Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A lot of work in a small amount of time

So continuing the rough spell of weeks starting with my vacation and culminating with the Jewish Holidays that make it virtually impossible for me to attend Judo classes for pretty much the entire month of November, I went today to ensure that I get my workout in. Sensei continued pushing me to improve my Ashi-Barai. And since there were an odd number of people in the class today, I spent most of the Uchikomi time working on it solo. I definitely think that I have improved significantly and so does he, but I still need a lot more practice. I am hoping to do a lot more solo practice in the next few weeks when I can't make it to class.

I also got a rare opportunity to work with a blind individual. While it might be hard for a blind person to take a striking art, there are plenty of sight-impaired and blind judoka out there. (Like Paraolympic Gold Medalist Scott Moore of Denver Judo). This guy was actually a perfect size match for me - a couple of inches taller and within 5 lbs - and his technique was excellent.

Finally, I was asked by someone for Randori advice, which I am reluctant to do. But it made me think - if he is asking, then clearly he values my opinion, and if I can give him a succinct, concrete answer that actually improves his judo, then maybe I am getting better at this without even realizing.

My advice to him was predicated on a common habit that many people (including me some times) have. When they win a strong grip, the fight to hold on to the grip, without ever thinking that a great time to attack is when your opponent is trying to break your grip and take his own.