Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Adult Beginners' Course - second session

by Jon Cronshaw

Last night we attended the second session of the Judo Adult Beginners’ Course. We began by recapping what we had been over the week before including back rolling break-falls. After a warm-up we repeated the exercise from last week where a person is called up on the mat, you then sit on their back and drop backwards into a back rolling break-fall. I felt much more confident with this move than last week, and rolled through each time comfortably.

We went over the movement for the Osoto Otoshi. This is the move I wrote about last time where you step around the side of your opponent, put your leg behind theirs, and twist them down. We had learnt this move in our previous classes before starting the ABC, so I felt confident with this, and when I worked with different partners I could help keep them right (though I did get kicked in the shin and have my toe stood on a couple of times!). Once confident with this, we were shown how to take three steps while gripping your partner and then performing the move. This was quite challenging at first, mainly because I was over-thinking the motion. If I had just felt it rather than tried to rationalise the steps, I would have probably got it sooner.

We went over some basic groundwork including the theory behind pinning an opponent and how to perform a Kese-Gatame (scarf hold). I was paired with someone quite a bit shorter and lighter than me, and I was quite surprised at how effective the hold was. To perform the move, your partner lies on their back and you sit up into their armpits. You then have to take hold of the back of the collar and pull their arm into you. You then tuck your head down, which puts all of your weight across their chest and levers their arm so that they can’t sit up. One locked in, you have to move your legs so that your right leg is pointing out straight, parallel with your partner’s collar bone, and the left leg is bent as to provide extra leverage if needed.

Once we had the Kese-Gatame technique down it was time to link all we had learnt. We had to transition from the Osoto Otoshi into the Kese-Gatame in one fluid motion. I didn’t actually have time to do this, as by the time we had gone through the move for my partner, ‘Matte’ was called and the exercise was over.

Finally, we did some free-grappling exercises with a couple of different partners. This involved starting in a back-to-back position, before facing each other whilst kneeling, with the objective being to pin the other person. Firstly, I was against Colin, and we tried to take each other down, but to no avail – a dead heat. I was then partnered with someone else who tried to pull me down, but I pulled him down using the direction of his bodyweight and pinned him using the Kese-Gatame. After squirming for a few moments, and trying to escape the hold by using his legs, he submitted.

Overall, this was a fun session. I especially enjoyed the free-grappling at the end. This gave me the opportunity to put into practice the moves that I had learnt during the session, and get a feel of how to control and counter an opponent.

I spoke to the Chairman of the club briefly about what we had talked about the previous week regarding the Paralympics, and he advised me to work on my fitness and conditioning. He suggested going running, but with my eyesight I’m not confident with running. I think I will continue swimming, do squats and sit-ups, and build up stamina by doing more miles on my exercise bike.

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