Monday, January 03, 2005

Learning to Stand Up and Throw Tall

Yesterday in Randori, I was having a rough time getting a grip on my Uke, and he was playing very defensively. I finally got into position for Harai Goshi but it just wasn't working. So I pushed it a drop further and then turned it into Harai Makikomi (essentially these two are very similar, except that after the first one, the Tori - thrower - is standing after the throw, while in the latter, the Tori rolls towards the mat to get increased momentum and, if executed properly, winds up on top of the Uke with him being pinned down). A few moments later he was also playing stiff armed, and I went for a Sumi Gaeshi against him.

Both throws were marginally successful. I would say that at best, I would have gotten a half point for the Makikomi and less for the Gaeshi, but the technique, I was told, was pretty good. So my partner tried a Makikomi that was half decent but he partially landed on me - thankfully it wasn't that painful.

After witnessing this, our sensei urged everyone to focus on throws that leave you standing after the throw. I couldn't help but think he was addressing me specifically. Especially after him observing my mixed results with Uchimata and Hane Goshi in Uchikomi.

It's funny, but he has some of the senior brown belts (2nd and 1st KYU) practice a lot of Tsuri Komi Goshi - a throw who's hand motions and off-balancing are at lot like those of the aforementioned trio - Harai, Hane, and Uchimata. I am now starting to see why, and think that I will join them.

In a related note, I have been taking part in a heated debate about Drop Seoinage in the Judo Forum. There are a few Judo techniques that have a 'Drop' variation in which dropping to your knees or kneeling (and/or springing back up) are utilized to provide more momentum for your throw. Of course, these throws can sometimes be more dangerous.

In light of these two events, I think I will work harder on my two-legged techniques - and once I am confident in my control and technique, I will try to work on the more advanced stuff.

I guess it is safe to say that the road I walk on towards my shodan seems to get longer everytime I feel like I am getting somewhere.

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