Saturday, October 19, 2013

Great Judo class this morning

     Yesterday was one of those days for Aikido when almost no one could show up, and this morning was one of those days for Judo when almost everyone showed up. I have actually run out of mat space so we've been doing circuit training, having one person throw everyone in class with a throw then rotate to the next person throwing everyone. Today we did Osoto gari with an emphasis on making a circle with the big toe of the sweeping leg. It makes the throw more like a smooth foot sweep than a huge reaping action. After that we worked on Ouchi gari but tried a way I saw Kyle Sloan do it starting with the normal, left-foot-moving, judo dance. You step on the same line like you are doing hiza guruma but your partner swings around and you catch their foot, again by making a circle with the big toe of your right leg, and it feels like kouchi gari done with the other foot. I really like this version and teaching it right after Osoto seems to make it click in my students' noggins. We did the deashi barai walk next, just catching our partner's foot and setting it down and I think that will be a staple part of class from now on. After the drills I had them pair up and one person pick a throw with their partner allowed to move around however they want (not just judo dancing, but side-stepping, moving in a circle, etc), to expose them to looking for timing in the chaos of normal movement.
   Then we moved to ground work. I had everyone get an exercise ball and try to move from mune to kesa and back to mune without falling off. After a few minutes I went over the bridge and roll escape and sit up escape from kesa gatame then had them drill holding someone in kesa and once the bottom person escaped, the person who lost control of kesa immediately bridge/roll their opponent back into kesa. Everyone seemed really impressed that if you lose control you can go with that momentum and use it to get back into a favorable position. I am really pleased to see people bringing their feet together and getting lighter and lighter on their feet. The class also has a feeling of no one trying to "beat" anyone else, and everyone working together towards getting better. It is just plain fun :) 

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