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Friday, December 21, 2007

Judo, Days Fifteen and Sixteen

I made it to Judo twice this week, but the intervening day didn’t allow for a review of each session separately. In fairness, it may not be necessary. Tuesday’s session was very similar to last Tuesday’s, minus the extra sit-ups and the moving uchikomi. I continued to struggle with Ippon Seionage, though I managed to identify the major source of my difficulty; I don’t drop low enough after the turn, and end up leveraging more with my back than with my legs. Unfortunately, while I was able to identify the flaw, I wasn’t able to correct it.

Yesterday’s class seemed to bring us back into competition preparation mode. Apparently, there’s another tournament coming up in February. I have no idea if I’m expected to participate or not. I figure Sensei will tell me if I am.

We did some newaza drills, which was interesting. It’s been a while since I was on the mat, and I felt it. I mostly felt it when Vinny got me in a pin, and I started having a minor panic attack. I was doing better with that kind of pressure a couple of weeks ago, but it’s been a while since I had to deal with it, and apparently, it’s getting worse again. I really just need to work on this weekly if I’m going to see any kind of progress. Otherwise, I felt ok, though I’m still always a little confused about what I should and shouldn’t be going for when I’m rolling. I really just need to ask someone at some point.

Newaza was followed by a short conditioning circuit, and then some standing randori. That actually felt a bit better—I managed to koka one of the yellow belts during a koka drill (which permitted Vinny to come out and thump me...), and nearly hit a Seionage on someone. Actually, I didn’t really understand why I lost that exchange, but it was in the middle of a drill, so I really didn’t have time to ask.

Which, again, is one part of the pedagogy of this dojo that I have a tough time with. Explanations are infrequent, and occur at random times. On Tuesday, for example, I learned that you cannot hold the belt for more than three seconds. No one had ever told me that, and the guy I was sparring with told me that he had learned that when he was penalized during a competition. I’m ok with the former, but the latter seems a bit silly. There are several times during drills where someone has scored and I’m not really clear why. Obviously I can (and will have to) look up the rules myself, but it’s the sort of thing a coach should make clear to their students. Or so I believe.

But I’m still learning, and having fun, so I’ll keep on trucking. After the holidays, that is.

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