On arriving at the club I was informed by Stewart that all the techniques on the lesson planner tonight were from the blue belt syllabus which was very pleasing to hear, especially as there are still a number of techniques that I have never even practised before.
After a warm up, which paid particular attention to our legs, we were shown a “Roy Inman” special Soto-kibitsu-gaeshi. I found this a fairly easy throw to do when Ivan was Uke, due to him being a lot shorter than me, but less so when Meho, who is my own height, was Uke. This was due to the fact that you have to grab Ukes ankle and still control their upper body to push them over, which obviously requires long arms if Uke is very tall. Stewart commented that it was a technique that you hardly see anymore, probably due to the fact that leg attacks are illegal in Shiai, at least as direct attacks anyway. However I recognised it as a throw used in MMA and assume it’s a valid Wrestling takedown.
We then progressed on to Uki-waza, which we have practised before. Stewart told us to think of it as a forward facing Tani-otoshi, which when you look at the two throws makes perfect sense.
A quick couple of rounds of Newaza randori followed but despite getting Meho’s back I wasn’t able to submit him. Coincidentally the next technique was Koshi-jime, which if I had been shown ten minutes previously would have come in very handy. In Newaza I often myself attacking someone who has rolled over on to their stomach. I normally favour a Juji-gatame roll when attacking the turtle but sometimes I do attack the neck but struggle to get both hands in to finish it. With Koshi-jime you only need to get one hand on the collar, the rest of the choke is finished by adjusting your body position to get the leverage. When practising this with Oli we both found that the choke comes on almost immediately so it’s definitely something I’ll be adding to my Newaza repertoire.
Back to the Tachi-waza and Kata-guruma or the Fireman’s Carry, as referred to by Wrestlers, was the next throw we were shown. To ensure we kept a straight back throughout and also to get Uke used to being thrown, we first practised this from a kneeling position. After 5-10 minutes the crash mats were brought out and we each took turns throwing everyone else in the club on to the crash mats. I actually found that it was easier to keep my back straight whilst doing the full version, compared to the version we practised earlier on our knees.
The last throw we were shown this evening was Morote-gari or the double leg takedown as it is more commonly referred to in MMA. When I did this I kept on, wrongly, ending up between Uke’s legs instead of to the side of them. After studying the video of Fallon performing this throw I don’t think I was picking Uke up high enough, which makes dropping them to the side a lot easier. I was doing the initial leg grab and then just driving forward with my legs, which made it look more like a Rugby tackle.
It was an odd lesson tonight in that most of the throws, baring Uki-waza, are illegal in Shiai and randori unless they are counters or used as a continuation. To be honest, who would want to take the chance using these in competition as it would be easy for a referee to view these as direct attacks and disqualify you. However I think it’s important they are still taught as they are valid throws and, after all, Judo is not just about Shiai. Also, who’s to say they won’t be allowed back in Shiai sometime in the future.
So I’ve now covered most of the techniques from the blue belt syllabus with the exception of the following:
However Yoko-kata-guruma-otoshi is basically a kneeling version of Kata-guruma
Kata-uchi-ashi-dori is identical to Soto-kibitsu-gaeshi, except you perform the throw using the opposite hands/legs.
This just leaves Soto-ashi-dori-ouchi-gari as the one technique I need to practise before I could grade for blue belt. Of course I also need to swat up on all the names and terminologies and put together counters and combinations to a number of throws. It will be interesting to see if I can get all this done before the Christmas break but I’ll try my best.