Wednesday, May 9, 2018

KL Judo Open Day (Sunday, May 13)

We are pretty excited about our first Open Day where we'll have a bunch of visitors coming to train with us. Most of them are white belts but a handful are colored belts. It should make for a really good training session and hopefully a few of them will decide to join our club.

We believe the best warm-ups are judo games, especially ones that involve cooperation and teamwork. In the past year we have experimented with a few fun games and there are some that are particularly good for big groups. Two that come to mind are the "The Dojo Ball Game" and the "Zombie Game".

It's always a challenge when you have a mixed group of people with different experience levels but we believe we have a way to make it work. Before we start on technical training (for newaza and tachi-waza), we'll split the group into two with the beginners in one group and the experienced ones in another. The beginners will work on some basic forward rolls, backward rolls etc. The experienced ones will work on some gripping drills.

As usual we will begin our session with newaza. This will be done as a group. I'll try to pair each beginner with an experienced player. We'll work on the koshi-jime family of techniques. We'll start with the standard koshi-jime where tori secures uke around the armpit area. This is an absolutely classical version of the technique that still works even at the top level. However, the more common version involves tori holding uke's trouser area and we will work on that too. If there is time, we will work on an even more advanced version that involves tori inserting his leg across uke's abdomen, similar to a juji-gatame entry situation. So, for newaza it's:

a) classical koshi-jime (armpit grip)
b) modified koshi-jime (trousers grip)
c) advanced koshi-jime (leg insertion)

We will start with (a), then proceed to (b). If there is enough time, we will move on to (c), otherwise we will simply move on to tachi-waza.

Tachi-waza will also be done as a group. We will work on a trio of inter-related techniques centred around ippon-seoi-nage. From the ippon-seoi grip, it's possible to also do osoto-gari and kouchi-makikomi. Whether we get to do all three will depend on time. If we progress fast, we'll do all three. If not, just the first two. So, for tachi-waza it's:

a) ippon-seoi-nage
b) ippon osoto
c) kouchi-makikomi

We always end our sessions with randori. With a big group, we'll need to allocate at least an hour for this. The dojo is big enough to have six pairs (12 players) on the mat at any one time. We'll do a moto-dachi approach whereby six of our more experienced players will stay on the mat for three consecutive rounds of randori. Then we have a new batch of six players take their place as moto-dachi. And so on.

We believe even beginners should do randori (yes, on their first day). It's what we did at Sunway Judo Club and it's worked out really well. What's important is that they partner up with an experienced player who knows how to take care of them. So, on our Open Day, everyone will get a chance to randori, even absolute beginners.

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