So, the Southern Kyu and Dan Grade Cup 2008 has been and gone. This was hosted at K2, Crawley – a very impressive venue. It’s a shame I didn’t get to explore it all.
I was entered in the -90s Kyu category, although on arrival I was given the option of also entering the Masters. I just about qualify now I am 30! The disadvantage here is that the Masters was Kyu AND Dan! I entered anyway, as it was free, and I had the option of withdrawing later if I wanted to.
JP and family were in attendance, so I was not too lonely! He was particularly brave as they combined his category (-100) with the +100s – and there were some very big men there! Oh, and they were Dan grades too.
I had better luck with the category. I was one of four and a good mix of grades. 2nd Kyu, 3rd Kyu (me!), 4th Kyu and 8th Kyu.
So, on with the fights…
First was against the 2nd Kyu. Young (transitioned junior?). This was tough. Evenly managed and although I was constantly putting attacks in, primarily sacrifice oriented, I was not getting the scores I needed. His Newaza was very strong, and although several times I defended well eventually he passed my guard and caught me with a hold for Ippon.
After this I realised that my fitness was not all it should be. I was tiring quickly, hence my Judo became exceptionally defensive and I wasn’t creating movement, looking for dynamic opportunities and so on. Recent throws I have learned and loved such as Uchimata and Osoto Gari just were not featuring.
The second fight was against the 4th Kyu, also a younger guy. Exceptionally tough fight. Again, my stamina was rubbish, and although I was getting scores so was he! His gripping was excellent and several times he caught both my sleeves before I got any grip at all – very unnerving. This fight went the distance. With just 10 seconds left, the scores were level, and I managed a final score (Koka? Yuko? No idea). The buzzer went and I had won.
I was exhausted. Totally. I just about managed to bow, let alone celebrate the win. Did I mention I need to work on my stamina yet? 😉
The full five-minute fights were in use, and I’ve never had a grading or competition which used that length. JP was kind enough to make sure the table gave me the full five-minute rest period. I needed it!
Final fight was against the 8th Kyu, who was also an old guy like me. I could tell from the grip this would be okay, but I was still tired and to be honest I didn’t care any more about trying to do elegant Judo. I just wanted to win. Two sacrifices for Wazari each. Win in 16 seconds. The tiredness also meant I just did not capitalise on any Newaza advantage on the first throw. Stamina is so key.
Now, as my second fight had not been won out-right, there was still the risk I would be knocked into Bronze if the 4th Kyu won his final fight (againt the 2nd Kyu). The 2nd Kyu won though (by a fantastic strangle), so Silver was mine.
As I was so tired, and happy with my achievement, I withdrew from the Masters. Part of me wishes I had gone through with it, but I still ache today, so I think I made the right decision.
A great day, and I know what I need to work on (Stamina!). It let me down so much. Most of the stuff I routinely use in training just didn’t factor as a result…. On the positive note, I kept up the attacks (even if not as varied as I would have liked) and defended well. I didn’t receive any penalties from the day.