The Thursday Kodokan Judo classes for kids is at maximum capacity and the waiting list continues to grow at an alarming rate, we hope in the not to distant future with the help of Wyndham City Council to expand the room available and reduce the waiting list substantially. This Thursdays session was so much fun, we started with the 6 to 10 class ( 5.15pm till 6.15pm ), this was followed by the 11 to 16 year old class ( 6.15pm till 7.15pm ) then the new beginners class ( 7.15pm till 8.15pm ) on the mats and we finished the night with the adults class ( 8.15 to 9.15pm ) so all in all a very busy evening of training.
First up for all classes was the warm up and stretching session to get their bodies ready for the impact of the Judo session they were about to commence.
This was followed by a set of cardio and strength building games. Exercise is always much easier to do when in the form of competitive games and the kids just thrive on the challenge, which is great!
From here it was technique review and for the 11 to 16 year old class they went into Tachi-waza or, in english, standing techniques. We are beginning to introduce the Judo throwing with a more stand up focus now that the kids have a reasonable ground skill base and their break falls are getting better and better.
The purpose of this training exercise was to use your balance, body position and your ability to break your opponents balance to bring them to the ground without the actual use of a Judo throw. The kids found this much more challenging than they first thought and many battling pairs ended in a draw. This also showed the kids how much energy and effort this type of fighting takes from your body, if your techniques are not strong and only based on just muscles and strength… a very well learned lesson for all involved.
The evening training was finished with some ne-waza or, in english, ground fighting were the goal is to pin and hold your opponent for a defined period of time then release and start again. This is a real favourite of all the kids no matter what age level.
The adults class focused the evening session on sweep techniques from guard, side control and top mount and moving into a submission finish. They then learned a quick finish submission using a variation of Kata-gatame in the guard position. This is a super fast finishing submission technique and everyone without exception put this into good practice during training.
The Kata-gatame in the guard submission is a balance of timing and placement, it requires little to no strength when done correctly and as such is a great finishing submission for a smaller player against larger players. It was great to see the big guys in the room tapping so quickly when the girls put on the squeeze!
Next week it’s back to stand up and it will be fun as we consolidate the Gokyo 1 set of techniques and then start on the Gokyo 2 set!