to submit with a choke which is why he was nicknamed Richie “the Neck”.
“the Neck” was still evident as although I got the triangle on him pretty tight and he said it wasn’t comfortable there was no way I was ever gonna get him to submit.

Not a bad little workout really but it is such a shame he lives so far away otherwise we could both really improve our Judo dramatically.

Hopefully Judo will be open this week as I haven’t had a proper Judo lesson for 2 weeks now. I would normally go to another club to get some training in but when you have an injury like I do its hard turning up at a new club and asking them to take it easy on you.

Just to add, I’ve ordered myself a cheap white single weave gi as in this heat my double weave will be unbearable. Hopefully it will arrive before my next lesson.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Staying Frosty

A bit of strange of lesson this week as apart from Peter and Big Stuart only Oli and I turned up and then Peter had to leave early due to work commitments. To make matters worse my shoulder still isn’t right so I have to be careful.

Before Peter left he showed us a couple of interesting throws which I believe were Sumi-gaeshi & Hikikomi-gaeshi. I can’t find Hikikomi-gaeshi on the BJA website but I have a link to Sumi-gaeshi which is a Brown belt level throw. They put the crash mats out especially for me when we were practicing these throws so I had something nice to land on. Because of the nature of these throws, you have to sit down and pull uke to the floor before you throw them over you, I was a little hesitant to fully commit as I was very conscious of my shoulder. This meant that I was never really able to get this one properly but Big Stuart was able to do them both pretty well and was even able to continue rolling so that he ended up in the mount position afterwards which would enable him to go straight in to ground work.

When Peter left the three of us played with a few submissions.
First up was Ude-garami or a kimora as its known by BJJ’ers. As I explained previously an Ude-garami can be pulled off from the mount and side control. In BJJ I believe they call it an Americana if it’s done from the mount, they seem to give every variation of a technique its own name whereas with Judo each technique can be done a variety of ways. Being a Judo blog I’ll always try and use the Judo name for a technique but will try to also add the now more common (due to MMA and the UFC) BJJ name.

There was a technique I had seen in a Judo book that I wanted to try and that was Kakato-jime or heel strangle. Looking at a picture in a book I couldn’t tell how effective this would be but when you can do it against a live person it works very nicely. Again I cannot find this on the BJA website but basically from your back they are in your guard and you choke Uke by crossing your hands and grabbing both sides of his collar and pulling his head towards your left leg which stretched across their neck. If I find a link to this technique I might add it later.

Finally we went over Sankaku-jime or triangle choke which is my favourite go to move. While we are on the subject of triangle chokes I saw possibly the best bit of fight choreography I have ever seen in a TV show called Generation Kill, which is similar to Band of Brothers but based on the Gulf war. Anyway these US marines were playing American Football and one the guys gets upset and rugby tackles this other guy from behind when the ball isn’t even in play and then starts wailing punches on him. The guy that was tackled throws up a wicked triangle choke on the wailer and locks it in pretty tight before reversing him so that the guy in the triangle is now on his back with only his head poking out between this guys leg and then he just starts pummelling him. It doesn’t sound much but it was pretty slick. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come where fight scenes are concerned in films although they have certainly come a long way since Roger Moore used a “Judo Chop” in one of his early James Bond outings to show what a highly trained killer he was.

Anyway back to the Sankaku-Jime technique and neither of us could quite get this right which is strange considering Graeme showed me the right way of doing this a little while ago. Since the lesson of course I have consulted a DVD that Boris from AV Forums sent me and realised the error of our ways. What I and the others were doing wrong was not creating a slight angle when throwing your legs up to get the triangle as we were directly parallel with each other.
We finished up shortly afterwards and as there were only three of us left we had plenty of mats to put away.

The next day I decided to finally get someone other than my GP to look at my shoulder so I booked an appointment with a Chiropractor. I’ve not had good experiences with Chiropractors and Osteopaths in the past so when I called up to make the appointment I asked to speak directly to the Chiropractor to explain my injury and ask what they would be able to do. I liked what I heard on the phone and when I got to the practice about 30 minutes later I was not disappointed with the treatment as it involved not only joint manipulation but also a deep tissue massage and all the time she explained what she was doing and why. While I was there I thought I would see if I could get my long standing shoulder injury which I know is Rotator cuff related, looked at and also a stiff left knee. Surprisingly she gave me treatment for these as well and thinks that I would probably only require a couple more treatments before all is back to normal. If this is the case I will be very happy as I will be able to lift some proper weights again as for the last few years I have avoided direct shoulder presses, although I am still able to bench which works the front delts. Anyway if the treatment does work and I’m hopeful it will, I’ll put a link to their website on my blog which should give them at least a few more hits a year lol.

Busy weekend for me as the World Cup starts and UFC 115 is on Sunday at 3.00am on ESPN. All I can say is thank god for SKY+ as my days of staying up all night to watch fights like the Mike Tyson Vs Evander Holyfield fight ,where Tyson bit off half his ear, are long over.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Back from my Hols

There’s been a delay in writing this as I went on holiday the day after my last lesson and as my memory isn’t great I doubt I’ll remember everything I was taught but here goes anyway.

My shoulder still isn’t right since injuring it the other week so I told all concerned that I was going to take it easy and would sit out any randori. Inez took the lesson in Peter’s absence and after the warm up we went in to some light Newazi ,basically just going over various pins and transitioning between each pin whilst ensuring you have control of uke at all times. So we went from Keza-gatame into Kuzure-kesa-gatame into Mune-gatame into Kami-shiho-gatame into Yoko-shiho-gatame.

Inez then showed us some very good escapes from each pin but this is where my memory deserts me as I cannot remember how they were done. They are not the usual ones that you might find on the BJA website under the grading syllabus so they are probably a little more advanced but I’ll be sure to ask her to show me again in the next lesson.

Ryan the BJJ guy was back for his third lesson and he seems to be enjoying himself. I found out that his BJJ club has a class on the same evening as Judo so I was curious to know why he didn’t go. Apparently Thursday nights is no-Gi night at his club and his doesn’t like rolling without the Gi so he figured he would take up Judo. I had a quick roll with Ryan and tried to pull him straight in to my guard but he was quick to pass to half guard and after several attempts he finally got in to side control where he applied Mune-gatame. I managed to reverse him using the classic escape from Mune-gatame that I had learnt for my recent grading and then I got full mount but he reversed me almost immediately, at this point matte was called. I would really like to roll for a good 5-10 minutes with Ryan just to see how quickly he can submit me but we only ever get a couple of minutes at the most with each partner when we do Newaza which can be a little frustrating but this is Judo and not BJJ.

We then went on to practice some entries in to throws and Inez has a great way of breaking down a throw so that we can practice the movement without a partner. As we have done previously she gets us to visualise that we are throwing someone and practice the movements a dozen or so times for each side and for each throw before we partner up and do it for real. As I wasn’t to be thrown my partner (Oli) would hold back on dropping me to the mat but I was able to practice throwing him. The main throw we practiced was Tai-otoshi but I seem to be getting this throw down pretty good by the end of the evening. This throw is part of the Yellow belt syllabus so I will need to perfect it before I can even think about grading again. I will add the Yellow belt techniques to the side tab some point in the future but not until at least a couple more months have passed.

I spoke to Oli after the lesson and asked him if he fancied checking out Ryan’s club sometime and doing a bit of BJJ. He seemed keen so hopefully when my shoulder is fully healed we can pop down there. Another good technical lesson from Inez