On arriving at the Dojo I noticed that Peter wasn’t present. He usually sits watching the junior class, which is taken by Graeme, Big Stuart and recently Graeme’s son David, who is also a Brown belt. With Peter absent and still no Oli and a number of other seniors who have yet to make an appearance this year, this meant there were only three seniors. Now long term this is not good for the club or my personal development, but short term this meant that I was to get what was essentially a private lesson with two brown belts.
Graeme asked me if I wanted to go over my green belt syllabus, which of course I did and he then asked me if there was anything specifically that I wanted to look at. This was an easy decision for me as I feel I need some extra practice with all the throws.
We then proceeded to go over all the following throws from the Green belt syllabus:
· Uchi-mata: I got this one pretty much right first time of trying. I think it’s a throw that suits my build and is one that I think I will keep trying in randori
· Morote-eri-seoi-nage: Graeme showed me two ways of gripping for this throw. The first was two hands on the same lapel, which felt comfortable enough but I never felt like I had much power in it. However when I tried the second way of gripping, a hand on each lapel the throw felt a lot stronger. I must remember this when I am called upon to do this for my grading.
· Okuri-ashi-barai : I need to improve my timing with this foot sweep but Stuart pointed out that I need to get used to pushing my opponent down and then pulling them, bouncing them if you like. This makes the actual foot sweep part of this throw a lot easier to perform.
· Harai-goshi: I must remember that this is a hip throw and need to think O-goshi but with right leg blocking uke’s escape route. This is the throw that appears to have gained favour with a lot of UFC fighters at the moment.
· Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi : Graeme helped explain the arm movement for this throw which is pull up and behind you whilst turning your head in the same direction.
· Hiza-guruma: This was similar to Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi but my blocking leg needs to be kept straight and blocks uke’s knee and also my arm movements are wheel like.
· Hane-goshi : This is, I’m sure, the first time I have tried this throw. I found it very similar to Harai-goshi but I got the hang of this throw once I got used to springing in with my hips against uke’s
I actually feel pretty good now about grading for green belt as I think tonight’s lesson really helped me improve each throw. I’m pretty confident in the groundwork part of the grading, especially as it’s mostly variations of Juji-gatame so I have nothing to fear other than learning all the English translations for everything, which I will no doubt be getting my Wife to assist with over the coming weeks.
I’ve also decided to enter a competition on the 19th February in Redhill, which is quite local to me. Its open to Blue belts and below, so it’s likely I’ll be up against higher grades but I guess I’ve got to start somewhere.