Knowing that my schedule over the next two weeks will limit my Judo time, I decided to take in a night class. My dojo is probably one of the few in the NYC area to offer classes 6 days a week (daytime classes on M,W,F and Sat., Evening Classes M,T,W,Th,Fr) the dojo has so many members and so many classes that it is not uncommon for a daytime person to show up at night (or vice versa) and be asked if he or she is a new student.
But I decided to give it a try. The pace was a bit different tonight and the sensei who ran tonight's practice is someone who really knows how to motivate me. While my usual practices are a nice mix of Uchikomi, Ne-Waza, and Randori, the sensei suggested that since the next major tournament is 5 weeks away, that we begin warming up. About 90-95% of the class was Randori. We started with 1-minute matches (I must have had about 8-10 matches in a 15 minute span). Later we had about 30-40 minutes of Ne-waza Randori and then another 30 minutes of 3-minute Randori matches with follow-through to Ne-waza. The other 5% of the time we were doing speed uchikomi.
To be perfectly honest I was dead tired. I know that I am out of shape, and I definitely had very little sleep last night, but the Sensei kept on pushing me. And somehow I found the strength and courage to keep going. Even if I eventually lost a step or two at the end, I kept going a persevered to the point where some of my techniques began to hit, or came close.
I feel as if evey limb in my body is about to fall off, but it is the greatest feeling in the world. As we were changing in the locker room on the way out, I thanked him for helping me realize two things tonight:
- I have more Sen then I ever imagine, I just need to keep pulling it out of its shell
- As much as I know, as much as I've improved and as much as I've learned, I have so much more to learn before I can even begin to learn Judo
The Sensei smiled and told me he was glad that I realized it, and that I have enough potential to do well so long as I continue to work at it. He also noticed my gut and told me that I need to get rid of it.
I think if I can convince my wife I will try coming Tuesday nights more often.