So I walked into practice last night (about 20 minutes late, as I needed to calm the baby down before leaving), and my Sensei's first question is 'so? how did you do? Where's my trophy?'. I will admit I was actually thinking of bringing the trophy with me, I decided against bringing it. I started to talk about everyone else's wins. 'No', said Sensei, 'I want to know about you.' When I told him I finished third he was pleased, but then I told him there were only three people in my division. He jokingly said that I was dragging his name down. But I explained that I knew that I played well but still have some work to do.
I jumped into practice, acting as uke for someone's Sankyu test. This kid is actually one of the people who is from Sensei's credit class (all of the 'club' classes are non-credit, but then matriculating students at the college can take his for credit class as well), and when he passed sensei mentioned how Judo took him from being skinny and weak and made him much stronger. I also discovered that he's picked up on Sankaku Jime pretty well.
I am supposed to take a test of my own soon, and I have only a few more days, and I am not sure I know everything that I need to. I am Okay with 99% of the standing techniques and combinations, but I am iffy on the Ne-Waza. Yes I know a lot of the standard fare, but Sensei has a lot of Entries and positions that each has to be demonstrated from, and I don't know them all. I've got a lot of practicing to do!
In Randori, I must have done 7-10 minutes each with 3 different opponents. Sensei was critiquing me very closely, and stopping me to point out flaws in my technique. I was dead tired midway through the second match, and wanted to give up, but he wouldn't let me, and even if I tried playing lighter he was pushing me. I finally bowed out 7 or 8 minutes into the 3rd round. But I felt great, and in retrospect it was one of the best Randori sessions I've had in a long time. One of the many things I like about Sensei Watanabe is that he knows just how and when to give me tough love. He knows just how much to push me to get me to improve without breaking me! This is why I love practicing with him.