First day back to the dojo.

On Tuesday, we went back to the dojo for the first time since the CMCO was re-introduced. To be honest, the last time we put aside the sticks, I thought we'd never have to use them again. But the sticks have been brought back out of retirement and we are putting them to good use.

I always feel that during times like this when we can't do regular judo, it's a good opportunity to teach more conceptual stuff rather than just purely technical stuff.

Gripping is a good example. During normal times, when we are allowed to physically grip our partners, the focus of the training would usually be gripping drills, which is a very physical endeavour. But because we can't do that now, I taught them gripping theory and gripping principles instead. It was very much mental training rather than physical. But the players understood the concept I was teaching. Hopefully theyw will be able to apply it to their judo.  

Sticks are very good for training sweeping types of ashiwaza like de-ashi-barai, kosoto-gari and kouchi-gari. But they aren't much use for tewaza, koshi-waza and sutemi-waza. Still, we were able to do some unconventional but effective training with the sticks.

By coupling the sticks with crash pad use, we were able to train leg techniques that require throwing oneself into the throw. For example, kouchi-makikomi and kouchi-gake.

And to make it more realistic, I also got the uke to stand in front of tori (several metres away) and adopt the appropriate stance. Then uke becomes a reference point for tori so that he could really visualize doing the technique on a person rather than just a stick. It worked out really well.

After the technical session, we used Penalty Boxes to do a set of HIIT and a set of Plyometric drills.

I thought it was a good session. Not overly technical, not overly tiring, just a nice work especially considering the limitations we had due to the CMCO. Are these sessions ideal? No. But they are better than lounging around at home.

Who knows how long it will be before we can start regular judo again. But if the restrictions are extended, we will continue to offer our members interesting and innovative workouts until such time we can return to normal judo.