This week the 6 to 10 year old and 11-16 year old Judo classes really pushed hard to improve their training and technique, the class started with some more traditional Kodokan Judo warm ups including, running, squats, star jumps and inside and outside leg shuffles. The kids are very getting used to these exercises so it was time to change it up and give their bodies a set of new Judo fitness drills to work with.
The first was shuttle runs using training cones, this was a combination of running routines that made the kids think as they ran, you could see the level of competition between the teams build as they ran. Each child was running as quickly as they could while at the same time keeping an eye on the members from the other teams, kids martial arts at its best.
Just when the kids thought the exercises were done and finished we added some quad work. Judo and Karate rely on strong powerful legs that have real explosive power to close distances or make distances on or from your opponent and in Judo the same applies and you need strong legs to complete your throws with precision and power.
So we got the kids to squat down and then power hop to the cones at the end of the room where they then turned around and power hopped back, by the time a few rounds of this was done the kids legs were burning and it was time for a well deserved water break.
We then took the kids through a set of drill that help speed up their reflexes as well as improving their co-ordination, each child had a piece of cut belt pushed into the front of their Gi and the object of the game was to get Judo grips on your opponent as quickly as possible then control them and steal the piece of belt without allowing your opponent to get the piece of cut belt from you. The kids absolutely loved this drill with screams of joy as they managed to get the other persons belt strip.
The next phase was to make this game harder, the strip was now inserted into the belt at the back making it much more challenging for each player to be able to get access to the piece of cut belt. The kids had to learn strategies to unbalance their partner, move them on angles and create openings that allow access to the piece of belt tucked into the back of the opponents belt. A truly fun time was had be all and while they were having fun some great and valuable Judo lessons were being learned.
We then went into the Judo technique of the night which for the 6 to 10 year old and 11-16 year old Judo classes ( these are run at separate times ) was Ouchi-gari or in English a Large Outer Reap, the children went though getting an understanding of what the technique was and how it was applied through a demonstration. For this point the technique was broken down into 3 separate parts and the training began by pairing up the kids and showing them the first step of the 3 parts.
The kids were placed either side of a netball on a cone and each partner came in and going from inside to outside with their foot and big toe, drew a circle around the ball without causing the ball to fall from the cone, this gives the children the basic pattern of movement for the Ouchi-gari technique. They did right foot only first and then left foot only second to become used of using both sides of the body.
From this the children partnered up and practiced the entry into the throw together, adding the breaking of balance together with the entry and then into the final phase where they completed the technique by taking their partner to the ground in a controlled manner so no one got hurt in any way.
This got drilled and drilled and the kids showed just how quickly they can learn and apply these new Judo techniques!