When I was a beginner, I was fortunate enough to have been trained by an excellent coach who taught me very sound fundamentals. His approach to technical training was one of "practical judo".

He didn't care about whether a technique was classical or unorthodox. He was not dogmatic about that. What he cared about is whether a technique worked or not, whether it was effective and efficient. In other words, whether it was "practical".

It is with this in mind that I trained our newest member, an absolutely beginner who is just in her second week of judo training. Some people who see this video, especially traditionalists will say, "You are teaching her such advanced techniques!"

I would say I'm teaching her practical judo.

1. The Neil Adams Juji-Gatame Roll is the most versatile way to get uke into a juji-gatame position. There are other ways that are also good and effective but they usually allow tori to roll only in one direction. With the Adams Roll, tori can roll in two directions. This is why I prefer this version over the others.

2. Ippon-Seoi-Nage is a very popular judo throw although the standing version is quite difficult to do. Initially I wasn't sure if this beginner was suited for the standing version but the other day I saw her do it during a drill and it looked good. So, I decided to teach her this throw in more detail.

The Sack of Potatoes Drill teaches tori to have a mindset of throwing uke with seoi-nage regardless of whether tori has an ideal grip or not. I tell tori, imagine you are lifting a sack of potatoes. You can't get a proper grip on a sack of potatoes and a sack of potatoes doesn't even grip you back. It's just there as dead weight. That's what you've got to load onto your back. Once tori doees the Sack of Potatoes Drill, normal Uchikomi for Ippon-Seoi becomes easy.  

3, Hara-Zutsumi (Stomach Wrap or Gut Wrench) is a popular contest technique, especially among Japanese female players but some players from other countries use it too. The Fletcher Roll is a version I saw Megan Fletcher (IRL) teach. It's a very simple version of the Hara-Zutsumi and a good one for beginners to start with.

4. Drop Ippon-Seoi-Nage is probably the most popular contest throw in the world, surpassing even Uchimata as a major scoring technique. It's a very practical technique that every player, regardless of body type or size, should have in their repertoire. Yes, even tall players.

5. The Pinewood Roll is a variation of Hara-Zutsumi made famous by female players from the legendary Pinewood Judo Club in the UK. Its origins are undoubtedly Japanese but for a while, all the female players from Pinewood were doing this technique, which is how it got its name.  

6. Tomoe-Nage is a technique all beginners love. Even if you don't teach a beginner Tomoe-Nage, they will inevitably try it in randori (and fail spectacularly, of course). Why do people like it so much? Perhaps they've seen it done in action movies or some TV show. Perhaps it's because it looks so dynamic. Sure enough, our beginner loves this technique too.

But like all techniques, you need to learn it properly in order for it to work. The popular contest version is Yoko-Tomoe-Nage, which involves a sideways rotation entry into the technique. It's very difficult to do and probably not the first type of Tomoe to teach a beginner. The classical version where tori falls straight back is much easier to learn, and it is effective. It is not as common as Yoko-Tomoe but you still do see it being done at the highest level. So, I decided to teach our beginner the classical version first. She can learn Yoko-Tomoe later on.