Week in Adult Judo / 8-22-2009

Quick weekly highlights from adult Judo Classes at Checkmate Self Defense.   Please bear with me; I think it’s going to take a few posts to get the hang of writing comprehensible technique descriptions!  (Sometimes it’s easier on the mat, where I can just say “Here, let me feel this to you.” <g>)

Mobility during  randori

We drilled with continuous dynamic motion, moving only laterally, at angles or circularly (no direct forward or backward vectors.)  The idea for this exercise came from randori with Sensei Chestnut, and thinking about his Uchi-Mata setup.  {He is in no way responsible for me forgetting to turn the fans on Tuesday night. <g>)

A very nice Osoto-Gari to Seoi-Otoshi combination

This was one of Sensei Ricks contributions to a discussion about combinations from Osoto-Gari. It works from a positon frequently seen during randori and shia:  opponents are relatively bladed, each with a single  grip on the others near lapel. The opponents use the single arm to control distance while searching for a way to close the gap, get the second grip, and execute a technique.  Key points:

  • Opponent must give you a straight arm in order to get Sensei Ricks signature grip.  A quick tug or draw can be used to elicit that response if required.
  • The Osoto-Gari attack must be with 100% commitment.  If it works, job done.   The second technique uses off the opponents committed reaction to the Osoto-Gari.
  • The Osoto-Gari attack is the “classic” technique.  Head up, upright posture, hip to hip and chest to chest contact. Leg just sneaking through.
  • I can’t say this enough.  If you aren’t tight on the Osoto-Gari attack, with good shoulder control, or if your hips are back, this combination will not work!  In addition to the shoulder, you should be able to base his entire arm against your chest as enter into sweeping position. (easier shown than descibed… Just remember this key point once you’ve learned the technique.
  • If your opponent postures forward and successfully jams your Osoto-Gari, you are now in immediate danger of being countered with Osoto-Gari.
  • You immediately yield to his press, executing a Seoi-Otoshi variant, by turning, dropping and winding on the controled arm, continuing the wind until you are dropped in front of him, in almost a turtled position, having wound and rotated yourself through over 180 degrees.  (I found myself not following though, and finishing with a drop Seionage.  The correct rotation continues 90 degrees beyond that!

Continued  review and concentration on the four basic leg sweeps: Osoto-Gari, Kosoto-Gari, Ouchi-Gari and Kouchi-Gari

  • Concentration on key points of classic execution, typically resulting in air time for Uki.
  • Tori able to maintain balance and control throughout execution.  Able to finish head up, back strait, in control of Uki’s arm (and torso).
  • Key points of execution:
    • Solid and correct kuzuchi using bridge to use the entire body to off-balance Uki. (Unit Body Motion)
    • Head up during attack, hips under head, driving in (or around in the case of Kosoto) with the hips.
    • Solid chest to hip contact on all except Kosoto-Gari
    • The variant of Kosoto-Gari we practiced places Tori, at the transition to Kake,  in a slightly hips dropped position facing Uki from the side. Almost a slight Jigo-Hontai, but it’s a transitional position, since the rearmost foot will be sweeping before Tori “settles in”
  • These versions are very close to the technique Sensei Leigh teaches in Jujitsu classes.  The self defense application Sensei teaches emphasizes maintaining control and balance, as ending up on the ground is bad in a self defense situation, especially with multiple attackers.
  • A fairly typical Judo contest version of these techniques frequently ends up with both participants on the ground, or Tori “chasing” Uki across the mat.
  • The “classic” versions, brought by Professor Kano  into Judo directly from his study of Jujitsu, definitely seem better suited to self defense than some of the variants developed for shia!

Pat Cassidy

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