Monday, August 3, 2009

Foot Sweeps, sticky foot... Arm Locks and chicken wings...

It's Sea Fair weekend in Seattle. It's been wicked hot as of late. And I think all Seattle-ites are not used to the hot weather, myself being one of them. Now if we were in Texas or Death Valley, yeah that's one thing, but this hot beautiful weather is just amazing. Not quite yet acclimatized to it, but nevertheless, went down to practice Sunday Night.

I was rather early, so I spent some time hanging out at Cowen Park. Which is a park catty-corner between Green Lake Park and the U-District. There's lots to see and it was a nice shady place to feel the grass underneath you. I remained rather cool and just chilled out at the park. I was enjoying myself, then headed to the dojo for practice.

The usual warm ups, then practiced deashi-barai.

I always had trouble with foot sweeps, as I usually don't keep my feet straight and I usually don't power through with my hip. It is one of those things that I'm not too good at, as this technique requires timing. I'm not in tune with timing. It's a good attack and one to prep for another technique. In order for it to work as a preparatory technique one must commit to it. I also have commitment issues, but that's another story altogether. Then there's the technique of the "sticky foot" which Lana showed me, and which I have seen previously, but haven't permeated deep down to my subconscious. I need to practice this more.

After the foot sweeps we went to the arm lock portion of the night, and worked on the major variations of ude-garami also known as a kimura for those who practice BJJ. There are many many variations of ude garami, the main point being is the immobilization of the shoulder joint so that you can torque the elbow joint. Unlike the juji where it's a straight arm lock, the ude garami is bent and is more of a torquing motion. It's amazing as to how many different ways you can apply ude garami, with Aaron showing many of the ways.

Here's some more info on Ude Garami:

The thing is like anything else, you have to isolate the joint, and immobilize the joint further up the body. Meaning, for any arm lock you immobilize the shoulder, and then apply the arm lock. Same thing with leg locks. Immobilize the hip, then apply the knee bar/lock. For ankle locks, immobilize the knee, apply the ankle/heel hook. I guess it's all about human anatomy. I should take an anatomy and physiology class, as a lot of the principles is bio-mechanics.

The last part of the night was newaza randori. It was a good one, as I was getting to be in better shape, true that my technique may be less than perfect, but I found I was quite resilient last night. Going into the second hour of working out you start learning the efficient use of burst energy, when to apply it, and well how to most efficiently leverage your strength against your opponent. For some reason the dull aches and pains of prolonged activity, spurs the deep recesses of your mind for the most efficient use of limited resources.

Perhaps, is this what they really mean all along about one of the tenets of judo about maximum efficiency? Seriously, is it only after pushing yourself to your physical limits do you start learning about efficiency. And when pushed, your limits grow larger, where limits are simply places where you haven't gone before, but can?

Anyways, it was good working in newaza and had a good solid time working through different body positions. I'm still weak in my guard position, and learning through trial and error the different ways to pass guard without getting arm locked. Ah, forgot to pass on the key focus on last night's newaza, and that was try for an ude-garami submission. And there are many ways to achieve this. The best randori partner for the night was Greg, who was visiting from out of town. He had some excellent techniques from the guard position and it was quite an amazing thing to work with him.

So that was that. I was tired and I spent the night after I came home icing my left shoulder, more of a precautionary measure. As I tend to lead with my left most times. For some reason, even though I'm right handed, I've developed this amazing grip with the left hand. Well mostly because, a lot of judo players are right handed and usually don't mind it too much if you achieve a left lapel grip. I usually like to grab the crease of the left upper shoulder of the gi, as it lets me have more control, and you can usually get a good chunk of gi cloth. Consequently, even in newaza I tend to use my left hand more to probe my opponents defenses. Hence sometimes, my left arm sometimes gets trapped, leading to an ude garami.

Anyways, it was a fun night. I'm tired.

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