It’s was an interesting weekend for me on the martial arts front. Saturday at dojo dai san we had a plain clothes grappling and throws session scheduled and Sunday at dojo dai ichi while Sensei dai ichi was off watching UFC we were being instructed by a guest Sensei, not in Karate, but, instead, in Judo.
In the grappling session, after a fast paced warm up that got us puffing and panting (some more than others), we spent most of the time standing up or being thrown and standing back up which was more familiar territory (it isn’t uncommon for me to spend at least sometime on the ground in kumite, if I am not careful). Learning how to get someone into a choke effectively was useful as it is something I have seen but not been able to practice. The other thing I noticed was that it wasn’t necessarily a huge disadvantage being smaller and lighter than the others. I was also pleased that most of the guys didn’t take it easy on me which allowed me to get a realistic feeling of actually fighting for the upper hand.
In the judo session our warm up was mostly all about break falls, sprawls and rolls. I am always pleased to practice break falls as it is something I frequently need to employ – see above! 🙂 The rolls, however were quite difficult for me though because they made me super dizzy (like needing to hold on to something and feeling slightly nauseated when I got up kind of dizzy), so I think I need to re-habituate my vestibular system to that. Having practised falling, we then proceeded to spend most of our time on the floor without the need to actually break fall. We learned several holds / pins / arm bars etc and then moved onto rotational rounds of Randouri (free sparring) Judo style.
We started from a kneeling position and quickly progressed downward. We were even numbers but my small fry was a bit too little to participate in the sparring side of things. I got to roll with all the rest though which was an interesting (if quite exhausting) experience. You have to be pretty comfortable getting up close and personal with your training partners too, is all I can say (luckily I have no inhibitions about that….besides it seemed like everyone had showered 🙂 ). And unlike the previous day’s effort, I began to see that weight is definitely a factor to some degree; I had a much harder time getting out from under the guys and gaining the upper hand (or in some cases leg) than against the women. It’s a weird sensation having someone’s legs wrapped around your head and then trying to work out if you have wriggle room to get out of it. The one thing I noticed though, was that it felt significantly slower than kumite in striking arts like karate; it felt like there was a bit more time to think / plan things. Despite the fact that there aren’t too many feet / fists flying full speed toward your head I still managed to get a couple of decent knocks but nothing too serious…..the muscle soreness on the other hand from having used a completely different set of muscles…..well…..let’s say it’s something that in time will pass and yoga tonight helped a bit…. 🙂
Both sessions were fun and energetic.The sessions were different from each other and certainly different from what we “normally” do in class. Both sessions gave me some good and practical ideas and both sessions answered some questions I had been churning over for a while. Grappling is something I have been curious about since I started training and each time I have tried it I have enjoyed it. The standing grappling / chokes and take-downs seemed to have more practical applications. The floor based wrestling style was interesting but probably felt less practical to me (perhaps it may be useful in a rape scenario though). Possibly it was just a matter of being so different for me (more used to rolling with the punches rather than punching out the rolls), but I just kept wanting to get off the floor all the time which wasn’t necessarily to object of it at all. I think I would definitely give it another whirl though.