Mid East Cudell Judo

The aiki-waza didn’t work at all during judo randori, beyond amusing the main instructor. Same for my lame attempt at getting a joint lock on the arm he was using to keep me out. “If you get the kansetsu-waza, I’ll buy you a steak dinner.” This was spoken with a friendly Midwestern drawl that for some reason I associate with farmers. Thus went my second judo class at Mid East Cudell Judo.

This is a small dojo at the Cudell Recreation Center, about ten minutes from my apartment. The room isn’t large, and the twice-weekly adult judo is a part of the general offerings for the Rec Center, but they have nice permanent mats down in the room, vocabulary charts on the walls, and old bike inner tubes hooked into the walls, with which you can fit in if you don’t have a partner handy. I think I’ll be showing up there regularly for now, to complement the aikido. Half the judoka are women, which seems to correlate with having few big macho judoka in the dojo. Everyone is nice, and the black belts have realized that my falling ukemi is prefectly fine for them to throw relatively hard during randori.

Of course, they’re trying to fix my rolling ukemi, mainly by getting me to not tuck my legs. I spent some time during my second class with Akiya Sensei doing simple front rolls, with her trying to get me to keep the legs out. The explanation for the untucked legs was that, in tournament, tucking will generally get you clobbered if your opponent starts ground work by tying up your legs after he throws you. Why make it easy for him? This is actually a better explanation than what I heard from one of the Oishi judo black belts, who suggested that the aikido-style rolls were actually harder on the body than the judo rolls. I also worked on the inner tubs with her (the main instructor told her that I had problems fully turning my hips for throws), fitting in for morote seionage, uki goshi and harai goshi. She seemed pleased by my inner tube work, once I got used to working with it. I finished this individualized tutorial session by doing throws with their big brown belt — ippon seionage followed by kesa gatame (which I’ve apparently been pronouncing wrong all along, now that I’ve heard Mrs. Akiya say it). When randori began, she went off with some of the other students to do kata in a different room. (I haven’t yet figured out what judo kata is.)

During randori, as expected, I didn’t get anything on the black belts unless they let me. On the other hand, the randori wasn’t like with Oishi Sensei, who would frequently point at a spot on the mat, say, “I’ll throw you there”, and generally do exactly that, even with some of his brown belts. In this dojo, I was actually able to stay on my feet longer than I expected. (We’ll ignore those times I got caught on pretty simple kosoto gari-type sweeps.) Next time, I’ll try to throw on the initial touch instead of politely letting them get their grip. We’ll see what happens with the aiki-waza in that case.

One drawback is that there’s less ground work in this dojo. There was none in the second class I took, and about fifteen or twenty minutes in the first class. But there seems to be more direct instruction than at Oishi’s: for the first class, the main instructor had us work on morote seionage for the first half, before the ne-waza and randori. In fact, after the initial stretching and warm-ups, he said, do uchi-komi for morote, 100 times. I thought he was kidding about the 100 times thing, but apparently not. I worked with one of the black belts (“lift uke’s arm up more, so you can get the morote more easily”), and got to fifty repetitions in the first set before getting too tired to continue. I did the 100 in three sets, sort of afraid of how tired my legs would be if we went straight into randori. It wasn’t actually that bad when it came to it.

Comments are closed.