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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

13 October 2008

13/10/2008 - Judo

Class #5

Warwick Judo (Judo), Iain Cunningham, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK - 13/10/2008

Back to the Cryfield Sports Pavilion tonight, though this time my girlfriend agreed to come along. Very cool, and hopefully she'll find she likes the sport, but will take a while to see if it appeals to her. I lent her my Blitz judo gi, which fittingly enough is the one I bought from Warwick Judo back in 2005. I've recently bought a new judo gi, from Black Eagle, which was getting its first try tonight. It seems to have shrunk down ok (though the belt is still rather too long), after a half-hour stint in the spin-drier, but I'd also managed to stain a few chunks vaguely pink, due to the red hoody I was washing at the same time. Meh.

The session this Monday was only an hour, as on the second Monday of the month, there is another group who eat up the last thirty minutes of judo's allotted time. Things started off as before, with a bit of stretching followed by a load of breakfalling, after which the class was split into two. Those who had trained for a little while went with Iain, while newcomers (there were quite a few who popped in slightly later) were gathered up the other end of the mats by Adam.

My girlfriend and I joined that group, presumably because not only were we new, but none of the newcomers were wearing a gi. That was unfortunate for my gf in one respect, as people assumed she knew what she was doing: this was her first lesson, so most definitely the wrong impression on their part!

While I had done BJJ and a teeny amount of judo before, I made sure that my own partner didn't get the wrong idea, steering him towards Adam when he had technical questions. That was useful for me too, of course: for example, on the ippon seionage (the one where you punch up under their arm), Adam explained that the reason you grip using your arm rather than drive up with your shoulder is that the latter leaves you open for a choke.

There was also some handy instruction about the three steps to any judo throw, though I can only remember the one I've heard before, kuzushi (breaking balance, like where you step to their side whilst pushing their collar towards their head and pulling their arm down). The last one was execution, but can't remember what came in the middle. Again, will have to go have a look on JudoInfo.

I also found I'm still having trouble sweeping the leg properly on the osoto gari, which is something I've messed up ever since we did something similar way back in Zhuan Shu Kuan (I think for the black tag grading, which involved throws, but I never bothered going for: however, acted as partner for Paddy when he was practicing, which is how I ended up doing the throw). I need to make sure I'm whacking my leg into their calf muscle, keeping it straight and swinging straight through. At the moment, I'm tending to hook it instead, which kills the momentum and messes up the throw.

As I was in the absolute beginner group, there wasn't any randori this time, which was probably no bad thing, as that meant my girlfriend could ease into the class. She liked learning new techniques, with the three throws we were shown (the big hip throw, o goshi, the trip, osoto gari (which I keep thinking is tai otoshi, but that's something else), and that arm throw, ippon seionage), but hated breakfalling. Hopefully its something she'll be able to get used to so it becomes instinctual: we've got mats at home, so I can help her practice here, presuming she fancies making judo a regular thing.

Salsa tomorrow, which should be fun. I'm especially looking forward to the socialising, which unfortunately has been difficult at judo so far. Their socials all appear to be on the Wednesday, which is when I'm in London at BJJ, so can't make it. Hopefully they'll do a social on Saturday some time, but salsa shouldn't be a problem: they apparently go drinking straight after the session on Tuesday night. :D


  1. I think it's great that you and your gf are trying each other's interests. I hope she gives judo a good chance, and salsa is a lot of fun.

  2. Thanks - I hope so too! :D

    Either way, we've both now tried something we wouldn't otherwise attempted. I've enjoyed the salsa so far, which is great: didn't think I'd get a chance to go dancing with my gf when we found ballroom was on a day we couldn't make, so salsa has been a pleasant surprise.