All posts by Tris

‘Tis the season to rock cheesily

Line 6 have released some cheesy seasonal backing tracks and tab combinations.

Unleash your holiday spirit playing along with these traditional tracks – free downloads of Auld Lang Syne, Greensleeves and Jingle Bells in country, blues and rock styles.

Also, although I have a PODxt and love it, if ever I am in the market for a portable unit for hotel rooms or similar, the Pocket POD would be fantastic! I’m particularly impressed that they have put a USB interface in there as well.

Strangle efficiency and more…

An informal session tonight, mainly due to the leisure centre playing host closing early in order for its staff to go party!

Newaza was the focus. The notes that I have taken away with me are as follows:

One of my favourite techniques when I’ve got my hooks in, and have managed to reach in for a strangle, is to roll. From here, and controlling the opponent’s position with my legs, execute the strangle (I like this position as even if a strangle fails, it is a strong position to transition into a hold from).

However, most times I have been unable to finish the strangle. As of tonight, I have managed to improve this significantly.

I was going for Kata Hajime but, stupidly, only using my right arm. While this certainly gets some leverage into the strangle, it just isn’t enough most of the time, and it can be blocked. As soon as I remembered to use my left arm to control Uke’s left arm (as in the link) everything magically worked. Key point: Use both arms to implement the strangle!

Also touched upon was Koshi Jime. This is the position I am normally in prior to establishing back control then rolling for the previous technique. However, if the planets align correctly, it is possible to execute a strangle from here. My flaw was when dropping my weight was to drop it down to the mat, instead of onto the opponent! So some pointers were received to make that work much better. Key point: Ensure weight is on opponent at all times.

In terms of passing the guard, a beautiful technique was shown to me. I’ll have to look for opportunities for it. I know these exist, as I have been suckered with this MANY a time (I strongly need to work on control in this area). Anyway, simple: Reach outside of Uke’s legs to close them, then you push your own weight on them and pass at leisure. Obviously not going to work once they have closed their guard in some form – it’s one to go for when your opponent is trying to draw you in.

Minor point on making Kami Shiho Gatame more effective: Ensure weight is bearing down on Uke’s chest/head area to immobilise. I tend to drop my hips and concentrate the weight there which is just not as good.

Some great learning in there!

Within the box

It was probably the last Boxercise circuit class today for this year (It is a work gym and I’m off work for Christmas shortly). People are certainly dropping out for the usual seasonal reasons: Only three people were there!

Anything which encourages movement as well as a work-out is definitely what I am after. It’s also semi-interval training-esque (60 seconds of work-out, then 10-15 seconds rest as you change partner, repeat!)

And this seems a great link for more information on the whole Tabata thing:

Tabata Intervals.

Thin Simplicity

I love the simplicity and honesty of this:

“There are just three rules and one exception:
No Snacks
No Sweets
No Seconds

Except (sometimes) on days that start with ‘S'”

The No S Diet.

I’ve not made the best start on this conditioning. Pizza, and that’s not a good combination with both Christmas and access to Judo restricted over the period.

That said, if I think back to when I first started getting fit, it was just before Christmas when I joined a gym and got started on all of this!

Winding up for Christmas

It’s that time of year when Judo winds down a bit. People stop training due to the temptation of mince pies, and clubs close until the New Year.

It was hard to leave the house now that the heating is back, but I went along last night to a club I rarely get the chance to visit.

It was a great session. Constant activity throughout, and a good combination of static and moving Uchikomi, fitness and Randori. I think it was the energising sort of session that I needed. There wasn’t any technique training, but you pick up a LOT by working with higher grades, and there were a fair number present.

It was very cool for there to be a genuine cage fighter present – Gary Turner. And he is probably one of the nicest, down to earth and helpful people I have met in the sport. I have recently switched to more Judo-oriented fitness training (such as Interval training and weight movements which mimic those of Judo), and he has a lot of experience and recommendations in this area.

In particular, I should be looking a little into Tabata.

My current aim is to focus on conditioning as opposed to strength (I am carrying too much useless weight right now). A loss of 10kg should fix it, nothing major. I rarely think to myself, “I did badly because I’m not strong enough”. It’s getting tired and technique that lets me down.

Working on these should also increase my speed, as I am too static sometimes.

Trapped in an airlock

It’s winter, and not the time you want your boiler to make exceptionally loud banging noises (to a scary degree) and then cut out. No heating. No hot water.

We’ve got a Worcester combi-boiler which is also about 15 years old. It’s a Highflow model. Now, I love combi-boilers in general. They are small and you don’t have a hot water tank taking up space.

However, this is also a major disadvantage if they die. No hot water tank = no immersion heater = COLD.

We have British Gas Homecare and the guy who came out was great. My own suspicion was that the system was airlocked but I did not know the full procedure of how to fix it. I was able to release the air from the pump, but that left plenty in the rest of the system, and how do you move the water round the system if the pump is failing?

You can see why the pump failing is bad: Water heats up, can’t escape, water turns to steam, cue banging noises and safety cut-outs.

Anyway, the bit I was missing out on (which the engineer showed me) was that the air problem was REALLY bad. The system pressure was down to a third of the level it should be. This also means that bleeding radiators to get the air out doesn’t work.

The fix? Introduce fresh water into the system (easily done – it’s pressured and there is a mains feed, just turn the tap). This brought up the pressure. Bleed pump again (fresh air pops out). Repeat until purge completed and pressure is back to normal.

Result? One working boiler, and I am actually warm again.

It’s annoying when you realise that the only thing you were missing was turning a little tap, but when it comes to devices which can effectively be bombs, you have to go professional!

The plumbing system here is about 15 years old, as stated, and it doesn’t look as if it has been serviced much during that time. The water was a filthy, sludgy black. I’m not sure how £700 or so pounds for a Powerflush from British Gas is worthwhile — for every page saying to get one, there is one saying it is a rip-off.

Still, Homecare has proven itself to us twice now… two visits, two repairs on the day.