A relatively small turn out last night, only 6 seniors including two instructors, but it turned out to be a very enjoyable session.
Black Belt Stuart took us threw a gentle warm up before going in to some O- Goshi Uchikomi. I was paired with Big Stuart and what we did was practice the entry to the throw 9 times before completing the throw on the 10th repetition. This was a great way to get a sweat on and really helped me with the technical aspects of what is an orange belt throw.
Following that Peter took over and had us work on Ko-uchi-gari, again breaking the throw down in to the entry before we completed the throw. Again this is an Orange belt throw so I feel like I am definitely slowly learning techniques from the Orange belt syllabus.
After a little while Peter then added O-uchi-gari to the Ko-uchi-gari. I was paired with Jamie by now so I would first attack him with Ko-uchi-gari and if he stepped back I would continue the attack with O-uchi-gari. As combinations go it’s a fairly simple one to pull off but nonetheless effective. Peter also slightly modified this attack so that after the initial Ko-uchi-gari instead of going straight for the O-uchi-gari you grab uki’s right leg first. This made the fall slightly harder for Uke but increased tori’s chances of getting an Ippon.
Peter then had Big Stuart and myself face off in Randori but after the 1 minute time limit Stuart would immediately fight Jamie and then Ryan before Ryan then fought everyone and so on until I did the same.
This effectively meant you were fighting for 4 minutes without a break against fresh opponents each minute. It doesn’t sound much but was a good workout.
There were too many throws to remember but the highlights for me were a Tani-otoshi against Big Stuart, an Osoto-otoshi & Sumi-gaeshi against Ryan and an O-uchi-gari and Osoto-otoshi against Jamie. I was particulary pleased with the Sumi-gaeshi that I threw Ryan with and both Peter and Stuart commented that I did well to even attempt it.
The Randori was definitely performed with a lot more aggression and was more akin to Shiai than the usual randori we perform in the club. This was probably largely due to the fact that everyone was watching and no one wanted to be thrown. I did abandon my usual attack attack attack philosophy for this very reason but I still made sure than I attacked more than I defended and was pleased that Big Stuart was the only person who managed to throw me.
What I did notice though was how stiff armed Jamie, the white belt was. I found it difficult to even get a grip on him as he was moving backwards the whole time. The only way I was able to throw him was to get quite physical and drag him off balance. The fact that he had stiff arms meant he was quite easy to off balance. We spoke briefly afterwards about how stiff armed he was and I commented that to the higher grades I still appear stiff armed and that with practice and confidence he will loosen up.
We finished up with some Newaza but it was quite light and we just went from hold to escape to hold. Peter showed us an escape from the guard into Yoko-shiho-gatame which was quite nice and yet again I notice this is an Orange belt technique.
At the end of the lesson Peter remarked that he was already starting our grading and would test us in the coming weeks and months until we had ticked off everything we needed for our next belts. Looking back at the techniques we learnt in the lesson I assume he was talking to me and probably also Ryan. When I get time I’ll post a link to all the Orange belt techniques I need to master.
As I said at the beginning of my post I really enjoyed tonight’s lesson despite my shoulder feeling worse than ever. I’m just a little gutted that I won’t be able to enter of the upcoming tournaments due to my Marathon commitments.