This past Sunday was the last full training session that Dave and Mike will have before the nidan grading next Sunday. Mike’s injury is better, but not perfect. Both guys seem to be thinking too much about their techniques, kata, and so on.
Now that we’ve gone through all the requirements multiple times, such that some techniques are becoming muscle memory, we concentrated on small changes to make throws or breakfalls better.
After walking through the kata once and then doing the full kata, incorporating the throws, we discussed what seemed to be problem areas. We set up our improvised crash mats again to work on the those throws and resulting breakfalls - ura nage, uchi mata, harai goshi, sumi gaeshi, and kata guruma. Ura nage is the throw in which Mike was injured, so we wanted to ensure that there were no lingering problems. Dave also felt that he should be landing differently as he threw Mike, but we practiced many times and ended up doing the throw exactly the way we’d started. With uchi mata and harai goshi, Dave could do one side well. The other side had a crooked leg in both techniques, causing the uchi mata to look like hane goshi, while the harai goshi just didn’t work well. In both cases, hip placement was at issue and with minor changes moving in, the problems were corrected. With sumi gaeshi, Dave felt that he was falling to his side when this is a back sacrifice throw, so he threw himself a few times falling straight back and then threw Mike to ensure that he would retain that position with the uke. With kata guruma (as with tsurikomi goshi, and ippon seoi nage) we worked on Mike’s maintaining a super-straight body which would make the throw and breakfall look better.
We videotaped one run-through of the kata and then watched the tape to determine if there were anything we had missed. It looks better each time we tape. There are still minor problems, but since we don’t have our own dojo and cannot work on this every day, it’s going well.
After walking through the kata again, we went through ground techniques to give Mike a break. Basic judo throws and the shinmeisho no waza were next. There are three more partial sessions for the nidan grading training and then the weekend. JudoOntario is offering a technical seminar for grading participants on Saturday afternoon, which I think the guys will attend. The actual grading is on Sunday in a club about an hour from here. The last time Dave attended the gradings there (as uke for Chris’s shodan grading) there were four mat areas set up in order to do four gradings at once, two judges per grading. I’d love to be there to tape the grading for posterity, but there are no visitors.
January 13, 2009