I missed the last lesson of the year last Thursday due to unforeseen circumstances so I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a quick review of my Judo in 2011.
In January my training was dominated by my Marathon training. I was quite often tired and sore but I was obviously feeling very fit and this was reflected when I did Newaza and would still feel fresh at the end of it. I did however have to sacrifice by BJJ training due to lack of time and energy, which is a shame as really enjoy it.
Of course the biggest event of 2011, and in fact my life up till now, was the birth of my baby daughter Florence. Her birth did force me re-evaluate my Marathon training and as a consequence I decided it wasn’t fair on either my wife or myself to continue to spend hours a week pounding the streets especially when I could be spending that time looking after my daughter and giving my wife a brief reprieve. I therefore decided to pull out of the Marathon but at least I managed to run distances I never thought I would be capable of (13 miles) and I will certainly be back some time in the future to have another crack at it.
Coincidently the London Marathon was on the same day as the High Wycombe Newaza tournament, which I had entered the previous year winning a bronze in the process. So with no Marathon to contend with I decided to enter again. The tournament had definitely grown from the previous year and there were guys there from other grappling arts such as BJJ, Greco Roman and other Wrestling forms who were competing, making the tournament a lot more competitive. This made the bronze medal I managed to win all the more satisfying but it did make me think about the differences of Judo Newaza vs BJJ.
I managed to re-visit Westcroft Judo club for a Randori only night. Westcroft is where I had trained briefly a few years earlier before getting injured and giving it up so it was nice to pay them a visit. Since I last trained there they have moved to a permanent Dojo which I was very impressed with. The head instructor, Andy Ede, recognised me and made me feel very welcome and both myself and Oli had an excellent nights training.
I got my Orange belt in July, just before my club closed for the summer months. I had already decided to train at Yoshin Ryu Judo club for the summer but unfortunately a broken toe on the last day of July meant that I was only able to attend one lesson there. However I got a lot out of that one lesson and was impressed with the guys that train there and the facilities on offer and will attempt to take as many classes there as possible in 2012.
On one of my visits to Yoshin Ryu I got totally dominated in randori by a fellow orange belt. This had the effect of making me re-evaluate my Judo training as a whole although it subsequently turned out that this orange belt was someone who had trained as a junior and was now training four times a week as an adult, so maybe it was to be expected. This is one of the reasons I want to take some extra classes.
It also made me a bit less belt hungry as I would much rather be a good orange belt than a poor green belt.
Subsequently I didn’t hit my target of getting my green belt by Christmas but hopefully I will make some good progress next year and be ready to grade before the summer.
After the summer break Ryan didn’t return to the seniors due to sciatica and Mark was also absent for the whole year due to injury. With no other new seniors joining and other senior members missing for large chunks of the year this meant that the class size was sometimes as low as 4 seniors. I understand that there are plans in the new year to try and attract some new seniors in to the club and that would be very welcome.
I made a concerted effort to weigh below 90kg as I felt I would do better in tournaments as a heavy under 90kg rather than a light under 100kg. Following a gym assessment yesterday at my work, I can confirm that I now weigh 89.5kg and have 16% body fat, which is classed as excellent for my age. My resting pulse rate is also down to 58 so I’m getting fitter as well. However I’m not sure I like the leaner looking me. I like the lower body fat but I think I’m going to try and put on some extra muscle in 2012 and get back up to 95kg. If I can do that with compromising my body fat I will be very happy indeed.
The blog is averaging around 30 hits a day and currently has 8420 in total so someone must be reading it. An anonymous person took offence to my links to BJJ and took it upon themselves to send an email to my Judo club to complain. After reading my blog I then got the full backing of all my instructors at the club to continue with what I was writing.
So there you have it, a brief review of 2011. My goals for next year are to get my Green belt and compete again in the High Wycombe Newaza tournament and hopefully at least one other tournament. Also to try and train as much as possible at Yoshin Ryu (probably on a Monday).
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.