Peter and Graeme took the class tonight and present amongst the students were Big Stuart, Oli, Ryan and myself.
After a quick warm up Peter got us started with some Newaza. Graeme told us to start on all fours, side by side, as though a throw had been attempted and both of us had fallen to our knees. Graeme also said that he would make us re-start if no progress was made thus simulating shiai Newaza conditions.
My first roll was with Big Stuart and although I started off pretty well Stuart was eventually able to pass my guard and get kazure kesa gatame on me. Fortunately I was able to trap his leg and return to half guard before we both finally rolled off the matted area and at this point Graeme had already called matte. As I changed partners I realised that I hurt my neck and was finding it painful to turn my head either fully left or right and looking upwards was even more painful.
My next roll was with Oli and this time we started by both laying on our stomachs next to each other, again trying to simulate a position we might find ourselves in during shiai. When Graeme called hajime I was the first to rise and decided to pull guard. I held the material on his gi pants to control his legs and moved to side control where I attempted to get Mune-gatame. Oli was defending against this so I got the mount and then went for tate-shiho-gatame and at this point Oli bridged and turned me over and as I rolled onto my back I took his arm and went for a juji-gatame. Although initially this lock was on Oli managed to flip out of it and he then ended up in my guard and at this point Graeme called matte.
At some point in our roll I had briefly gotten Oli’s back and Oli commented after that I should have choked him with a collar choke. I have noticed in the past that when I get someone’s back I get confused as to what collar I should grab and in which direction I should pull it and this is something I am going to make a conscious effort to look at so I will be visiting youtube and looking through my various Judo books over the coming week.
For the benefit of Ryan, who will be grading shortly for his Yellow belt, Peter showed us Kami-shiho-gatame and we worked with our partners on holding and trying to escape.
Now on to Tachiwaza and Graeme took us through the details of Ippon- Seoi-nage. We first drilled kuzushi and then added the entry before we strung the whole thing together and started throwing one another. As I am the tallest person at the club this isn’t an ideal throw for me as I have to bend my legs quite a lot to get my hips bellow my opponent. But I was able to throw Oli, my uke, fairly comfortably.
Graeme then went on to show us a couple of set ups for this throw, for example attacking your opponents right leg with Ko-uchi-gari often results in them stepping backwards with their right leg to avoid the throw, thus leaving a nice bit of space for you to get under with Ippon-seoi-nage.
After we drilled this several times we got the crash mats out and Graeme showed us drop-seoi-nage which involved the thrower dropping on to two knees, so not for people with dodgy knees then.
I was again quite surprised that I was able to pull this throw off quite nicely, as we all took turns being the thrower and throwing the rest of students on to the crash mat.
Despite my neck injury, which 4 days later is feeling a lot better but still a little stiff, another very enjoyable lesson. As I mentioned above I am going to make a conscious effort to learn and drill some collar chokes and I want to be writing about how I submitted someone with a collar choke in the near future.