Graeme announced that we would concentrate mainly on Newaza tonight so after we were warmed up we got in to pairs for some Newaza randori with one of us starting on our backs and the other in our guard. First up was Ivan, who started on his back with me in his guard. I intended on trying the “stack pass” that Stewart had shown us before Christmas and although it wasn’t smooth going I did eventually manage to move in to side control where I pinned Ivan with Mune-gatame. After holding this position for five or so seconds I decided to move to tate-shiho-gatame and in the ensuing melee I managed to grab an arm and submit Ivan with Juji-gatame.
When it was my time to start on the bottom I got one butterfly hook in and turned Ivan over so I was in tate-shiho-gatame, I was then looking for Gyaku-juji-jime but couldn’t quite finish before Graeme called matte.
Next up was Oli and I started on the bottom first. Oli managed to escape to half guard and I was literally holding on, trying to work out a way to better my position when he allowed me the space to scoot out and flip him over so that I was in tate-shiho-gatame, which I held until Graeme called matte.
When we changed positions I found it very difficult to make any progress as Oli clamped his legs around my waist. He allowed me no room in which to get my arms in for the stack pass that I had used against Ivan earlier. I think this highlights the fact that I need to work on my guard passing.
Graeme went on to show us various sweeps from our back. The first was the one that I had used against Ivan earlier, i.e. pushing Uke’s leg back and getting a butterfly hook in on one side and then simply controlling the opposite side’s arm and flipping them over. We also did the one where you push both of Uke’s legs back, flattening them out and simply grabbing under their arm and turning them over.
We were then shown a nice choke from our backs which would be easier to explain if I could find a video of it but I’ll try anyway. With me on my back I take my left arm and encircle Uke’s right arm, grabbing their left collar with palm up by their neck. With my right arm I simply grab uke’s gi by their right shoulder and bingo, they tap. It’s one of those techniques that I have seen before but unless you drill them a lot you can never remember and pull off in Newaza randori. However I am going to try that every time I do Newaza now and see if I can add it to my list of techniques.
We were then stood up for some uchi-komi, I picked Tai-otoshi and we slowly progressed on to throw for throw randori, with no resisting the throws. This is a good way to get used to throwing on the move without the fear of being thrown yourself, which is especially good for the lower grades. Staying with the same partner we took turns attacking and defending, which made the throws slightly harder but again without the fear of being countered and thrown yourself. Finally we finished up with 3 rounds of randori. I managed to get an over the shoulder grip on Oli and executed a nice Tani-otoshi which I was particularly pleased with as I had been planning on using this throw before the class. I also had success with Tai-otoshi against Peter in my last randori session of the night.
I was really buzzing after the class, not because I performed excellent Judo, although it wasn’t bad, it was just one of those good training sessions with plenty of sparring that I like. The build up to randori, using uchi-komi, throw for throw and attack and defend made perfect sense and was well thought out. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the things have learnt tonight at Yoshin Ryu on Thursday.