Monday, October 17, 2005

Sometimes a good loss is better than a bad win...

I lost all 3 of my matches yesterday, which now makes me 0-4 in all matches since returning to Judo. While I didn't get the 'W' yesterday, I did feel that I played a lot better than i had in the previous tournament, and all of my dojomates and Senseis that saw my matches had a lot of helpful tips for me. I have to say that there were many bright spots in all of my matches. First of all, I played well in all of my matches, and I felt (as did others) that I had the upper hand in 2 of the 3. In those two matches, I lost by being countered, which was eventually going to happen considering that I didn't fully commit on my techniques, and started telegraphing the third or fourth time I tried each. Here is how it broke down:

Round 1: I played a guy of about equal height, and roughly equal age - it was a pretty fair matchup. I managed to dig in my grip right away, and he seemed to have trouble with the left handed grip. I tried a couple of Ouchi-Gari - Tai Otoshi/Ouchi-Uchimata combos, but I couldn't pull them off. (One of my Senseis later told me that it appeared as if I didn't fully commit, and if I did I would have had him since I had some Kuzushi and timed the throw properly - all in all both a good criticism as well as a good compliment). After hajime matte rounds of this, on the fourth round the guy decided to play me against the left grip, so he grabbed his right lapel with his left hand to prevent me from taking my grip. I still broke his grip and got mine and went in for the same combo. I gave a hard commitment for the Ouchi, and I thought I had him, but he reversed it into Ouchi-Gaeshi or maybe Ko Soto Gari for his own ippon

Round 2: I played this 16-year old kid with a purple belt. He was also pretty tall and went for the over the back grip. He had good control, but nonetheless, his throws all failed. I got a shido for playing defensive. So I turned on the offensive. I managed to get him down to the ground and tried choking him out of the turtle, but that didn't work. Another time, he got me on top and almost got Osaekomi, but I managed to roll out with his arm. Unfortunately I didn't act fast enough, because I almost had a sweet Waki-Gatame, but he was quick, and pulled his arm in, and the ref stood us up after me working the armbar for about 15 seconds. He finally threw me with Osoto Gari for Ippon.


Third Match: My third match was a volunteer match. I did it because if I won it would be "free points". Essentially, everyone gets to play twice. To go from 3rd degreee brown to second degree brown, you either need to win 2 in a row, or 5 total. Players play up in size from lowest to highest and when they reach the end, the round starts over. But kind of like the last frame in bowling, if the biggest guy has one win, and wants to play for his second straight win they won't match him up against the smallest guy, but rather match him up against a volunteer. So I played someone about 50 lbs heavier than me. He gave me quite a run for my money, and if I had been better able to pull him ito a throw, I might have one, but he reversed my tai otoshi with his own and threw me for ippon.


Granted, I lost all 3 matches, and that hurts, but my senseis and buddys have given me enough information about my playing habits and style that I see my luck is going to change. Now I just need to practice a lot more.


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