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Working the sleeve side.

Randori is the part of Judo training where we simulate competition and actually see how well our techniques work. Of course Randori in the same dojo with the same people has its pros and cons. For example, it is good because you know everyone's weaknesses and can take advantage of them, but it is bad because you don't see anything new unless someone else joins your club. I have been doing a lot of work using a left-handed grip against right-handed opponents. But since I have been doing this for a while, my partners have caught on, and will now nullify my advantage by playing lefty against me. As part of this style of play, I have generally worked the lapel side of the gi - meaning that my first hand grip goes on my Uke's lapel and then I wait for my opportunity before taking the sleeve-side grip. Of course this too is starting to get predictable.

So I am contemplating a new strategy, working the sleeve-side instead. While I know that I will have greater control to lead uke with a lapel grip, I think that there is a lot of potential opportunity for the sleeve side too. It will open me up to a lot of throws where the primary lifting action is sleeve side and/or the lapel pull is not used - three good examples - Koshi Guruma, Kata Guruma and Ippon Seoinage.

I think I will try em. Hopefully my uke's are not reading this :)

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