Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Sometimes, I surprise myself

I just got back from my practice, and I really had a good day in class. I went up against a black belt in Randori, and although I didn't throw him, I managed to get in a couple of good counters. He complimented me after class. It's really good to get compliments from your peers, especially when they are better than you.

I also managed to land a throw against another opponent that I had never even practiced before - O Uchi Gaeshi. Basically he tried to attack right O-Uchi-Gari, and I just stepped back got down on a knee and took him down for a solid Ippon. I have often opined on Judo forums that Kuzushi is the art of manifesting opportunity to use your Waza - this was a prime example.

It seems Ironic, but I feel more secure in my Judo at 30 than I did at 22. Maybe that is just more testimony to Judo truly being more about mind and less about muscles?


Yama Arashi

I generally consider Harai Goshi to be my Toqui Waza. It is one of the throws I execute best both in practice and Randori. But if Harai Goshi is my wife, then I guess you can call Yama Arashi my ocassional lover. It combines the hand power of Seoinage with the hip power and foot sweep of my beloved Harai.

Some people just look at it and chalk it off as Harai with a funky grip. But as someone who likes both, I can tell you that the grip makes all of the difference. Generally speaking, when you throw someone with Harai you will feel the pop and get them up in the air, and if you land it with the opponent in the right state of unbalance, he or she will definitely fall for an Ippon in your favor. However, when executed from a point of weakness it is hard to get the full force of the throw sometimes.

Enter Yama. With Yama, I actually feel my hands driving my Uke towards the mat with both speed and force! It's hard to get the thumb inside the same-side lapel grip, but if you do, you are definitely winning the match. It is probably the most powerful throw in my arsenal.

If you can't find it in a good book or website, here are the basic steps:


  1. From Hidari Shizentai, push uke so that s/he reacts by stepping forward, shifting his/her weight to the right foot.
  2. Release your right hand from Uke's left lapel, and proceed to turn into Uke as if throwing Harai Goshi
  3. Quickly Grab Uke's right lapel with your thumb inside his/her Gi Jacket and pull Uke onto your hip as in Harai Goshi.
  4. Throw uke with your hip while pulling down on Uke's gi and sweeping Uke's right leg with your right leg.
  5. Smile - you won the match :)

Welcome to my new blog

I have been blogging for a while on my own site - http://www.the-wolfs.com/blogcontent.shtml - and my blog has always included my comments on Judo and fitness. But I decided to break away my Judo comments and roll them into a separate blog. This way giving it it's own audience.

Hopefully, this will also link to other articles I've written about Judo, as well as some software that I hope to develop for Judo and other Martial Arts and Sports.

Your comments are always welcome!!!!


More on the title....

I've entitled this blog The Road to Shodan. My intent here is to use this as a journal to track the progress of my return to Judo and my quest to get 'good'. I know that some of you might know me from the Judo Forum Boards or might have read my article on the Judo Information Site, but for those that don't know me, here is some a bit of a quick bio and backgrounder:

I started playing Judo a little over a decade ago as a Freshman at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY. I played for about almost four years and competed semi-regularly with the team. When I left Poly in 98', I had achieved my Sankyu - the lowest level of Brown Belt (at least in this area. Different areas and countries use different colors for the belts below black, but in 99% of them, at least IKKYU, the grade one before black, is brown).

Unfortunately, I gave it up for about 6 and a half years. Over that period I watch my body grow horizontally as it were, and this summer I decided that I needed to get back into shape. I tried going to the Gym, but it didn't work. I finally had an epiphany that Judo was where I wanted to be. So I went back. It has helped me with my diet (I am just a hair under 200 lbs, from 225 in june, and 220 when I started the south beach diet in august). My goal is to get down to 190. by February - and that is when I plan to compete next.

As part of that process, I thought I would share some of my Judo thoughts with the world as I work towards a hard-earned Black Belt.

My goals:
- Practice Regularly and use Judo as my main form of excercise
- Acquire new skills and knowledge
- Get into it, so that when my sons (aged 2.5 and 9 months) get old enough, dear old dad will be able to play with them.

- Compete 3-5 times a year and possibly win a couple of tourneys
- oh... and maybe get a new belt when my Sensei thinks that I am ready :)

Monday, November 29, 2004

About the ads

It is hard not to notice the ads on my site. Not many people have ads on their blog, but I decided to put them there, and create a special 'Judo Kitty' for my site. This 'kitty' will hopefully garner me enough $$$ to cover a tournament entry or two. Maybe even a new Judogi?

So keep clicking on the links.