As a fan of UFC fighting and its progression over the years, I have always been intrigued by the notion that a fully rounded fighter needed to know ground skills as well as stand-up striking.  I just assumed that ground work was just something I was not ever going to get to do.  Just learning the catalog of skills related to TSD (Tang Soo Do) took me 7 to 8 years.  

In TSD a big principle is "never go to ground".  So I spent my whole martial arts life pretty much learning never go there or fighting my way out if I took a throw.  I was fairly jealous of the guys in our previous small town that got to do Judo and later the military combatives.  Those classes were pretty much the same time as ours or in conflict with something else.    

Let me make it clear, I am never going to compete in UFC or whatever local version they might have for old men, but I have always been struck by the idea of a well-rounded fighter.  So that is why I get excited when we stop testing preparation and do something which feels like it's off the syllabus.  

Last night was dedicated to escaping front chokes.  It was mostly make sense kind of things; pushing toward to break the thumb grasp, ducking between the arms, then we added in breaking the balance of the choker and using that to pull them off balance.  Finally, pulling the choker off balance and then doing an arm bar or standing submission.  

This was all fine and good and I am pretty comfortable with all this.  At my TSD school we were busy choking the crap out of ourselves most of the time, but it nice to get "handsy" once again.  And then Reed Sensei has us pull out the mats!  

The rest of the class was focused on how to exit a choke while you are on your back.  Which finally lead up to a reversal and arm bar.  It was so much fun!  I am saying that because I got it instantaneously.  For the first time all the stuff I have learned in the past came together so that I inherently knew exactly what I was supposed to do.  It was joyful moment in which I had to be shown a relatively complicated move only once and I knew how to do it kinesthetically and, more to the point, I understood the dynamics applied throughout the whole sequence.  Fantastic!

I also found that yellow belts have to execute an escape from the floor choke to move up in rank.  Fascinating.

Also, stopped coughing on Sunday.  Boom just like that.  But I still feel pretty out of shape. 


Anonymous said…
Cool and I'm jealous. We barely visited this sort of thing in TKD or kung fu. There's just not enough class hours to make it through the normal syllabus. From a SD perspective I think it makes good sense. From a "tired old man who's dealing with work place stress" perspective, important but not the focus. :-)

I am now neck deep in personnel shit at work. As such I did not make it to judo last night. Plan on Thursday night. If not, I'll have to live vicariously through you. ;-)
Potatoe Fist said…
Sorry to create areas of jealousy. I will be looking forward to hearing all the horrible life stories that preclude you from attending throw and slap.

Judo will be awesome. There is nothing like having someone go over your shoulder, no is there anything so cool as taking a fall.

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