This visit was slightly different to the others in that it was a seminar, with the main focus being judo but also in applying it to a BJJ context.
Gary Lowe who from what I can tell is the heart and soul of the club picked me up from the station. To my amusement we were both sporting blue obi michi faixa rua belts!
Mark Earle is the head judo coach for the GB Olympic team and holds the rank of 6th Dan (the lighthouse coloured belt). He has coached Great Britain in 3 Olympics!. His experience in BJJ is minimal but he made constant efforts to explain the techniques in a way that would help our jiu jitsu game.
We started off with a light and speedy warm up of touch rugby and some kineastethics. He then made sure we were comfortable break falling, explaining that being comfortable with being thrown would help our stand up.
We then went through a series of throws, always breaking it down to absolute basic level and then adding complexity. These footwork drills made a quick and significant difference. We covered seio nage (shoulder throw), ochigari (outer leg reap), a keraaaaazzy drop kata garuma variation (doing a front split and throwing your opponent side ways over you!) a forward and backward variation of that. And a butterfly Tomoe nage type throw which ended in mount, the setup to which was particularly tight.
Mark had an assistant throughout called Danny, a GB judo international and nice guy. We went a few rounds of randori (stand up sparring) and when I had a go at Danny he was curtious enough not to smash me through the floor. Against my other opponents tomoe nage was my friend as usual but uchi mata is my deadly enemy. At one point I was paired against a taller opponent and on two, TWO! occasions I got nailed right in the tenders by a uchi mata calf.
We then lined up on the wall and we each fought Danny, in a row, without a break with Mark scoring and explaining. There were atleast 10 of us...some atleast 20kg heavier than him. He did not lose a single judo point and beat everyone, although had his back taken a few times but always survived to matte (restart). Awesome thing to see, incredible cardio, heart and ability. Ill be cheering him on in the olympics if he makes the team.
My fight against Danny:
I knew he was on to my tomoe nage so was tryng to keep him out of his element by attacking his legs. At one point I went for a flying armbar but he got his arm out, and engaged me in newaza. Went for an armbar of his own but I escaped. After standing back up he got me with a sweeeeet uchi mata, very nice feeling to be made so weightless...
My camera messed up again so Im waiting on a Mark Phung from Carlson Gracie to upload the picture on facebook. Also had a roll with Mark which was good fun, who is the heaviest 62kg Ive ever engaged with! Mark was good enough to treat me to a protein shake after training which was pretty tasty.
All in all I got a much better appreciation of judo and am keen for more, Mark gave me some compliments I feel very proud of.