I really feel that with the looming Fall Classic and Ladder Tournament, the practice sessions at Budokan are stepping up a notch. Mind you, still safe, but just a bit harder training. I think everyone is going to go lighter about a week or two before the tournament, and so now is the time to go hard.
The technique of the night was the juji roll from a turtle. The same one that's been taught the last few weeks/month. This time, the emphasis was on jamming your knee on your opponents ear and use their head as leverage. You control the head, you can roll them. It's all about control; and jamming your knee on their ear is part of that. I got some knees to both my left and right ears. My ears are fairly tough, so no cauliflower ear. I say that now, and watch my ear is just going to get cauliflower-ed the next time I step on the mat. I actually managed to do some rolls and get into the arm-bar. I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable with it.
And so we went into newaza. Did some rolls, some guard passes an armbar or two. Of course I got armbarred a lot. Bert got me into a few unusual armbars that I never saw coming. It was fun. I'm getting more and more proficient with guard passes which is cool. I just got to be faster on the mat and look up. I guess as always it comes down to conditioning. Did Newaza with Phil, Gary, Bert, Istvan, Andy and Kurt. Newaza was 3 minute rounds. So did six 3 minute rounds.
Then we did standing randori. I didn't notice it but they changed the standard 3 minute rounds into actual tournament 5 minute rounds. Ouch! 5 Minute rounds was just a beatdown. I did 3 5 minute rounds: Jake and Phil (2x). I puked in the garbage can after randori with Jake. I did the standard 3 minute round and the last 2 minutes I was simply gassed. Nothing. It's funny when your conditioned on 3 minute round randori that the last 2 minutes of a 5 minute round you've got: Nothing. I was searching for some strength, gas, anything. My gas tank was at empty. I just did the motions to survive the round. Survive I did, albeit sloppily. I simply didn't walk away. Waiting for 110 seconds for the 10 second beep, and the final beep beep of the end of the round was like waiting for your number to be called at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
I simply need to practice more. The 2nd one with Phil was more about showing technique so was a bit more technical. I learned quite a bit on that one. Phil showed me how to neutralize my pulling hand (my right) by simply moving. I tend to throw a lot on the left. All my techniques come from the left side. (Don't know why, it's just is, even though I'm right handed) I felt really lost when my pulling hand was neutralized. Well a lot of people just give me their left side and so I can always do something.
Anyways, after practice, I was gassed. And then we did the dojo shuttle runs. Three 4-minute intervals. I was weezing and gasping for air. It was a pretty sad sight. Phil said, "Don't worry, this is good for you, you'll feel better afterwards..." Why is it that when someone says, "This is good for you..." that it involves a lot of sweat and pain on my part. Flashback: Coach Butch Britton, the cross-country coach telling me, "Today run bleachers, this will be good for you..." And every time someone says, "This will be good for me..." that I feel like puking afterwards?
So another fun day doing the "Gentle Way." Yay. Joy.