Monday, February 28, 2005

New experiences

So I went to the local dojo's training program last night and I had a realtively good experience with some unfortunate side effects. Originally it was scheduled for the JCC in a local Gym, but it didn't quite work out that way. Because of the scheduling conflict they moved it back to their dojo a few blocks away - but the Dojo was a bit on the small side (and I thought that my Dojo was small) nonetheless it was a serious workout. The Head Sensei is a former French olympian, and takes competition very seriously. (His very frayed French National Team gi hangs from the Dojo Rafters). But he doesn't take it too seriously and ensures that both the kids and the adults have fun in his dojo. His assistant is a lightweight guy - 60-66 kg - but faster than most of the Judoka I have ever played against. (He is going to compete in the NYAC against the lieks of former World Champ Arash Mirasmeili among others).

The warmups were intense and I can't remember the last time I did so many squats (150, + ~150 pushups and situps - i didn't do the full set, but came close). The adults were essentially two groups the 'masters' like 2-3 guys in their 40's and the 'seniors' me, the asistant sensei and another brown belt in his 20's. Being that I usually play guys in their 30's and 40's the young bucks gave me a run for my money. Also, Randori was harder, because I am not used to that type of game - fast and ready reflexes. Leo (the asistant sensei) was throwing me as fast as I could stand up, and even my venerable throws and counters weren't working.

For the first time, I also used a crash pad. For those who've never seen one, a crash pad is a very think foam pad (6-8" thick) used for Nage-Komi, throw practice. In my dojo we do our Nagekomi on the mats, and I have never used the crash pad before. My throws all sucked because I couldn't get my positioning right for the pad. I nearly hurt someone with a failed Kata Guruma.

In ne-waza I also went up against Leo (the asistant sensei, and he choked me out everytime (save one armbar). I also injured my hand fighting the triangle. (I hope it's playable,but I will know later).

I would definitely go there again, wife permitting, but I think I will need to get into better shape to keep up with the young bucks :).

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