Entries tagged as judo
Tuesday, August 17. 2010
Tuesday, August 3. 2010
Friday, February 22. 2008
I just got another parcel of Ventolin inhalers for controlling my athsma. For most of my adult life I’ve run about one of these a month, maybe every second month during a good run.
Turns out I had last got some in 2006. That’s three every year and a half.
Friday, April 28. 2006
Thursday, April 6. 2006
Or why I will never teach primary school.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting to Judo early enough that Alan has been calling me on the mat to help with the kids’ classes; not in any big way, just keeping them focused and correcting basic mistakes in their technique. With 2030 kids in the class it’s very much a case of the more, the merrier when it comes to instructors and assistants.
I discovered the pain of trying get the little bastards to pay attention to anythingme, sensei, the idea of taking turns practising their throws. So. Very. Tiring. And you can’t even call them little bastards, either. Their parents will sulk.
Still, for all the frustration of trying to keep them focused, it was satisfying to note that, when all the kids were called out to demonstrate the throws, my pair of boys did passable efforts for the two I’d been trying to drum into them, but barely knew what to do for the one I hadn’t helped them with; I like to pretend this means I was making a difference.
Wednesday, February 22. 2006
So it’s only a tiny little grading, but I’m still knackered after it. The run through of theory, ukemi (breakfalls), throws, holds, strangles, and arm bars was relatively straightforward, and I managed to avoid forgetting anything obvious (in that manner one can when being examined).
But the randori left me buggered. At the end of the class we had to pick a series of opponents and spar one after the other. I ended up with two green belts, two brown, and a black, and I was absolutely shattered by the end of it.
Big fat case of nerves beforehand for both of us; Mai had been sick or injured for three weeks preceeding the grading, and we’d spent the week practising in the evenings and weekends to make sure she was back up to speed; I have trouble with some of the Japanese (that would be proper) names for techniques.
I also had the self-inflicted pressure of having had a number of people (including a 6th Dan) suggest, over the last few months, that I shouldn’t be on a white belt. This just left me feeling like the only way I couldn’t pass is to do something abysmally stupid. Like forget the difference between o-goshi and seoi nage.
Sunday, January 29. 2006
One of the first things I aspired to in Judo was to use my legs.
When I started Judo, I went to Wellington Judo and Ju jitsu Association to train. While their frighteningly high injury rate (and the broken arm that, in part, resulted) persuaded me to look for a different dojo, they provided me with that aspiration via Brian, one of the two instructors there. Brian is about my height, a lot leaner, and is amazing on the ground; one of the things that makes him amazing is the fluid way he can use his legs.
Up until recently my legs were largely dead weight on the ground. While I use them just fine for driving from a kneeling position or to push someone away from a guard position, I made very little use of them beyond that: on the ground, I would be mostly focused on my arms. If an opponent could tie them up, I couldn’t effectively attack. But a couple of days after last week’s session I realised I’ve actually attained that goal: I use my legs.
Not terribly effectively most of the time, it must be said; I’m still a rank beginner, after all. But the important bit is that I’m trying to do things with them; while direct attacks with the legs (with a leg scissors to the body or neck, for example) aren’t allowed, you can legally augment a strangle (via sankaku, for example), hold and control, defend, augment arm bars, and the like. Some two handed techniques can be executed with one hand and one leg; essentially, it opens up an extra dimension on the ground if you think of using them. And that is the big difference in my ground work: I am thinking about to to attack, defend, and counter-attack with all four limbs.
Sunday, November 27. 2005
A couple of weeks ago I had a glorious first at judo: namely, getting a throw after a couple of attempts.
Normally I find throws a frustrating exercise; I have a hard time co-ordinating the major components (breaking my opponent’s balance, getting my grip, footwork, and body placement correct). This time I got shown a throw a couple of times, and had it working tolerably well after a couple of goes with my uke.
Tomoe-nage is my friend.
It’s a great feeling to have a throw snapping in correctly. It’s even better in the context I learned the throwthe class was working around the points of balance and each pair of us would practise and then demonstrate a throw the breaks balance backward, forward, and so on. For the diagonal throw everyone else did tai-otoshi; Jack, our visiting Dutch player, decided to teach me something a little different. So not only did I get to learn a new throw, but having got to grips with it, I got to show off to the class, because it’s a spectacular move when you’ve got a couple of heavyweights throwing each other across the dojo.
All in all it was a really uplifting moment in my judo. If I get to Jack’s skill levels I hope I can be as generous with my time with rank beginners has he is. I also hope he decides to stay in Wellingtonhe’s a hell of an asset to the Budokan.
(The quote, incidentally, is from Syd Hoare’s excellent book, The A-Z of Judo.)
After breaking my arm at the start of the year, I had an enforced layoff from judo of 8 months, give or take. In that time I decided to look for a new dojo, motivated not least by a concern that the one I had been attending seemed to have a bit of an issue with injuries.
Perhaps it was just me, but a couple of broken arms, some missing teeth, and some knackered ribs (spread across a few students, not just to me) within a period of a couple of months seemed excessive.
Moreover, I didn’t hear anything from anyone at the dojo, other than the guy who had broken my arm (who was suitably apologetic), which left me a little underwhelmed. The final push was that Maire simply didn’t want to do her judo there any more.
Looking around I decided to give the Mount Vic dojo a spin. So far it’s been a very, very good experience. One big plus has been that there are generally three or four instructors present every night we train, which helps get good quality instruction, and that Alan sensei has a good foccus on a positive attitude and avoiding injury while learning. Another plus for Mai is that there are a few other women attending, who don’t have the same hang ups about getting in close and working hard with a woman that many men do.
(A minus is that the teenage boys are so terrified of the women that they are rather ineffectual with them. Not the women themselves, but of the thought of, horror of horrors, a hand going somewhere it ought not.)
It’s working for me, too. While my standing work is still very ropey (as one might expect), I’m beginning to get the principle of kuzushi, although not usually at the same time as I have all the other ingrediants of a good throw in place (given ten practise throws, I’ll usually break uke’s balance a few times, have my grip right a few times, my feet right a few times, and rarely have more than a couple of these overlapping at the same time).
This week we’ve got a visiting sixth dan from the Netherlands who’s teaching a Wednesday night class of kata - starting with naga no kata for us more junior types, and more sophisticated kata for the senior players later on.
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