Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday Night Workout

It was Monday Night and went to Seattle Jujutsu Club. It was a lot of fun, we started out goofing off and dong a series of parody tapes. So class started about 15 minutes late.

After warmups, we did uchikomis.

It was pretty much open practice.

We did grappling with Mongolian style folk wrestling rules, which means basically only your hands or feet can touch the mat, any other part of the body means that you are down. Emphasis was on body grips, as the Mongolian folk wrestlers wore skimpy outfits. It was a lot of fun. Sometimes bullrushing works. And I did a fairly sweet ogoshi that was really cool.

Then we worked on positional newaza, I was working on body position, guard passes and reversals. I executed some sweet reversals when the pin wasn't that good.

We then did 10 rounds of 2 minute newaza. 2 minutes is fairly short, and the time went by rather quickly.

Overall it was a decent night. I'm learning to post more and watch my body position. I execute my guard passes with due diligince, taking great care that I don't get into a position to get arm-locked. My moves are more deliberate. I also think my conditioning is fairly decent as I wasn't gassed out, mind you I may have just been taking it easy. I don't know. I feel that I wasn't gassed while others were.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Start of the Wet Season...

Well it's the onset of the Seattle Wet Season.

So started it off with some indoor sports on Friday and capped it off with a morning paddle on Saturday.

Played racquetball for 1 1/2 hours yesterday. It was a lot of fun.

Paddled for an hour this morning. It was wet. Cold. Thank goodness I was wearing my spray suit.

Packing for a trip to Glacier Basin.


It's cold, wet and rainy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Breaking through the plateau

So, my fat-ass has been hanging around 205 lbs. lately, but just the last few days the scale has been at around 202-203 lbs.

I know 2-3 lbs. doesn't seem much, but I was just hitting a plateau in my workouts, weight and progress. It's so great to break through the plateau!

I think I've learned to relax a bit more, to just enjoy the moment. When I'm engaging in randori/free practice, I'm more relaxed and not as tense. I have a good yet strong grip, and then I can shift my weight here and there to get a good throw. I'm not "forcing" throws as much and grab a throw that I can do when the opportunity presents itself. Also I'm not tiring myself out as much by wasted energy. I remain calmer and can execute a quick burst of energy when I need to.

Yesterday, I swam 2 x 200 yards. I think the AllStar Fitness Pool is 25 yards long. So I did 2 x 200 yards. It was a lot of fun, and also, the same principle applied to swimming, relax, work with the water and not against it. Tuck your chin in, breathe. There was a lady there, Melinda who is a great swimmer who gave me more pointers on the proper crawl technique. Mainly tuck my chin in and swim with the water.

It was very relaxing and it was nice to actually swim. Swimming gives you a sense of spatial awareness and body movement. It was a lot of fun.

Last night's technique was Sode, with the different variations of the Sode throw. One of the variations was like a modified morote seio nage, but it was still a sode. Reuben had a variation of the sode that was a good drop sode.

Leo from Brazil is back and is helping to teach the class, he is a really good teacher and very chill. He has a black belt in judo and BJJ. And he learned it in Brazil, where it is part of the culture.

Anyways, it was a lot of fun. I'm making progress albeit slowly. I'm still on track to get to my goal of 198 lbs or <90kg for perhaps the Rainier Cup in October or the Obukan tournament in December.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This afternoon I worked out with Vince and Brad at Seattle Jujutsu. We mainly did uchikomis which was just great. Sometimes, I just really need to work on entrances and exits. My body is still beat up from much of the week as I haven't really taken a rest at all. I was thinking of going to Wednesday night practice, but I thought better of it, as I was a running a bit ragged so I bagged it. Quite Ragged in fact.

Tomorrow, I've got Dragon Boating and Judo scheduled, so it's going to be rather rough.

After class we did a kettlebell workout. WOW! Kettlebells are awesome. Did some movement and they were very natural. I was beat tired afterwards.


Above is a link from a Seattle Times Article about Kettlebells.


So it's been a bit since I kept up the blog, I traveled to Lincoln City Oregon for 3 days of Sambo. Of course that Thursday, I did boxing with Adalia at her Portland Gym, as well as Filipino Stick Fighting and the Tai Chi Staff. It was a lot of fun and a great workout.

I've been dragging for a bit. I just need some chill time.

So to recap.

Last Thursday - Boxing in Portland
Friday/Saturday/Sunday - Sambo in Lincoln City, Oregon

Monday evening, I did worked out with Amy's co-workers at her training center. We mostly did ground grappling. That night I learned the guillotine choke and the crucifix. I never practice neck cranks, mainly because they are not used in the sport of judo.

Tuesday Night, was pretty much warm up to randori. No techniques shown that night, and since I was still wicked tired. I was very relaxed and supple. It totally helped me in my judo as I was able to think tactically, set up moves and actually be proactive.

The more relaxed I was, the better the performance. I did fairly well in newaza and executed a few good guard passes. Also I was keeping my posture up more and I was protecting my arms.

So now, I'm starting to think tactically, and judo is not really about strength. Yes, strength, flexibility, agility and endurance are very important. The more of these attributes you have, the better you are to be able to execute the moves needed for the situation. Physical conditioning is merely preparation for fighting and a very important part of it. In fact, now that I don't really worry about my endurance, I can really think tactically through a randori session, instead of only what my body can do. It's quite an amazing realization that physical conditioning gives you so much more options and stimulates your brain, as you are not thinking of making it through a round, but instead, thinking of the round as a chess game, planning your move/counter move.

Judo is really a physical chess match, where a multitude of moves are merely tools. You have to act proactively and act with the opportunity presented to you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sambo Camp

Just came back from 3 days of Sambo Camp in Lincoln City, Oregon. It was a lot of fun. Lots of techniques covered. Same side grip take downs, leg picks, armlocks, leg locks, and heel hooks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Principle of Ju

I need to relax more.

Seriously, not that I don't get a great workout at practice. Although I'm starting to Plateau. I have to exercise outside the dojo. Right now the randori workouts, although strenuous is quite not long, or intense enough. I still need more rounds. Tonight was a bit cramped. We had over 20 people in the dojo, and randori in that small of a space tends to get tight. You do end up being hyper aware at times, and a lot of people engage in wall judo. Using the walls to your advantage, but seriously, the dojo can really accommodate only 10 people or 5 pairs safely in standing randori. You can push it to 7 (14 people) and that's the max without bumping into each other. You do tend to develop peripheral awareness, so you don't throw or run into people during randori. It also means that I sat out 3 rounds of standing and 1 round of ground work.

Which brings us to randori. I have no idea why I go into a notch below competition mode, and so am not really learning anything. The only thing I'm really getting into is grip fighting and defensive stance, and where does that get me? I still get thrown, but it's not improving my attacks. I have to attack and counter-attack.

That brings me to the second that Phil taught me tonight. Which was move the body. You move the body to set up the throw. It's like boxing, with the footwork. It's like a light bulb going off my head. I have to really move my body to set up an attack. Judo is not a static sport, it's a dynamic one.
I also at this point really need to supplement my judo training with working out at the gym. I do have a gym membership that I hardly use. I got to use it. I probably could take some yoga classes to loosen myself up. Then go swim. And then perhaps do some interval trainings.

When I did use to do interval training, my judo improved. I stopped, figuring I was going 2-4x a week judo/jujutsu and dragon boating. Now that dragon boating is over, I figure I have to really supplement my workout. Dragon boating was a lot of fun and a great workout. It's also very intense interval-like training.

I'm reaching a plateau, and need to change my habits to break through and reach a higher level. I'm starting to slowly creep up the scale again. I'm floating around 207 lbs as opposed to 205lbs and I don't think that's muscle weight. Again my goal is to fight at 90kg, which is 198 lbs. I should go walk around at 200-202 lbs and I can drop enough to fight at 90kg.

Oh and no more late night burgers!


p.s. Photos courtesy of John aka MajorConfusion from my dojo.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Seattle Dragon Boat Festival.

4th out of 21 teams. Blechh.

3rd place boat was .07 seconds faster than us. 7/100ths of a second over 500m!

Anyways, it sucks. Especially when it's so close. It feels good to win or at least medal. I know it's obvious.

Uggh. Anyways, it was a decent two days and had sort of fun, but the after-race feeling just sucks.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Into the Night - Last Practice before Seattle Dragon Boat Races.

Last Night was the last practice before this weekend's race... Literally. It was almost dark when we came into the dock. Although the sunset was just majestic giving Mount Rainier a reddish hue during twilight on Lake Washington. It was definitely a Kodak moment.

This weekend's race is here: seattledragonboat.com

So. We practiced 4 x 200m. 3 x 500m and 2 x1000m. It was all fun. I love it because it's just sprints. We'll see how it goes.

I felt great and kept up with the pace. In fact, I really did feel good on my left side. The only problems I had was when I switched to the right side, I did not paddle as well.

One thing I noticed at the faster pace is the recovery. I need to bring the paddle up higher so it does not catch the water. It happened a couple of times.

Other than that it was cool, although I could clearly see the person in front of me tiring out a bit, as she was delaying her exit and not reaching forward enough which cut into my stroke. I really feel a difference between the beginning of the season and now. I really think that weekly practice helps and my overall level of fitness is much better.

Anyways, I love sprints, as I can put it all out there. The 1x1000m is going to be rather rough, but I'd like to really think of it as a golden score overtime in judo. Either way, the races are less than 3 minutes a piece with the 1000m being 7-8 minutes.

Today I could really feel my whole upper body a bit sore. I'm going to take it easy today and paddle like crazy tomorrow.

Oh, and I did stop by the dojo after Dragon Boat practice to check out the practice. It was rather sparse. I think people are still beat up from the Fall Classic. Tracy was there and her knee is all messed up from the tournament. I assume Grant is out with the bruised rib. Kurt still has cauliflower ear and it looks like it's just been drained. He also sustained a toe injury that night. Lynn had an ankle injury. And of course, everyone has the normal bumps and bruises. I saw Jake did an awesome te guruma on Aaron. That was some awesome technique. We almost refer to it as "gorilla judo." I simply sat on the sidelines, even though my gi bag was in the truck. I wanted to practice, but I didn't want to get injured before tomorrow's 2-day race. It's going to suck being injured in a small cramped wet cold boat. So yeah, I just sat out and watched practice.

Bamboo Bar & Grill Happy Hour - $5 Macho Nachos

Well, Wednesday Night, what could I say. I had a late dinner with Pedro a friend of mine from high school. We had some Macho Nachos at the Bamboo Bar & Grill. It was some good times.

Anyways, tonight's training was simply oseakomi techniques. It was good as it refreshed some of the basic holds. I was partnered up with a new guy who it was his 6th practice, so I showed him some of the basic holds. We went from Kesa, Kata, Yoko-Shiho, Kami-Shiho.

We then went into newaza randori for maybe 4 rounds. It was a rather short practice, mainly because I was late. Other than that it cool. I was working on defending the turtle, sweeps, and passing the guard. I need to lock down my pins much more as I had a pin and had it let go because he shrimped out of it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Knee in the ear!

More Juji-Rolls from turtle. More practice. Rolling from the left, roll from the right, front roll, rolling backwards. Lots of fun practice. Jamming the knee to the ear, controlling the head, either by pushing it in or hooking it in.

We then practicing breaking the resistance of the armbar by pushing in the other shoulder.

Tonight's randori was a bit more aggressive than usual. It's a good thing, but you can see there's more aggression in the air. I have to move more and watch out for the uchi-mata. I did some good randori, my grips are getting better, although a lot of people are realizing my normal tactics, so I change it up a bit.

Of course, competition shiai is much more intense. Practice was over rather quickly though. I don't know the rounds do sometimes melt away. Did 4 rounds newaza and 5 rounds standing.

Overall a good night.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fall Classic / Ladder Tournament / Junior World Team Trials

Just got back from Spokane.

I think I'm getting better at Matwaza. The science and art of moving mats. I'm fairly proficient at it, considering, I helped move 30 x 6 = 180 Swain Mats back and forth from the dojo, to the truck, from the competition, to the truck, and from the truck back to the dojo.

Being part of the technical staff, it was the first time that I truly understood the intricacies of running a high level tournament, and there was a lot of work involved, mostly from volunteers.

Let's see:

a. Technical Staff - Running tables, brackets, Texas Card Matches, Scoring, and of course moving mats.
b. Tournament big-wigs. They had to corral all these people.
c. Referees - Some of the referees came all the way from different parts of the country.

Now of course there's the whole logistic thing on the competition side, but that's another story.

I did see some great judo, especially at the Junior World Trials. It was intense, never before have I seen the real intensity of competition judo. After all second place doesn't get you a trip to Bangkok.

Some of the best judo I've seen was by Arm Lock Girl, Sarah Black. I forget where she's from, she had some awesome newaza and she armlocked 2 girls in a row. The coolest thing was she would see a newaza opportunity and take it, it was very natural, and always showed progress. There weren't that many times that she was stood up for not making progress. If she couldn't get an armlock, she'd go into an oseakomi, get an oseakomi call, go for an armlock, transitioned to an oseakomi, do a rollover, get a pin, and then go for a choke. She was very natural and fluid. I noticed a lot of judo players see a turtle and say... okay turtle stop. Nope. She'd go in for the juji roll, if not a juji, then a choke, if not a choke, then a pin. She was amazing.

One thing I learned at the Fall Classic was protect yourself at all times. A medal is not worth it. One of the fighters was caught in an omoplata with the opponents legs. He tapped, and the award was given to the person who performed the omoplata. Yeah, in theory you're only suppose to do locks on the elbow joint... but, the omoplata was fairly deliberate. I'd tap too. I've tapped before in neck cranks, but arguing about a point is useless. Just remember to protect yourself, and tap when you need to. A piece of metal that goes into a closet is not worth it, unless of course it's an Olympic piece of metal. But let's be serious about it, there's only a dozen people in the country that are true contenders for it. Myself, not being one of them. Yeah, it's okay... Telling me I'm not Olympic material is not going to break my heart.

Anyways, gotta get ready for practice.