Week Twenty-Nine was interesting; I was working on recovering from/healing up/fighting through a strange shoulder/back injury that cost me a lot of the strength in my right arm. I skipped a Tuesday practice, but went Thursday and did what I could.
Sensei Vittorio, who I had not seen in a couple of weeks (due to weird scheduling on both of our parts) asked me where I had been: when I explained that I had taken some time off for an injury, he said, “Always come. Even if you are injured, come work on technique. Do something. You don’t have to train hard all the time.”
While something like that shouldn’t necessarily surprise me, it did; in retrospect, I know that I had seen other advanced students beg out of the hardcore practice when injured, but I’m so used to us going hardcore all the time that it never occurred to me to do otherwise. Yes, this is the exact opposite from what I tell my students—but, do as I say, not as I do.
In any case, the practice was good, as I recall.
Last Sunday, I took a trip with Judo Mark up to a Judo/BJJ club in New Hampshire for a practice. It was interesting to get a feel for some different bodies and different ways of moving; I got a whole lot of matwork, and picked up an interesting technique for dealing with a highly technical guard game that I’ve never seen played in our club. I also got to drill Kata Guruma (Fireman’s Carry), which is amazingly neat throw that’s tough for me to actually pull off (more so when my arm is injured). It was a fun trip, though the drive made for a very long day, all told.
This week, which is week thirty, I made Judo both Tuesday and Thursday night. Tuesday night was fun, mostly because I got to be there for the promotion of Tim, Brandon, and Sloane to yellow belt. Not surprisingly, I got to be Tim’s uke (throwing dummy), which was fun. Not so fun was having to demonstrate a few throws myself, which permitted me to do Tai-Otoshi for the second time in my life (the first time being at MY yellow belt test). I suppose I ought to be formally taught the throw at some point, but not having been taught it yet, it’s a little frustrating to be asked to perform it.
That practice focused a great deal on throwing practice, which was nice, because it gave me the chance to work on my Ippon Seionage, and a couple of other throws as well.
Thursday’s class was more typical, reasonably intensive practice. My major observation from that was that, due to a combination of injury and allergies, my stamina is not quite where I’d like it to be. It isn’t awful by any stretch, but I wasn’t plowing through drills with same intensity as I was a month ago. With my arm healing up, I’m going to be refocusing on my condition (sadly, the allergies are unavoidable, and the usual medicine isn’t quite up to snuff, so to speak).