I expected to do the same stuff as last week, and boy was I wrong. We worked on ne-waza(sp?), which is evidently Judo for "grappling". Instructor had the upper belts working on a thing that started from guard, where partner tries to straighten up a little, and you sort of control him with one foot on his hip and the other on his bicep. Then he had me work on three basic pins. Their names all ended in "katame" or "gatame". The first one was the side or scarf hold (kesa-something-kateme), which I'd seen before. The second was one where you are 90 degrees across partner's body (yoko-shi-something-katame). The third is where you are "north" of partner, coming down over his head and shoulders, lying on his chest and controlling his body.
Instructor did a great job managing the presence of different belt levels in class. This maybe is a skill that you don't appreciate if you haven't taught a martial arts class. He had one raw beginner in sweat pants and T-shirt (myself); one white belt in gi who was physically very strong and rough-&-tumble – he might be a LEO; three lower-belts; and 2 or 3 black belts (not counting the instructor). Instructor paired off the loose-cannon white belt with his biggest & strongest (and youngest) black belt. He let the 2 older black belts play with each other. The three lower belts partnered each other, but instructor peeled off one of them to partner me, and he would rotate them. So each lower belt spent about a third of class time stuck with me; but they got 2/3 of the practice time on the thing the rest of the class was working on, and they didn't miss a rotation – every time instructor showed something new, the guy stuck with me got a chance to rotate in on that and practice it too. Meanwhile I got an appropriate-skill level matchup and I constantly had a partner, and I worked my ass off. I admire how effortlessly the instructor ran this.
Instructor had me work on transitioning from one pin to the other. Once I had those, then he taught me one or two counters for the first one (scarf). I practiced those for a bit – you can escape out of scarf and put partner into it, then he escapes and puts you back in it, and basically flow back and forth on that until you're ready to hurl. Intructor later taught me a counter from the yoshi one, which I only somewhat remember. Never got to the third one.
Last 15 mins of class were spent on "randori". For me, that was working with one of my partners from a kneeling position, where one of us tries to pin the other, and if I get pinned I try to counter. The last 5 mins of class had me sitting in a corner like a wet noodle, panting, completely drenched in sweat, while my poor partner waited to rotate in with someone who had the stamina to continue.
I had no idea Judo had SO MUCH grappling in it. I knew that BJJ evolved out of Judo; and I've always been aware that there were chokes & strangles in Judo. But I didn't know there was so much on-the-ground stuff in Judo already, for BJJ to evolve from. That's exciting. I was primarily interested in the Judo to round out my karate, really get some depth and knowledge and practice to improve the throwing stuff we do. To also get some grappling out of this too, is kind of mind blowing. Getting even more bang-for-the-buck from this art than I anticipated.
This class destroyed me. Interestingly, it was not really my wind that gave out during class, when I had to stop and rest. My heart & lungs were hammering, but I felt good getting to that level of exertion. But my legs and arms and abs felt like they simply could not do another thing. Just nothing left in any of those muscles.
My abs were UNBELIEVABLY sore for the rest of the day, and even on into the night while I was trying to sleep. The upper abs, right under the floating ribs. Felt like I had broken a rib on each side. I have never had that area hurt so much in my life. Every movement hurt. Passed out for a 2-hour nap a little while after I got home: walked gingerly for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow is deadlift and ab wheel day: I am terrified.
But holy shit, what a tremendous class.
EDIT – Oh, I forgot to mention. I wore the skin off the side of my big toe, on both feet, right at the knuckle. I must have been scraping the side of my toes across the mat as I moved, left and right, to hold some of those pins. On both feet it looks like a blister popped. An odd thing to happen. No big deal, but a little irritating in shoes the next day.
Last edited by JimZipCode
on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman