Skip to main content

Stamina, Spinning and the Single-Step Spring

I got on the scale this morning and was happy that it read 193! I am just over 25 lbs lighter than I was when I returned to Judo in August. My goal is to get the needle below the 190 mark, and I hope to get there before my next competition in Feb.

Although I can attribute my weight loss to my diet more so than I can to Judo, it is my regular Judo practice that has increased my stamina and overall well-being.

When I first started Judo, I had very little steam in Ne-Waza and lagged significantly behind in calesthenics. Say I was able to perform maybe 30% of the Calesthenics load in our warm-up and warm-down excercises. Now I am at 90% capacity (my goal is 110%, so that I don't feel winded by the workouts).

One of the places where I have seen significant improvement is in the spinning excercise. The spin excercise is a warm-down/stretching excercise, in which you start in a seated position, spin your legs around and behind your back until you are prone, and then continue around again until your are sitting up. In august, I bowed out of doing them, because I just couldn't. Then I started by completing just a handful of 30-50 spins, and poorly. Now I can do about 20-25 full spins with no problems (it's the last 5-10 that kill me) and at the tail end of each I will be sitting up about 315 degrees from where I started - only 45 degrees to go.


I also finally got to meet Mark one of my virtual friends from the Judo Forum. He returned to our Dojo after a 9-month absence, and he was my Uke for Uchikomi. Sensei urged him to do his Hane Goshi, which he remembered being really good. It was probably some of the very best technique I've ever seen for that throw. I of course, immediately tried it afterward and he and Sensei watched, and then critiqued.

I entered the throw with a two-step move, that is, from a right-handed grip, I stepped my left foot towards Uke and then planted my right foot before pivoting on the left to execute the throw.

They showed me a much more efficient way of doing this - skip the second step by turning and planting with the left foot and then pivoting into the throw. It was phenomenal. I now see Uchimata and Hane Goshi in a whole new light. I still, however, need a lot of practice, but now that the stage has been set, I will hopefully be able to put a new set of throws into my arsenal.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The one thing Putin Taught me about Judo... (kind of)

In the early days of this blog, I did some book reviews, including a review of a book written by the current Russian Premier - Vladimir Putin and co-authors Vasiliy Shestakov and Alexei Levitsky (you can read the review here). Although the book is out of print, you can find it on google books - here.

One of the things I really like about the book, is what he refers to as the 'Technical-Tactical Set' (you can see an example for Tai Otoshi on pp. 80-81). For each technique, he shows how to set it up as a sequence both to and from other throws. For example: turn your blocked Tai Otoshi into a Seoinage.

Granted, it's not earth shattering, but when I first saw it, it enabled me, (generally a visual learner) better understand how to follow-up one technique with another and, more importantly, that attacks aren't one off - there's no one swing of the bat, or taking a shot and waiting for a rebound - the attacks are continuous, and need to come in rapid succession.

On many …

Zabgreb GP Day 1 - Israel's strong showing, American Hardware, IJF's improved experience

I captured an interesting moment earlier today during the Zagreb Grand Prix. As I watching the matches streamed on YouTube, There were 3 Israeli women competing simultaneously - poor Shani Hershko (the Israeli women's national coach). The commentators on the broadcast also spoke a bit about the rise of the Israeli Judo team of late, especially the Women. Unfortunately, the Israeli Women's team today didn't perform as well as we would hope - they finished just off of the medal round with two 7th place finishes, and a 5th (with a further two women being knocked out early). The men's team finished a bit better with Tal Flicker and Baruch Shmailov taking Gold and Bronze, respectively, in the Men's -66kg.

Overall, Israel has been progressively improving it's Judo, and unlike in the past where they may have had one or two competitors who had a chance at World or Olympic hardware (think Oren Smada, Yael Arad, Arik Ze'evi), they now have a handful of people who ha…

Change of Scenery, Same Good Luck

Even with the current state where I can watch literally all of the Judo World Tour Events live on-line, actually watching them can still be a challenge - primarily because of the timing. Most of the events occur in Asia and Europe, so they're actually happening overnight here in the US.

Generally speaking, at least for the European Events, I can catch some matches in the morning while getting ready. I manage to catch this match above - Canada's Christa DeGuchi vs. reiging Olympic Champ Rafaela Silva of Brazil. While Silva ultimately wins the Match, I love DeGuchi's attack style and energy. She brings the fight to Silva and has her fighting defensively most of the match. Fighting Silva is not new to DeGuchi as she defeated the -57kg favorite back at the 2013 Tokyo GS to win the Bronze Medal. But then DeGuchi did something interesting - she switched countries - from Japan to Canada. (Her father is Canadian and her mother is Japanese).  Doing so meant having to sit out of Wo…