We had a bit of an O-soto masterclass this evening practising both Otoshi & Gari. Myself and Andrew were able to get in to a good rhythm, going throw for throw and getting plenty of reps in. We got the crash mats out for the O-soto-gari as this is a big throw. I was quite pleased that I got Andrew airborne and hitting the ground hard and flat on his back even when I did a left sided version. Graeme then showed us a slight variation on the O-soto-otoshi where, instead of planting your leg you pretend that your reaping leg has a roller skate attached to it so that when you reap, you reap all the way back along the floor and end up on top of your uke in Kesa-gatame. Again this throw has quite a heavy landing so we practised on the crash mats.
Normally when I do randori against the cadets (under 16’s) I take it very easy and allow them to throw me without resisting too much. Last night I was encouraged by Duncan and Graeme to attack more and refine my technique against them without using any strength. I managed a text book Okuri-ashi-barai , something that I don’t think I’ve ever had success with before in randori. I was fortunate in that my opponent allowed me to bounce them across the mat, moving from side to side before I swept their legs and made them horizontal. I did of course cushion their fall, as this can be quite a heavy throw, so much so that Graeme calls this the oomph throw, which is the noise Uke makes when hitting the mat and all the air leaves their lungs.
Another nice throw I was able to execute was a Sasae-tsurkomi-ashi. Normally when I throw people with this they sort of stumble to the floor but tonight my opponent went airborne and landed flat on their back. I’m really enjoying my Judo at the moment and feel like I’m making small adjustments to throws that I already know which are making them just that little bit more effective.