Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Duncan took the class last night and our warm up consisted of very light newaza randori. For Jadon and I this quickly descended in to a little more than “light” randori, so Duncan stopped us and reiterated the point that this was just a warm up so try and flow between positions and not use any strength.
There was a distinct lack of seniors tonight, just myself and Jadon present, but there was an abundance of cadets so we changed partners regularly. Following our Newaza warm up Duncan had us practice Tai-otoshi in to Juji-gatame. The point of this was moving seamlessly from tachiwaza to newaza, with no pause. In fact the technique could have been called Tai-otoshi-juji-gatame (a Roy Inman special) such was the emphasis of flowing from one technique to another.
This set the tone for the night as we practised other throws straight in to groundwork like O-uchi-gari, Harai-goshi and Morote-seoi-nage. First with little to no resistance from Uke and then, following the throw, full resistance.
When I was practising Morote-seoi-nage I was paired with Ynez, who is, shall we say, vertically challenged somewhat. This meant that I had to get even lower than normal to throw her. I was unable to perform even one throw properly on Ynez and even when I changed partners to someone approaching my own size I still was not able to throw them. This was in stark contrast to a lesson we had in June where I seemed to have gotten the hang of this throw. With the parents of the cadets looking on they must have wondered how the highest ranked kyu grade on the mat was not able to perform the throws that their Yellow and Orange belt sons were able to do so easily. I found this both frustrating and demoralising.
We finished off with some throw for throw randori, with the caveat that we use the throws we had been shown tonight, and we were told to follow in to groundwork but not to spend too long trying to get a pin or submission. Again the key here was that the throw and the groundwork were as one. I felt quite comfortable doing this but it’s hard to gauge my skill level when most people are half my size and strength. My Harai-goshi works great on the cadets but I could pick them up and throw them without any technique because they are so light. All of this has made me realise that I need to get 100% fit quickly so I can get myself back to Yoshin Ryu where I can test myself properly.
It was an excellent lesson tonight with plenty of throws and groundwork, however I’m left with mixed feelings. My inability to perform Morote-seoi-nage at all, following last week’s class where my Ippon-seoi-nage was almost as bad, has really dented my confidence. Graeme mentioned to me the other week that he expected me to grade for brown belt by the end of this year which would leave me one step away from black. At the moment I feel as far away from being a black belt as I ever have.
Thursday, 19 September 2013
Ippon Seoi-nage was on the menu tonight, with Ko-Uchi-gake-mata-maki-komi used in combination. The Seoi-nage was for the benefit of Andrew, who needs it to pass his yellow belt theory and the Ko-uchi-gake-mata-maki-komi was for Jadon and yours truly as it’s on the brown belt syllabus.
Now I’ve never been a fan of any Seoi-nage throw, mainly due to my height and the fact that presently there isn’t anyone near my height at the club. This means I have to get really low down, which at my age isn’t particularly easy. It’s the reason I have never really attempted this throw in randori and the reason I don’t give it much thought when doing uchi-komi. As I was partnered up with Duncan I knew that my sloppy seoi-nage was not going to work but it was as much about my poor kuzushi as it was about my inability to get low enough. I do feel that, at blue belt, I shouldn’t have so many things wrong with my technique. Sometimes it feels like I am a complete beginner who doesn’t deserve to be wearing a blue belt let alone to be looking towards grading for brown. If the class had ended straight afterwards I would have left feeling a bit depressed but Newaza and tachiwaza randori made me feel a lot better. There’s nothing like throwing someone with a Harai-goshi or submitting someone with a Juji-gatame roll to get your confidence back up again.
So with this annoying bicep injury keeping me away from doing any upper body weights I have been concentrating on doing squats, lunges and other horrible leg exercises in a bid to strengthen my legs, which should hopefully help when I have to bend down low for seoi-nages. One legged squats were particularly nasty. Hopefully the injury heels quickly as I do not want to miss any Judo whatsoever and, assuming it does, I need to pay Yoshin Ryu, Witley and Guildford Police Judo clubs a visit to get some extra sessions in.
Friday, 13 September 2013
The class finished with 4 rounds of Randori. Jadon and I had a really good scrap, with multiple throws for both us and not too much attention paid to grip fighting.
Against Andrew I was allowed to follow my throws in to groundwork which was good fun. I managed quite a few successful Harai-goshi’s, which was encouraging and was the perfect ending (Nose bleed aside) to a perfect Judo class.