A good session tonight. More things are starting to click, and Randori feels like a natural flow.
I am getting more comfortable at not just playing left-handed, but also adjusting my grip to suit the throw, Uke and so on. In other words, adapting! The Grip Like A World Champion DVD has given me a few ideas, as has watching countless Judo match videos on the likes of YouTube. Essentially, I am starting to feel loose yet in control.
In particular, my Osoto Gari is feeling nice (long legs!). For other throws, I am working on gripping higher up the sleeve. This forces me to be closer to Uke, making throws such as Hiza Guruma easier. Having long limbs is great, but trying to force throws at a distance is not always a good thing.
A key point is that I am feeling more when the appropriate time for a throw is, as opposed to just trying a throw regardless and seeing what happens.
I have been working on a lapel-side Seoi Nage for a while (from a left-handed grip, performing the right-handed throw). It feels very nice. I have always enjoyed working on shoulder throws in technique work, but never felt comfortable with trying to slot them into Randori because of my height. This is a weak excuse. Recently, I have managed to execute this throw successfully in Randori — this helps my confidence a lot and makes me realise how far I have come! It’s particularly effective if a taller Uke goes for a high collar grip.
Another new throw, after watching Winston Gordon use it with some success, is Ko Soto Gake. As it is kind of a “hug” throw, it is good at forcing me to adopt close body contact. Remember that failing to get this contact has long been a personal bugbear of mine.
In my previous post I talked about working on the “baseball choke”. I had been rotating incorrectly so it would not work. I had a chance to work on this earlier in the week (including an entry working against the turtle). Anyway, in Newaza Randori tonight I managed to get it to work a couple of times when pulling guard… remembering to swivel my whole body around really makes it come on fast and hard!
It is a bit of a “sucker” technique as it relies on Uke falling for the “trick”. Something to break out every so often. I’m not sure if I would be confident enough to try it in a competition or grading yet though!