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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Judo, Day Three

Not terribly different than Judo day two.

Yes, I’m being facetious. But the truth of martial arts training is that you will spend a whole lot of time doing the same sorts of drills, techniques, concepts, etc from class to class. Different arts may explore different ideas, but no matter what you’re doing, you will repeat things. It’s just the nature of practice.

There were some things that were different, of course: one was that I was totally exhausted, having gotten up at 5:30 to do a private lesson, worked a full day, and then gone to Sityodtong to do a second private lesson before showing up for Judo practice. The net result of all of this was that my body felt like a train wreck (though not as much as it would by Sunday, when I had two days worth of sparring at Sityodtong added to my biological odometer), which made the warm ups seem a lot tougher than they did last time.

That’s another truth of martial arts practice: some days, you’re on, and some days, you’re not. You train regardless.

This session, we did add a couple of new things. One was a line drill, where the entire class lined up, and took turns either throwing, or being thrown. There seemed to be some sort of system whereby you determined what throw you were doing, but I couldn’t figure it out. I just copied Tim, figuring that he and I are roughly in the same place.

Then it was more falling practice, which was good.

Towards the end of class, Sensei, with the help of an injured yellow belt, took Tim, myself, and Adelise (a new female student) through a series of mat holds. It was interesting—some of them, like tate-shiho gatame, I recognize from my training in Brazilian Jujitsu (where the same position is known as the mount). Some of them I could recognize as being something that evolved into a position in Brazilian Jujitsu, like kata gatame, which seems like a predecessor to BJJ’s knee-on-stomach position. Some of them were totally foreign to me, like kuzure kesa-gatame. Tim and I both struggled a bit to remember the Japanese names for them. I think I had a slightly easier time of it, having studied a very little Japanese and being pseudo-familiar with the positions, but it’s a struggle.

And then we were done.

The only other notable event was that I discovered that one of my old Muay Thai students now trains at Tohoku. Which is ok, though it did throw me off a bit. One of my hopes in training a Tohoku was that I would get to be in a place where I could just be another student, not known as an instructor. Fortunately, if the word got passed around, no one much seems to care. Which is exactly what I wanted there.

Said student also gave me a couple of useful pointers, and offered to lend me some DVDs, and was generally a pretty helpful guy. So that was very nice.

I’m still exploring some of the similarities and differences in Muay Thai and Judo, but it’s a little tough right now. Judo is so new to me in some ways that I can’t find a good basis for comparison.

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