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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Judo, Day Seventeen: Happy New Year

I came back to Judo after having had a forced week off, thanks to the New Year’s holiday. Fortunately, Sensei didn’t put us through our paces too badly, hopefully in deference to the damaging effects of various celebrations on my body (mostly in the form of weight gain).

The practice itself was a good one. I’m starting to feel more comfortable with the mechanics of my throws, particularly Ippon Seionage; I still can’t do it at speed, but that will just come with time in grade. At least I’m progressing.

We reviewed Sensei’s pinning sequence, which gave me a chance to work on some of the details of the various pins. I’m slowly feeling more comfortable with them, though I’ve rarely had the chance to try using them in a “live” scenario—mostly because I have trouble getting to those positions when rolling with other people. For some reason, I’ve had very little practice fighting to get top position on the ground, and I tend to have trouble getting to it. Especially since my ground experience more recently has been focused on a mixed martial arts style ground game, where I’m often looking to just hit the other guy (you play to your strengths, after all). Hopefully, we’ll keep working on it.

Did one randori with a yellow belt named John, which was one of the better randori I’ve ever had. John and I know both know each other from Sityodtong, and John does a really nice job of playing just hard enough to make me work, without going balls-out crazy. It’s a very nice way to play, and I felt like I learned something from it.

Looking forward to my first full year of Judo. It should be a wild ride.

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