Thursday, July 31, 2008

30 Days to the Fall Classic

So it's about 30 days left to the Fall Classic and Ladder Tournament. I'm going to be helping running tables and assorted errands. I'm excited to go see a really cool tournament. At the same time, there's about a half dozen people in my club getting ready for it. So, practices have stepped up a notch.

Standard Class. Bert/Grant/Jake showed some more juji rolls. The same ones we covered and getting the technique down a bit better. I know it's probably the seventh time he showed it to us; however it's really good to see it and practice it over again. It's the little things in a juji that makes it work. I'm finally getting a bit better and getting the hang of it.

We had some people come back. 2 black belts. One was Phil and he used to train at San Jose State back in the 80's. And there's another guy that just came back too. Forgot where he trained. I rolled around with both of them. It was good, picked up a few techniques. I tend to post a lot and leave my arm exposed, so it's prone to an armbar.

So we had about 5 rounds of newaza randori. Phil, Black Belt Bald Guy, Purple Belt Guy, Bert and Fiona. Then we had 7 rounds of standing randori. Jake, Black Belt Guy with Hair, Andy, Aaron, Kurt (2x). I sat out for 2 rounds for lack of mat space and partners (luckily, do need to catch my breath sometimes). Total of 14 rounds, of which did 12 rounds of randori.

After practice about half dozen people did the dojo shuttle runs. I was beat tired and sat this one out. I just had this general feeling of soreness of all over. I think I did tweak my neck a bit during newaza, as the purple belt guy was more torquing my neck than choking me. Chokes are fine, and should defend them. The thing is I have a really thick neck, and anyways, hardly really tap for them, unless they have me good. I did tap quickly though once there was more torque in the hadaka jime than pressure on my carotid artery. In fact he never got a choke per say, so it was more of a neck crank. He never did get his arm around my neck and was more so on the chin and the face. I just need to learn to defend it more so. He just probably didn't realize as he was about 50 lbs. lighter than me. Regardless, I tapped quickly.

Besides this is randori and in randori there's a certain give or take. Mind you not much, but you have to keep in mind mutual benefit and welfare. I want to always make it to the next practice or next tournament. The same thing goes for my opponent, I watch out for his/her health as well. We push each other for sure, but you do get a feel for your opponent and adjust accordingly. I'd say I give it about 80%-90%. Even at 100%, it's just not sustainable. You can only have 100% burst energy for fairly short periods of time, such as the 5 seconds to set-up and execute a throw or pin. Subs are more thought out, and I'm very careful of technique for subs, just because things can just go wrong. Choking is fine. Armbars just have a point of no return, where there is no recovery and you tap out then. I've tapped out before due to a neck crank in a tournament. It's cool, I know he was applying a choke and just the way my body was positioned it was more pressure on my neck than a choke. Tournament is 100% effort no doubt, and everyone gives it their all. Thats what you expect, and I'll feel cheated if my opponent didn't give me his 100%.

At the same time, I'm not a Professional Fighter. I have to be able to walk the next day. I do this for fun. And honestly it all comes down to having fun. If not fun, why do it at all. I like randori and the occasional tournament. Tournaments are just brutal and I have to pick and choose my tournaments as it usually takes me about 2-3 days after to get back to normal. My very first judo tournament I was so filled with bruises. Thankfully my friends wife who is a physical therapist worked on me afterwards for an hour. (Thank you Kimmi!) And was so tired, luckily my friend drove me to and from the tournament and I crashed on his couch afterwards. It was at this point after she saw me that Kimmi asked her husband not to ever get into judo.

The thing is about a tournament, there is just a simpleness too it. A moment of truth. Where the only thing you think about is the present. In that 5 minute match, you don't worry about your unpaid bills, dirty laundry, shopping list or what's on TV that night. You just concentrate on the now. There's something so basic that is in a match, that connects to your soul and makes you feel alive. And that's why I do judo.

Some old judo photos I found in my hard drive...

These are from the 2007 Continental Crown. I took these pictures. Guy in blue is in my club, I don't know who is in white.

This sequence of photos are the only ones that came out of the 500+ pictures I took at the Crown. It's really hard to capture a series of moves that result in a dramatic sub or throw, it just happens so fast. This one, I was lucky.

Anyways, please feel free to add a comment on the photos or techniques themselves. Granted it's easy to armchair quarterback, but it's good to see good offense techniques against a sprawl that results in a good sub. By the way, Guy in Blue recovered just fine. This was my first time I saw someone go black out from a choke. I've felt the impending black out before, but tapped out before then. This choke got applied so quickly and tightly that he didn't have a chance to tap.

Quick Run and Hike

Just wanted to break up the monotony of working out so wanted to do something a bit different. Met Jen (running partner) at the running track at 8:15. Amazingly enough, she was there and not running late. However, I was running wicked late. I was supposed to be there at 8:00. I'm still overcoming a stomach flu and I had to run to the bathroom at exactly 8:00. Then freshen up and meet at the track. I hate stomach flus or whatever they call it. Usually they are about 48-72 hours and after that, you're usually on your normally scheduled routine. I'd love to get back on schedule. And I think I should be back. I'm feeling much better now. I don't have much in my system as I think I'm pretty much cleaned up by now...

OK, moving on... Jen just finished 1 mile on the track. I stretched and joined her for 3/4 of a mile till she got to mile 2. I wasn't quite warmed up just yet and not feeling it. Slow runs are cool, however I need something to jar the system up and running. I stopped, stretched briefly and decided to do 50 yard shuttle runs. She went and continued on for another mile. I did 3 sets of 200 yard shuttle runs. That was lots of fun. I was gassed at the end. It's so much fun sprinting. There is just something about running fast and accelerating that is so primal and pure. It was a good workout and I walked back home in a sweat. For a 20 minute workout, that was just great!

Later on that afternoon, met up with a few friends to hike McClellan Butte. McClellan Butte is an awesome day hike. With only 3 hours before sunset, the hike had to be abbreviated, at least for me. The others ascended to the summit (9.8 Miles, 3,700 feet up) and back in 4 hours. I took it a bit easy, trying to break in my boots. Luckily there were 2 others that were in my group going at a slower pace. We did about 5 Miles Round Trip, with about 1800-2000 feet elevation gain. It was a good workout. Just fun. Didn't try to get a burnout, just taking it easy. I just have less than 5 miles on my boots prior, so added another 5 miles to it. So now my boots has 10 miles. I think the boots will be quite comfortable around 50 miles. I just got these boots 2 weeks ago. Uggh. I hate spending 180 bucks for boots, but I'll get good mileage out of them. That if my feet get messed up, it will seriously affect all other aspects of my life.

It was a great social hike and got to know a few more people. It was quite fun. Sometimes you just need to see the world around you. This was what this hike was all about.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chipped Front Tooth

Guess it was bound to happen. Funny thing is that I actually have several mouthpieces, and well I never wear them, mainly because of laziness. It's also in my boxing/muay thai bag which I don't go to anymore. It's not in my gi bag. I always wear it at boxing/muay thai practice, well because getting clocked in the head will leave contents inside said head slightly ajar. Come on, this is the "Gentle Way" you know? Well, above is a picture. It's not as bad as I thought. At least from far away I still have my pearly teeth. I just feel the inside of my right front tooth is slightly chipped with my tongue.

Speaking of Gi bags. The amount of medical items in your gi bag is pretty much proportional to the amount of training you do. When I first started training, I had no medical items. Then I got Ibuprofen. Medical tape. Self adhering ace bandages. Ankle brace. More medical tape. (Different Sizes) Hydrogen Peroxide. Nail Clippers. Roll of toilet paper. (Okay I'm cheap. Roll of toilet paper does wonders)

Note to self. Transfer mouthpiece from boxing bag to judo bag. Seriously, it's been 8 months since I last trained in boxing

Oh tonight's practice was just a workout. Warmups. Uchikomi. 50 throws. Then about an hour worth of 3 minute rounds randori. Here were my partners: Jake 2x, Lydia, Kurt 2x, Aaron 2x, Ferdinand, Jujutsu guy (forgot his name) and Andy. Did 1 round uchikomi with Grant, 2 rounds uchikomi with Andy. Sat down and watched a few rounds. So 10 3-minute rounds of randori, 3 3-minute rounds of uchikomi, and a couple of rounds sitting out.

I tend to grip fight a lot. Too much in fact, that I may get a shido. I changed a bit to be a bit more on the attack. And actually let my opponent get a grip albeit briefly so I can get mine and be on the attack. At one point I was getting silly with preventing a grip, that yeah that would've been a shido. So grip, attack, attack, attack.

I need to transition more. I need to feel the kuzushi. If there is already an offsetting balance, adapt my throw to the offset. Not move the body to fit my throw, just go with it. I know, this is one of the principles of judo, and I still yet to learn. My mind is still set in patterns, and not looking at opportunities. I tend to have this mindset. I seriously need a paradigm shift.

But seriously my arsenal is fairly limited, and this is what I use 90% of the time. Here it is:

1. Seio
2. Harai
3. O Soto
4. Kouchi
5. Tomo Nage
6. Kata Guruma

I know other throws such as uchimata, ogoshi, tai toshi, or sasae surikomi gosh. Once in awhile I'll try a makikomi. But pretty much those six throws are the ones I know and can execute, sometimes, when the moon is full and Venus is rising on the horizon.

I tend to favor my left side more. Later on the night as I was getting tired, I was a lot "looser." I need to do that and attack. So much easier said than done.

I like the inside grip. I fight for it. It's much easier to get the inside grip on the left side and go for a left side throw. I'm beginning to develop my left side, and I don't know, feel more comfortable there at the moment.

Uchikomi was good. There were some timing things I need to work on such as deashi harai. I chipped my tooth when we were doing our 50 throw things. I worked a lot on my kata guruma, which I feel comfortable with. I also like leg picks, although with a lot of wrestlers in the club, they can see leg picks from a mile away.

So after 10 3-minute rounds of randori. I was tired. Seriously.

Then, the post workout dojo shuttle runs. We did 3 4-minute shuttle runs.

The dojo is about 25 yards long. So run 25 yards, back and forth. After every 2nd lap you alternate doing burpies, pushups, or jump overs. The jump overs are you jump over your partners back who is on all 4's. After you jump over, you crawl underneath. Then jump over again. Do this 10x taking turns.

I was gassed after the 3rd iteration. 4 minutes is a long time. Total of 12 minutes.

It was a good workout. I'm drinking a beer and I just heated up some Rosemary chicken and basil soup. Yummy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Enter the Dragon...

Yeah, catchy isn't it.

Attention Please.

Now that I've got your attention. Just wanted to let you know about today's practice. It was a great workout today. Usually we do power pyramids, timing techniques, 1-2-3-4 drills or flying race pieces.

Well today was one big grueling endurance workout. It felt great. We almost paddled all the way across Lake Washington. Bellevue was getting bigger, and I'm sure we would've almost have gotten there. On the way out, we worked for a full 10 minutes coupled with frequent Power Pyramids. I think there was a full 4 cycle of 70%, 80%, 90%, 100%, then 10 Power Strokes, then back down again. It was good. I know; for some 10 minutes might not seem a long time, but it is. 10 Minutes is VERY LONG. The usual Dragon Boat Heat is at most a 3 minute match. It's a 500m sprint.

We then did some a quick race piece. We then worked on our first 2 strokes, to get the boat moving. We improved quite a bit after working on it. Practiced a couple of six sixteens, then switched sides. Same thing on the left side. (I practiced right side first) We also added some timing drills. This really improved my reach, as I can set up a nice clean entry. My left side is much stronger, and I can rotate more. I feel that I use my whole body more on the left side. That is, there's actually a leg drive, an oblique crunch and a whole upper body workout. I really think that because I'm right handed, and that my right side is much stronger, that I don't depend on my legs/abs as much on the right side. The left side, being a tad weaker actually forces me to use my whole body; hence the strength in my left side stroke.

I felt good and sore afterwards. My shoulders, back, arms, and a bit on my obliques. A good sore feeling for a great workout.

I like it as it will translate into better conditioning.

To really understand dragon boating, check out this video.

Anyways, there's an event in September that I'm psyched to go to. It's going to be a great race. I really feel that my conditioning has improved greatly. There were times at other Dragon Boat practices where I'll be totally gassed and would have to stop and not paddle. It's really tough to do that, as you increase the work for your team-mates. It's good as my team-mates push me to go harder.

Any day on the water is a better day in the gym. :) I'm never much into treadmills and machines. Sure, I can go to the weight room or do a machine workout, but I push myself harder paddling or a good randori workout.

I still need to see the gaps in my workout and fill those in. Looking forward to tomorrows judo workout. Wednesday, I've got sprints scheduled at the track, and then a nice easy hike later on that afternoon. Thursday I've got more judo. Don't know yet what the weekend will bring. It's Seafair this weekend. Part of me wants to see it; the other part of me wants to get away from the maddening crowd.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Night Jujutsu

Sunday Night. Got to practice a bit late, and they were working on some basic throws. Warmed up, and got onto the mat for some standing techniques. Seattle Jujutsu is basically grappling, it's a cool chill gym, and the people there have many diverse backgrounds. Aaron has Jujutsu, Judo, Sombo and Mongolian Folk Wrestling. Vince the other black belt has Judo and Sombo background. A lot of the stuff, terminology is the same, so it's cool, although there's a different twist or outlook to techniques which is more of a Russian style to the game.

I did an example of a harai goshi and it was very orthodox Japanese. Aaron showed me a variation of harai goshi which was more Russian Like. I can't quite explain it as much without botching the technique.

Then we went onto a new variation of seio and kata guruma. These are from the clinch grip and involves more of a sacrifice throw with seio and kata guruma. It seems similar to seio. Here is a video clip.

You have to commit to these. It's quick and you have good control, and it takes you straight into newaza, with a position ready for a juji or a kesa gatame, depending on how you land. These two throws were my highlight and it's a new grip that I like, especially those who try to stiff arm.

I really like these types of moves and one that I'll try at Budokan on Tuesday. I really like Seattle Jujutsu as it's rather chill and very similar to Budokan. The other techniques we worked on was getting a tighter juji. The thing is knees tight and the butt as close to the shoulders as possible. Control the shoulder as well as the elbow. It was good to see it from a different perspective.

We also covered a heel hook and practiced that a couple of times. There was also a calf crusher. I don't really remember it much, as I only practiced it a couple of times. The thing is with leg stuff, I'm very careful as I'm very inexperienced with leg entanglement techniques.

Then we did 5 rounds of newaza randori. Vince, Aaron, Ned, Steph, and Pete. It was cool just doing randori with new people and it was more of a feeling out, getting positioning and the like. Overall the people were cool and it's about learning and pushing each other. The good thing that I like is control. A lot of people had good control, so I can trust them when they do a juji and the like.

Anyways, a good workout tonight. I'll try to workout here on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Soo, easy workout day... Tennis and Sun.

Sunshine. Check.
Nice Cool day. Check.

So Jen and I hit a few volleys back and forth at the Tennis Court. It was fun. Nothing too exhausting. It was just fun to bat the yellow ball back and forth over the net.

I've got a hiking trip set up to Soda Peaks this weekend. So I'm sure I'll be expending energy there... AND.. I can't wait for Sunday's Jujutsu's practice.

Right now, I B.S. more than I do martial arts, but sometimes you got to smell the roses you know? I'm not a Shaolin monk nor an Olympic hopeful. I just want to get fit, and get better. "Mutual Benefit and Welfare" something like that. I'm just excited, and perhaps a few days break would actually be good for me, as I'll be roaring to go.

Next week, I have a feeling it's going to be a bruiser; or I can feel it coming... Schedule so far is:

Sunday 7-9PM - Jujutsu
Monday 6:30-8PM - Dragon Boat
Tuesday 8PM-9:30PM Judo
Wednesday 7-9PM -Planned hike of 9 Miles + 3500' elevation gain
Thursday 8PM-9:30 - Judo
Friday Off
Saturday - Dragon Boat? Hiking? Mountain Biking? (No Plans as of yet)

And back to Sunday again, although the next Wed would be planned for Jujutsu.

I still have to cram a strength and perhaps a cardio workout somewhere in between; that and some burnouts.

I have been very good to sticking with my workouts. Save for this Birthday Party Thursday which skipped my judo practice. Oh well. I do miss the dojo and I really feel the difference, mainly not having the dull ache on Friday Morning that a Thursday night beatdown gets ya.

I'm thinking of going for a swim later on this afternoon at the pool. Probably do a couple of laps or so and then soak in the hot tub. Yeah it's been lazy, but hey if you're going to be lazy, at least do it in style.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unused Gi Bag and Fatty Birthday Cake.

Wow. As soon as I wrote that Tuesday/Thursday were sacrosanct judo nights, I was wrong. I had my judo bag in my truck. Left at 6 PM. CRAWLED through Seattle traffic to get to Steve's Birthday party by 6:30. That's not to be. From 6PM to 6:30 PM was stuck in traffic at the I-90/I-5 merge to go underneath the Convention Center. For such a modern city, there is only effectively 2 lanes of I-5 northbound through Seattle Proper. I-90 terminates at I-5, West Seattle Bridge ends at I-5, and city traffic gets routed through I-5. It narrows down to 2 lanes. READ THAT 2 LANES in the heart of the city and then expands again. 2 LANES!

I digress, I CRAWLED through traffic. I got to Bothell at 7:30. Normally it takes about 30 or so minutes to get there. Basically my plan was show up 6:30, do a meet and greet, bail at 7:15 and head to practice. There's no such thing as showing up rather fast, do a meet and greet and bail at 7:30. I was already late. Meet and greet, took 30 minutes and before you knew it, it was already 8:10. The bow-ins would be already done, and the warm up started. If I left now, I'd make it around 8:45. Which would be utterly useless, since effectively I missed half the practice already.

Regardless, Birthday Boy showed up only a couple of minutes before me, so even if I left then, I was already late.

So with that aside, I went and popped open a beer. Got to meet up with some folks. It was Michelle's last night before flying back to Australia, so it was really cool to get together again and talk to her before she flew out.

The party was cool. Missing practice was not.

I really don't know how real judo players do it. I have a hard time fitting in regular life and judo.

Bah, what was even worse, was the fact that people at the party were asking about my judo, and well.. I can't say much since I'm not at practice.

So for now, my gi bag has been sitting in the back of my truck for 2 days now, begging to be used.

Oh well. Tomorrow, I got a tennis workout scheduled and this weekend I've got a hike to Soda Peaks. When I get back on Sunday, I'll be headed to Seattle Jujutsu for some mat time. Then Tuesday/Thursday would be back on regular schedule.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ne-Waza Supplement and it's a small, small world...

So Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty much sacrosanct. Those are my judo days and pretty much revolves around those two days. Mondays has become my only Dragon Boating day during the week. This leaves, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays for other things.

I was going to supplement Wednesdays with dragon boating, but there's not enough room on the other teams' boat at times, and the eventuality is that it's going to get COLD in Lake Washington in a few months. So Dragon Boating is out. Running is boring, biking may be okay, although I'd like to go mountain biking, and finding a riding partner is just a pain. Friday/Saturday/Sunday, I would like to leave open for weekend summer trips.

Fast forward to the point, as I've digressed way too much. I've been shopping around for grappling/BJJ schools that fit a Wednesday/Sunday afternoon schedule. This will supplement my weakness in newaza and give me a chance to see judo from a different perspective. I've checked out the Marcelo BJJ School on Aurora Ave. That was a cool school, however it's just wicked expensive. $140 month unless you get the $100 direct deduction, which seems to be the going rate at most BJJ schools. The Rodrigo Lopes School at Tully's is cool. I've taken a class and he gives good instruction; again, it's $100 bucks a month, with direct deposit encouraged. The Ring Sports United School is great as well. I've taken no-gi submission grappling courses there, and it's taught by Joel Burris who is a Black Belt BJJ and has done some grappling internationally. RSU is a cool school and at $100 bucks a month you get BJJ, Wrestling, MMA training, Muay Thai and Western Boxing. The facilities are cool and I trained there for about 4 months. The bad thing is it's on the Eastside and with Gas at 4.20 a gallon, it costs me around 10 bucks for every practice I go to, plus the cost of the gym.

So, I ran across Seattle Jujutsu club from the forum. Also after talking to the Senior Stankovich, who studied Jujutsu, it's also a good thing to learn. Bert from my dojo has practiced jujutsu as well. I guess all these sports are really inter-related.

I had a long talk with Mr. Aaron Fields by phone from the Seattle Jujutsu club and I like his philosophy. He believes in training and good practice. He was gracious enough to let me watch a class. He was on watch, so he couldn't be there, so I got to meet Matt, his senior student. Matt looked familiar for some reason and couldn't really place it. The class continued on, and Matt would stop by to see if I had any questions. During one of the breaks, we talked about judo competitions. And he competed in the Continental Crown a few years ago, as well as I. I had a match with him! Anyways, he brings out a dojo calendar to April 2009 and sure enough, there's Matt in his white gi and myself in my blue gi at the Continental Crown. Granted it wasn't the most flattering picture, as I was getting thrown. Regardless it was cool to come to a dojo that has a picture of you in their calendar! (I'll post a picture here once I can get a copy and permission to post the picture)

Small Small World.

So, going back to Judo/Jujutsu/Sombo/Mongolian Folk Wrestling. That's what the experience of the school has and has a lot of influence from the Eastern Block. It's cool as everything was very familiar. Everyone uses same judo terms as well as wrestling terms as well.

So here's the class. And this is a bit unusual as Aaron wasn't there, so it was an open mat practice.

1. Warm Ups
2. Uchikomis
3. Practice Throws on crash pad
4. 18 - 2 minute rounds of Standing randori
5. 18 - 2 minute rounds of Newaza randori

It was just amazing to see 36 rounds of randori, with the only real break was in between standing and newaza. It was a grinder. It made me tired just watching it. (I was just watching it) Usually my club has 12 - 3 minute rounds. 6 down/6 up which I usually end up skipping 2-4 rounds due to being odd man out or just simply gassed.

So now, I think I've found something to do on Sunday at 7PM and Wednesday at 7PM. Matt (the senior student) told me to bring my gi next time. So we'll see how it goes this Sunday.

Ah, so no workout today. Thought I was going to roll a bit tonight, but it was good. I'm sore from last night and good to take a day off (I guess). I did eat two crappy unhealthy but oh so delicious meals. One was rice with sweet and sour pork! YUMMY and second was a huge burrito which I couldn't finish. Can you say Flatus!?

Next Wednesday, however, I was invited to a long hike. I'm not really so sure, yet. I'd really like to do jujutsu or judo, but we'll see.

Off to a good night's sleep.


Last night at Judo Practice, Ginger, because of her Red Hair/Freckles, see South Park Episode Season 9, 11th episode. (She even refers to herself as such) I'll also refer to her as the Bionic Woman. She's really cool and for the life of me, I can't remember her real name. And her real name doesn't really matter. She is just one amazing gal. She showed up to judo practice last night and excused her absence.

Now I sometimes miss judo practice because I'm sometimes lazy. Pure and simple. She missed practice because of cancer. Yep. She got some tumor removed from her calf and excused her absence because of cancer, and finally her stitches are disappearing. Thing is she only missed 4 practices (2 weeks worth) and she got herself to judo practice as soon as she was able to do so.

If I had cancer, I'd milk it for all it's worth and probably feel sorry for myself and not do anything. Just seeing her in practice is cool, and not only that she trains hard. She's the wind beneath my wings. Amazing.

I also find it inspirational that my sensei travels from the next county to practice and coach. He lives in Everett and takes the bus to and fro practice. Mind you the bus stop is 10 blocks away and only comes every hour. So we end practice at 10PM or so, and he walks and takes the 11 O'clock bus back to Everett. I never knew this, and only last night he needed a ride since we closed down dojo later than usual as after practice a half dozen people were still doing circuits. There's also people from Lakewood, Tacoma, Snohomish County, the East Side that practice here regularly. It's quite the commute.

I like my dojo, since we have a fairly international flavor. Random folks stop on by and later on, I'd learn that some of them were champions at one time or another. The thing is, you'd never know it. There is an air of simplicity and humbleness that prevails. It's also cool as I get to see folks from Zenyu, Ippon, Emerald City, UW, Snohomish judo clubs practice stop by Budokan all the time. We've had random people from Brazil, Germany, Japan, Denmark, England, Italy, Hungary, Russia, Morocco and San Francisco (yeah it's a different country. ;) come by the dojo to practice and hang out.

Anyways, the point is that people come far and overcome hurdles to get to practice. I simply have to get off my ass and drive 10 minutes to the ID to practice.

So, yeah, next time I think that I can't make it to practice, I can just reread this post and really have no real excuses.

Danish Guest Instructor at the Dojo

First of all, I'd like to say that I'm wicked horrible with names. I associate visual memories to people and can remember them if I've met them before. However, I suck at remembering names. Mainly because growing up, people will get nicknames, and well, they just stick. I've been called many names including, lunchbox, saladong, ice, stihl, flippy, dunlap, waldo, fat-ass, boink, china-man, little fatty and robocop. I'm sure there are others, but those are the ones that I can remember. In fact some of them stick and don't stick. I'll digress for a moment. I was at my friend Skippy's party talking to his girlfriend. She asked me, "How long do you know Tim?" And I said, "Who the *#$! is Tim?" She said, "Tim, the guy I've been dating for a year." She looked at me puzzled like and pointed Skippy out in the room. I said, "Oh, Skippy! yeah I've known him for many years and went to college together." She started laughing... She then proceeded to say, "Skippy.... Oh Skippy...!" and proceeded to harass him the rest of the night. Apparently, Skippy failed to mention that was his name in college to his girlfriend.

Anyways, with that Side Story aside. I don't know everyone's names in the Dojo. I know I suck. There's no picture book, with a mug shot and their name you know? Half the time people come on by here and there stop at the dojo, all quiet like and later on you find out they were some champion here and there. Everyone is chill, and it's sports practice.

So, which brings us round circle to last night's judo practice. Danish Sensei made a surprise appearance. With all due respect, I'll just call him Great Dane. It fits, guy is six feet something tall has a great grip, and is cut. He is also 61 years old. I wish I'd be that good in shape at 61... ummm and even now. Great Dane is a friend of Cecilia. Who I've known for a couple of years now, and always see her smiling. I kinda refer to her as Smiley, since I just found out Cecilia's name when he introduced himself to the Dojo as a friend of Cecilia. She's a great brown belt and has been practicing a long time. I can't pinpoint her exact origin, but I'm hazarding a guess Brazil or somewhere.

Great Dane has a dojo in Denmark and Cecilia practiced there for some time. Apparently he practices with some of the Danish National Team. Great Dane had family in Toronto and made a drive all the way to our Dojo just to visit. He showed us an opposite side entry deashi arai for a setup for a harai gosh. It was smooth, clean and fast.

Things I noticed were:

1. He leaned his hips out for the deashi arai akin to a soccer kick.
2. His deashi was really good and will catch the opponent more than half the time. A throw is a throw, so if the footsweep works, then that's cool.
3. In order for the setup to work, your opponent must be afraid of your deashi arai. Your opponent will pull his feet back if he sees the footsweep, allowing you to enter to a harai gosh or uchi-mata (depending on your placement).
4. The thing is, it's quite a dynamic fast move.

We also practiced grip fighting, getting the inside grip, and breaking grips. I'm starting to get better at grip fighting, and moving my WHOLE body to break a grip while maintaining balance. What I need to keep on doing is ATTACK as soon as I attain a grip. I just need to do more to get my muscle memory going. I need to do more uchikomis. Gary said that top judo players can execute 100 throws in a 5 minute match. I just need to attack more, and the fact of the matter is that I don't know my 40 throws well enough, that I don't see an opening when there is one. And sometimes there are variations of technique that can be executed from each position. That's the thing. The throw is already there; meaning that my opponent is already off balance. I should throw then, rather than repositioning myself or my opponent so that I can execute my favorite throw.

The other technique we covered was the opposite side ankle pick. It's a wrestling move (I'm sure there's a judo name for it, I have to look in Mifune's Canon of Judo). The ankle pick is really cool, as if you don't get an ippon, you can get at least a koka and then get into matwork straight away. Even if your opponent does the forward fall, sprawl defense, you can, if quick enough go straight into ne-waza.

Ah newaza. We really didn't do newaza tonight. Just not enough time. I know a couple weeks, that's all we'll be doing at practice. Considering the last 3 weeks was all about juji and more juji. I love armbars. The fact of the matter is I still need more work on armbars, because it is very technical.

Tonight for warmups, we did judo rugby. This is a fun game. Rules are, the ends of the dojo are the endzones. Must be on your knees. Can only pass backwards. It was so much fun! We ended up dogpiling whoever had the ball. Blocks ended up in newaza and pins, and it was just plain fun. There were piles of people on top of the ball, and whomever had the ball is being pulled apart in so many different directions. It's a great diversion, and quite fun.

Since warmups and the instruction took quite a bit chunk of time, we only did stand up randori for 5 rounds. I fought for 4. I fought Aaron, "Badger" (I'll call him that because he went to University of Wisconsin and forgot his name), Kurt "Rock Hands" and Jake.

Aaron was cool and he always love the huge overhand grip, which I do tend to manage and block. He's quite quick and blocked most of my picks and footsweeps. He hates the huge overhand grip and likes getting it on me. So I always try to get the big overhand grip, just to annoy him and get him off balance. With the huge overhand, I can go into a good harai gosh or uchimata. He threw me a couple of times, which was good. He gets me on footsweeps.

Badger is cool and he threw me in with an ippon seio. He has a good base and he drops low on the ground for the seio. This just means that I'm hunched over in defensive stance, which makes me prone for the seio. During the other times, I was getting a good grip. I did dominate the gripping part and he seemed defensive. Problem was I wasn't throwing as fast, as soon as I get the grip. That's the thing about the grip, you have to do SOMETHING with it. He got me with a good tomo nage as he would act quickly. He is just a bit quicker and more decisive. I did feel like I was stronger, and I knew I can wear him down given more time. I like gripping and just feeling the control you have on the person. I like grip fighting. I just have to move beyond that. It was cool to roll with him.

Kurt "Rock Hands" is just a beast. I like fighting him as he has a strong grip, throws, and everything. One thing that I did notice tonight was that he has a good strong base, remains upright and is always in balance. His grips are really good, although now, I'm breaking them more often than not. I'm also attacking more and more. When he gets an inside grip, I go inside and get my inside grip. We ended this for a bit, the thing was, now I was attacking with more and more footsweeps, which is much livelier. He got me on a good kouchi-gari. I blocked his tai-toshi and he quickly reversed and got me in kouchi. The thing about that I learned is that he did it so naturally and instinctive. I guess judo is about giving way and going with the flow. It is the "gentle way" after all.

Jake is a good instructor. Every time I roll with him, he teaches me a little something. He had a lighter grip, but much faster in executing the throws. It's funny, I tend to have a strong heavy-handed grip, which translates into telegraphing my throws. Jake is strong fights Heavyweight and has a deceptively lighter, yet effective grip. That's the thing, his grips aren't as threatening, and he executes his throw as soon as he gets a grip. I'd like to emulate that, as currently I'm just a big clumsy brawler in the dojo.

One of the things, I noticed was that I was repeatedly getting coached "not to fall for my partner" The thing is, I really don't try to fall for my partner. If I'm off balance and I'm on my way to getting thrown, I get thrown. It helps me fight another day. The idea of not getting thrown, is hard to process. I know, I tend to lose matches all the time, which is dumb of me. But for me, getting thrown is okay. I get back up relatively quickly most of the time. I get my knee/ankle(insert joint here) tweaked if I try to not get thrown and then fall weirdly or just have weird blocking. I get thrown and I get back up. I also have a fairly high pain tolerance. Even the one with a resounding thud. Remember 200+ lbs landing from 5 feet is quite a bit of force. In fact, let's calculate just a simple seio, where the pivot point is around 5 feet, if an average height guy, throws you for a nice clean seio.

Let's plug in the numbers. You know what. Let's go metric, that way I don't have to plug in lbs into slugs.

Potential Energy.

PE = mgh = mass x gravity x height

PE = 93kg x 9.81m/s2 x 1.5m = 1471 Newtons.
1368 Newtons = 307 lbf

This is assuming that he simply dropped me, which isn't the case. I can in theory draw a free body diagram, in which case, there would be a rotational inertia, plus kinetic energy applied to the body in motion as well. I can then calculate the impact force where you take the law of conservation of momentum. The 307 lbf is simply the minimum force received when dropped and does not take into account the additional force applied by the attacker.

Anyways, 307 lbs of force is at least spread throughout my body in a nice relatively soft mat.

I digress, I'm very tempted to get my engineering paper, draw a free body diagram, and plug in my assumptions, constants, etc...

I guess what it comes down to, is that I need more training. More practice, and more conditioning. I am noticing that my conditioning is improving. I wasn't gassed at all for the 4 rounds of randori that I participated in. Which makes me think that I'm not working hard enough. Usually it's 10 rounds a night but this time I only did 4, so perhaps that is why I'm not so tired.

Backpacking certainly helps. I guess carrying a 38lbs backpack for over 4 miles on uneven terrain at strengthens your legs and core, improves your balance and boosts my cardio.

I still need to work on my anaerobic explosive energy. I did muay thai and boxing awhile back, and those were fun, explosive workouts that had burnouts improving both my strength, coordination, reflexes, and endurance.

Dragon Boating Monday - Sunshiny Day and jumping fish.

So. Monday. I got out to the docks on Leschi for some Dragon Boating. It was a bit windy. It was quite sunny and warm that day so it was good to get out on the water. That afternoon there were 12 of us at practice.

Standard warm-ups and stretches. We did flying race piece and power pyramids. We took the boat out south past the I-90 bridge. Did some paddling on the lee of the I-90 bridge. The water was smooth, warm. There's fish jumping about.

We did flying race pieces. I really felt strong. I wasn't gassed out at all. I was keeping rhythm. Not bad.

We did some drills for timing and rotation. It was the 1-2-3-4 drill. It felt really good.

30 Minutes left side, 30 minutes right side. I was working on my snap forward and the catch. I was doing decent exits. I need to work on my rotation, look forward to follow my lead. I tend to look inboard as I rotate and not keep my head straight forward. I felt like I was driving my paddle more into the water at this practice.

It was a great practice, can't wait for next week. Too bad I can't practice on Thursdays, as Thursday is my judo day. That and I've got a party to go to, then judo on Thursday.

The upcoming race is the weekend of September 6th. So it'll be some good times to go to a race. I think I'm prepping fairly well in Dragon Boat, although just like any other sport, I still need to work at it and practice, practice, practice. Regardless, it's a great upper body, core, timing workout. It's so awesome as well to get back into water sports. I do miss that. Also, it's low impact

Anyways Dragon Boating is fun, and a great workout on Mondays!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hiking... and duct taped boots....

Okay. Just got back from Goat Mountain. Got back meaning 3 days ago. So yeah.

I haven't updated this, well there's much to write. The hiking was good for me. Came back home and weighed in at 205 lbs. 27.5% fatty according to my scale.

So let's recap.

13 July - 4.5 Mile Hike to base camp. 200' loss/ 700' gain. I carried a 38 lbs. pack. It was a good hike at a moderate pace. Overall a good day.

14 July - 3.5 Mile Hike up, 3.5 Mile hike down. 1000' gain.

15 July - 4.0 Mile Hike up, 4.0 Mile Hike down. 1300' gain

16 July - 3.5 Mile hike going, 3.5 Mile hike back. 500' gain.

17 July - 2.0 Mile hike going, 2.0 Mile back. Minimal elevation gain/loss. Boots falling apart, in desperate need of duct tape. So duct taped them.

18 July - 1.5 Mile hike going, 1.5 Mile back. Minimal elevation gain/loss

19 July - 4.5 Mile hike from camp to parking lot, 200'loss 700' gain. Carried 38lbs pack. Hiked at a very brisk pace. Great workout.

20 July - Hiked to top of Small Si. Easy day hike Probably 2.0 mile hike up/ 2.0 mile hike down. 1000 feet gain? Don't know I'm sure I could look it up. Not a bad hike.

That's when I needed a new pair of boots. I hate buying new hiking boots. After 3 hours at REI, finally found a pair that fit me just right. Total Cost 180 Bucks!

Decent workout. Overall did a total of: 49.5 miles of hiking during the last week. Not bad. I really think this should help me lots on my cardio workouts. I just need to work on strength training.

Well. Next post should be about Dragon Boating Upper Body workout yesterday. And then afterwards, I'll write about tonight's judo practice.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Morning Workout, BMI and Weight Classes

Well, I'm wicked sore from last night's workout. Just a general bruised feeling. My calves are still tight and sore. The usual finger bruises on my arms. Some mat burn on my head. A slight bruise on my temple where you place the knee on the head to rotate the body. And random bruises here and there. Basically, another normal workout bruises.

And so, this morning, I decided to take it easy (read wimp out). I did 30 minutes elliptical with my heart rate bouncing between 100-105 bpm. I drank some cranberry juice this morning. I need to get some bananas. The cranberry juice I got is too sweet, gotta get the "light" cranberry juice, or just cut it with water.

I need to go swimming or something. I have a 8 mile hike tomorrow with a 35-40 pound pack. So that's the main reason of taking it easy. I may squeeze in a quick upper body workout later in the day, but today I have a full day of packing, laundry, mopping, cleaning, more cleaning, so I'll do my upper body workout after my Field Day of my place.

Next week I'll be missing a lot of workouts because of my weeklong trip to Goat Mountain. I'd enjoy some sunshine and lots of hiking; etc... It'd be a change of pace and should keep me relatively fit.

Oh, and I weighed myself this morning. 208.5 lbs. This is in comparison to my 220 lbs. weigh in at the Western Judo Tournament about a month ago. My goal is to get in the -90kg weight class which is 198 lbs. Right now I'm -100kg, and before that 100kg+. During the winter, where I went through a judo hiatus

According to the BMI index, I'm a fat body.

32.7 BMI index. The NIH says I'm OBESE! Want a jelly donut? To get to the recommended 25 BMI. (Normal Weight, well the top of the normal weight for my 5'7" height). I need to weigh in at 159 lbs... or 72kg. Thats a whole 2 lower weight classes. Let's see the weight classes are:
Men: -50 kg -55 kg -60 kg -66 kg -73 kg -81 kg -90 kg -100 kg +100Kg

Uggh. 159 lbs. from 208lbs. I have to lose a whopping 49lbs. WOW!

According to my Tanita fat meter, I have 28% body fat. In March, I was weighing at a fat astounding 232 lbs, at around 33% body fat. Yeah I was a wicked fat body when I stopped working out from December-March. A wicked, fattening, long long time of fat inducing video gaming time. Never, ever, get into an online game, it's bad, very bad. I remember playing 2142, Counterstrike, and Star Wars Galaxies. I had the overall LCD glow of a gamer, with whacked out sleeping schedules and a diet consisting of diet Pepsi and Hot Pockets. Sure, I could do all this nifty stuff in a game and be all e-tough. But it's totally useless in real life and you can't make cocktail conversations out of it. Example: "hey baby, I'm a level 90 Commando..." Yep. Big whoop-dee-do.

Anyways, I digress, luckily my fat ass isn't growing as much and actually is starting to show signs of, dare I say, reduction. You know fat asses are like credit card debt. It's so easy to build up, but so hard to take off.

And yeah, last post I talked about getting to a good core workout. I'll get to it that soon (TM).

Well, it's kinda disheartening to really look at the BMI index. I thought losing 24lbs. in 3 months (April-May-June) wasn't that bad. I was losing 8lbs a month or 2lbs a week, which is a fairly healthy weight loss. It's a start, I guess, and should actually make choices every day, to be healthier. So for 50lbs. I need to look at 25 weeks, to get to that healthy weight. Basically 6 months, roughly. So, by end of January, I should look at being at a decent weight. It's a long road ahead. But what really motivates me is going to practice. After Tuesday or Thursday practice, I just get pumped to know that I need to work on specifics, and there's instant gratification. Like last night, I wasn't as winded in randori and didn't flop over like a rag doll, which is a bonus for me.

Also everyone in the dojo are in relatively good shape. Most sport six-packs and are fairly well defined. That and the constant reminder from the senseis that making it to practice is just one part of a whole judo program. You must workout during the week, to keep your stamina, strength, and flexibility up. It's one thing to lose in a match because your opponent has better skill and technique. It's another thing to lose if you are not in shape. You just haven't trained hard enough.

Morning rant over. I just have to put my words into action.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Juji and more juji.

Ah, the nuances of being a brown belt. Uggh. So yeah I'm the senior kyu for the senior class, and yet, I don't know the fundamentals of bowing, and starting the class. I know it's embarrassing. But it was always someone else's responsibility, and not me. Sooo...

1. Kioske.
2. Seiza
3. Rei - To Kano
4. Rei - To Yudansha

That's starting.

Ending is:

1. Kioske
2. Seiza
3. Mokso
4. Yame
5. Rei - To Yudansha
6. Rei - To Kano

I forget how you say to face Kano or to face yudansha, but everyone does it automatically, so I'll leave it at that. I'm sure I'll get told again. I'm not very good with japanese words; eventually I'll get it right.

Yeah, it's bad, but I'm writing it down so I don't forget. It's weird being one of the "senior" students. Well usually there's about 10-12 black belts. 2 Brown Belts and 1 Green and 2-3 White Belts. Sometimes I'm just myself and Ferdinand (white belt) on the kyu side.

The workouts are a grinder. But it builds character, it's not your typical judo class. It's fun to roll around with most people on the national roster. There maybe a handful of black belts that are not on the national roster at one time or another.

I actually like it. I feel like that I'm still needing to polish up my technique after every class, and there's always something to strive for. Once I get somewhere, where I think I may be getting good, they up it a notch. It's good. I'd rather be a small fish in a big sea than the biggest fish in a tiny pond. I know that if I get in a good technique (once every couple of months), then I'm progressing.

So onto juji, and more juji.

Ahh.. I was browsing through youtube. This was the technique we were working on.

Check out 0:35.

We worked on this technique and variations for awhile.

Then we did 4 rounds newaza randori. I was odd man out for one round.

And 4 rounds tachi-waza randori. I was odd man out for one round.

Newaza, I was working on positioning. I need to be tighter in my armbars, and rollovers. Seriously, my fat gut is hampering my ground work. I'm not as twisty and nimble as others. I gotta look at focusing on some core workouts. I hate working core, and I need to. I'm the typical gym guy. You know, the one who works on the "vanity" muscles. Back to newaza, I did have a successful guard pass tonight which was cool. However my 3 attempts at getting an armbar didn't quite materialize. I just need to practice more, till I get more comfortable at it.

Grant told me some workouts with a sandbag that will work the core. Just lifting twisting, etc... to work the obliques, etc... Yeah, I need to do more medicine ball, ab, oblique, leg lifts, and the like. I think I'll go to home depot and get myself a $2.50 bag of sand. You know the ones that you put on the back of the truck. I'll talk to him some more about his actual core workout.

As for standing randori, I think I'm getting the hang of grip-fighting, and ended up to be the focus on one of the 3 minute rounds.

The thing I'm lacking on, is my lack of commitment. Yeah, I hate commitment, in my real life, love life and other things. I gotta commit to an attack and follow through. I tend to do a lot of feints, which is mainly shin kicking, instead of really going for a kouchi, ouchi, de-ashai, or myriads of other foot sweeps.

I also need to work on my combinations. I only have a one or two combination repertoire and after awhile, most people know that I like to do kouchi, ouchi and seio. My harai gosh is decent, my drop kata-guruma is pretty good. The thing is the set-up and execution.

Thing is I tend to telegraph what I'm about to do. There doesn't seem to be any surprises on my bag of tricks. I also need to move more in a circle and actually do dynamic judo rather than static judo. I tend to move forwards and backwards. Should actually vary it more.

Ah, one thing I did learn, is left-handed players don't like to be held in a left handed grip. I really should practice my left side judo. And I seem to be more successful on the left. It just feels more comfortable, and most people don't mind giving up the left hand side.

Anyways, it was a good practice, and it felt good. I think I was able to soak in more this practice as I wasn't as tired, and not focusing on surviving the round. I was actually on the offensive at times.

That's the thing, I really need to build up my stamina, so I can attack, attack, attack. Defensive judo sucks and drains my energy.

I really need to think 2-3 moves ahead, and not just survival mode. I think I'm starting to get it, as there's more strategy in judo than I ever imagined.

Anyways, it was a good practice and it has left me thinking more than ever.

Easy Wednesday.

Today was a rather easy workout. Did 40 Minutes elliptical, backwards. My calves are sore. Did ab crunches.

Okay, yeah I'm still sore from yesterday. Thought take it easy. And I blew my diet. I had a hot-pocket, an almond soy latte and two scoops of Baskin Robbins ice cream over a sugar cone. WOW. That's insane amount of sugar and calories. UGH.

Tomorrow should be better. I just need some recovery. I just been going at it non-stop and don't want to get burnt out. Okay, so it's excuses...but hey, I made a choice, and now will live with it. Oh my that Ice Cream was DELICIOUS! And that hot-pocket. yummy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Night Judo Practice

So today was a nice day out for Seattle. 80's bluest skies you ever seen. Anyways, I wasn't going to let this sunshiny day slip by without doing some outdoor activity. And so I went for a quick 30 minute run. Did the Fairmont hill run, which basically consists of a 1/2 mile long hill that has about a 300 foot elevation gain. So basically a quick 2 mile run with a 1/2 mile straight aways with a stretch at the end of the 1/2 mile straight away. Did a nice easy pace. Picked up the pace at the end of the Fairmont hill run. Basic 30 minute run. It was good to get the blood flowing and at the last 100 yards, I sprinted. It felt good.

So showered. Got my gi bag ready and headed to practice. I was a bit late, so changed quickly just in time to do the line up.

Anyways, practice consisted of a warm up of judo soccer. Yeah, it's a fun different warm up that you play soccer, tackle, pin, dog pile your opponents. It's the way soccer was meant to be played, with full contact and take downs.

That was a good warm up and got the blood flowing, then did ukemi drills, then uchikomi. I still have some more techniques to work on such as my osoto gari. I wasn't pointing my toe, and really need to make contact. My combos were so-so, but needs work.

The technique shown tonight was 3 different rolls into a juji gatame from a guy who is turtled.

It's hard to describe. I'll describe it loosely and it's better if seen. As I'll butcher the technique in words.

First one was your standard roll.
Second one was the one where you go high, create space underneath and roll, catch the arm and into a juji.
Third one was the "Rock and Roll Armbar" grab the arm for the armbar, lock it in, twist, grab a leg, then roll into position.

Things I learned:

1. When controlling the arm, hold it close and grab your own lapel so it's tight.
2. Knees together.
3. Keep it tight.

As the sensei explains, it's the little things that make it work. I still need a lot of work on armbars, I'm coming along though. We mainly focused on matwork tonight. And then went to 3 rounds of newaza randori and 3 rounds of tachi-waza. A lot of technique shown tonight. So not the usual grind that is the 8 o'clock practice. Overall it was a good workout.

I still need to work on my standing techniques. My grip is getting better, and I need to throw more. I need more grounding on my foot-sweeps. They're more like taps and not any real attempts at throwing. I do am getting better with my kata-guruma. I like that technique, however, set up is something I'm working on.

Anyways, that's it for now. Thursday is around the corner.

Monday's Upper Body Workout and Judo watching...

So... yesterday was a good workout day. It started in the morning meeting Jen and Ericka at 24 hour fitness for some quick cardio (I was a bit late.) and ab work out. The ab work out was good, still gotta focus on it more. Perhaps do more medicine ball workouts with abs. We did oblique rotation with weights on a swiss ball, crunches and the like. I think a bit more to burnouts would be good, for that good and sore feeling, but I think that Jen and Ericka was just taking it easy on me that day.
Afterwards, they split, and I did some upper body workout. It consisted of:

5 sets - 12, 10, 8, 6, 12 reps.

Dumbbell bench press - 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 lbs.
Lat Pull Downs - 65, 80, 95, 110, 125 lbs.
Dumbbell shoulder press - 20, 25, 30, 30, 30 lbs.

Overall, I felt good. I still need to work my shoulders, my shoulders were wicked tired at the end of the set. Also my shoulder felt funny at the end of the shoulder press. Perhaps watch my technique and go with lighter weights to finish at 30 lbs. After stretching it out, it felt fine.

I was going to do biceps and triceps, however that would've been a bit much, because... I had dragon boating that afternoon. Last thing I needed were fatigued bi/tri for one hour of paddling. Besides, the dumbbell workout worked them out indirectly. Perhaps if it was a non-paddling day I'd be good to go.

Onto... Dragon Boating

That afternoon was a great day for dragon boating. It was beautiful, warm and Lake Washington was just nice. The boat had 10 people, so the usual complement of 22 people weren't there. We practiced anyways, and it was a good practice. It felt great to be paddling with just 8 paddlers plus the caller and the tiller.

I was working on my form. I like paddling as it's a near constant resistance workout that involves your abs, obliques and upper body.So as you can see from the picture, it's a lot of good rotation, working the obliques and some good upper body workouts. I think this is good. It's a lot like the shrimping drill right before mat-work, and this will be good resistance training at that.

Did paddle boating for about an hour, with 30 minutes left side and 30 minutes right side. It was a good workout and I could feel my obliques burn. Today my body has a good soreness to it. It was a great workout. I had to work on my snap and my timing. It's really hard to keep pace and keep excellent form. The hard part is the exit out of the water and snapping the paddle forward for maximum reach. I kinda get lackadaisical and of course when you're tired, you're technique just isn't that good. I was getting into a good rhythm and getting to breathe. I think I did decent in paddling last night as I didn't have to stop at all. Then again, the pace was just constant, so there were no burnouts nor race starts, which really tires me out quick. I also think that since my arms were already tired, that I actually used my whole body, rather than just the upper body for paddling. So overall a good day...

And then... onto Judo.

After paddling, I was a bit chilly and decided to get some Pho to warm myself up. Afterwards it was running around 8:30 pm, which coincidentally happen to be the time that Seattle Dojo was holding practice. Since I was already in the International District, it was only a simple matter of driving 3/4 of a mile there. I was still a bit wet from paddling and I didn't have my judogi on, so I simply decided to stop by there and watch.

So Seattle Dojo according to the article is the oldest continuous judo club stateside. I've practiced there once before about a year ago and saw a few familiar faces. It's been awhile though and there's a lot of fresh faces. Yeah article, pretty much sums it up, better than I can.

So, after the article publish, Seatlte Dojo has become popular. I witnessed a lot of new students, with 5 new students joining Seattle Dojo that day. It was cool to see the joy and awe of fresh new students. I hardly see that anymore. There were a group of 3 guys that enrolled that day that knew each other. The "recruits" all had the issued unbleached gi, still fresh with from-the-wrapper-crease-marks. There were a total of about a dozen recruits, which is quite amazing! I hardly ever see more than one or two people start in a club a month, if that.

It was a good refresher on dojo etiquette, proper bowing, etc... And some instruction on tying the belt. They did some ukemi drills, and one ukemi drill that we don't usually do. The front breakfall. We hardly ever do front breakfalls. We do spend quite a bit of time on ukemi, rolls, cartwheels, and the like.

Since there were a lot of new people, this class was more of an instructional class on the basics, and a lot of things were going on quite a bit. Two black belts were practicing the nage-no-kata, and it was actually interesting to actually see it in practice in the dojo rather than on a few demos that I have seen. Now that I'm a brown belt, I should eventually learn nage-no-kata. Eventually being a key word, since earning a black belt really isn't a priority of mine, and besides that, it'll be another half decade or so before I'm qualified to do so. I actually need to ummm, win some tournaments perhaps? I really don't think I'd deserve a black belt until I can get onto the national ranking roster. I think most black belts I roll around with are on the roster at one time or another. And Tracy from my club didn't get her black belt until six months before the Olympic trials. And she won the trials in her division, so. Yeah, that's my gage. And seriously in comparison, I am nowhere in that level. Really being a brown belt, sounds cool, however I know far less than what I'm supposed to know. Sure I can tell what the 40 classic throws from the Canon of Judo looks like, however, executing them is a whole other story. I still am not that proficient in mat-work as well, and was really thinking of taking some submission wrestling classes, or bjj classes to supplement that hole in my game. I digress...

Seattle Dojo class format was.

1. Intro
2. Warm-ups.
3. Ukemi from laying, to sitting, to standing.
4. Squats while saying the japanese numbers 1-10.
5. Rolling Ukemi
6. Matwork warmups, shrimping and the like up and down the mat.
7. Matwork technique. (Basic holds: kesa, yoko-shiho, kata, etc...)
8. Holding the pin with resistance.
9. Ne-waza randori
10. Standing uchikomi
11. Standing technique. Ippon Seio, Morote Seio
12. Standing Randori for colored belts/ Ukemi instruction for white belts.
13. Closing
14. Ukemi when leaving the mat.

In the meantime after the warmups, a couple of people were practicing nage-no-kata on the side.

It was cool to watch another club, and to think about judo that day. I got judo practice tonight. Looking forward to it. Anyways, I should go do a short run or something.

Anyways that's about it.