Last week, I made it to Judo practice twice, which was good. Unfortunately, I pulled something in my back, which was bad, and made practicing the two throws I’ve been working very difficult. Ippon seionage proved particularly unpleasant, since it involves pulling a person over your own back. I got both classes, but I felt like I would have been more productive without the pain constantly in the background.
Thursday’s class was notable because it was the first class where Sensei didn’t separate out Tim and I for most of the class—he just had us work with everyone else, doing some basic groundwork flow drills, warm-ups, and so on. It wasn’t until the end, when everyone else was doing Randori (sparring) that he pulled us aside to work through several hundred repetitions of makikomi for Osoto-gari.
One of the odd things about that practice was that Sensei constantly insisted that I needed to be moving faster. His logic, as best as I could parse it from a rather terse explanation delivered in a thick Italian accent, was that to be able to do the throw at fighting speeds, you need to practice it at fighting speeds. While I appreciate his point, I’ve always found that I need to go slowly when learning a new skill, and gradually ramp up the speed as the skill becomes more comfortable. That’s how I’ve generally learned, and taught, in various martial arts through the years, and I’ve always found it worked well. But in Tohoku, Sensei is the boss—I’m not there to argue pedagogy.
In any case, it’s hard for me to evaluate the effectiveness of this teaching method, since I haven’t had the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned against someone who’s fighting back. So I’ll refrain from judging anything until I’ve had the opportunity to try it out in context. Who knows? I might even learn something.