I was glad to see that Ryan was back tonight after a longish absence but again it was a poor turnout for the seniors. Graeme and Peter took the class and Graeme’s 15 year old son David, a brown belt, was also in attendance.
We warmed up with our partner by carrying them across the mat. First in a sort of fireman’s carry and then we took an O-goshi position, with uke on our back and walked across the mat.
On to the throws and Graeme said he would be showing us both Tani-otoshi (Valley Drop) and Yoko-otoshi (side drop)
As mentioned before I have had some success already with Tani-otoshi as it seems to suit the taller Judoka but I have not been shown this throw properly since I was first taught it at Westcroft Judo club many years ago. One of the things that I was doing wrong with this throw was that instead of planting my foot on the ground behind my Uke I was instead using it to try and sweep his leg, usually at the back of his knee. Although you can still be successful with the throw doing it this way it ends up being very similar to kani basami or Scissor throw, which is illegal in Judo competition and can therefore get you disqualified.
After Ryan and I had practiced this throw many times, Graeme then went on to show us Yoko-otoshi, which is very similar to Tano-otoshi but instead of getting round the back of Uke you merely go to the side.
Graeme and his son David left shortly after this which meant Peter took over the class. Peter said he was going to show us some elbow locks and proceeded to show us Ude-garami, Ude-gatame and finally waki-gatame.
Then with time quickly running out we finished with some Randori. As there were only 3 of us we would each take turns having two fights together for two minutes each. It doesn’t sound much but after a couple of rounds we were all breathing a little heavy.
I was first up against Ryan and continuing my philosophy of attacking Judo I went straight in for a Tai-otoshi but Ryan, having learned today’s lesson well countered with Tani-otoshi and proceeded to drop me accordingly. Peter also allowed the fight to continue on the ground, unless the throw was an Ippon or unless there was a stalemate on the ground. Following Ryan’s successful Tani-otoshi I managed to regain guard and was actively looking for a san-gaku-jime when Peter called time and made us stand again. This time I was a bit more hesitant to attack Ryan as he was clearly going to counter my Tai-otoshi all day long with Tani-otoshi. Ryan then attacked me and low and behold I threw him with Tani-otoshi. Ryan got guard and Peter called time whilst I was trying to pass his guard.
I got a rest now as Ryan and Oli battled it out but I was soon back in there, this time against Oli.
Now this is where the rest of the evening was a bit hazy but I do know that I was able to throw Oli for Ippon with O-uchi-gari. I was particularly pleased with this throw as I really drove forward, after I hooked his leg, until he eventually fell backwards.
I then managed to throw Ryan with O-uchi-gari and another throw in combination with something else but I have no idea what this was, only that Oli commented on it afterwards saying that he was impressed with my set up. Peter called matte shortly after this and we warmed down with the usual putting away of the mats.
Ryan and I were buzzing after our session tonight as we both really enjoy randori, both tachiwaza and newaza, especially in the format we trained in tonight. Hopefully with both of us moving up the gradings there will be more of these type of sessions in the future.
Overall I was pleased with my Randori tonight and was also impressed with Ryan’s standup especially considering he hadn’t been for a few weeks. I guess the real test will be when I go back to Westcroft in the summer for one of their Randori only nights.