Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Drills and series: Matwork ideas of the day

Wow, did we ever make some progress on The Book today! Jim is back from China, Japan and Tibet or wherever the heck he was and we got another 15 pages done in one day. How amazing is that? I also have a list of photos I need to take down at the CJI (California Judo, Inc.) camp in San Diego tomorrow. 

The more we get done, the more I am struck by how completely different Jim and I teach mat work. He wrote a whole chapter, which I think is great, on mat work series. Not only is each series complex, but they all flow into one another. For example, for several pages there is a whole sit out series (buy the book) that ends with this

When doing this move, if you don't feel you can get the arm lock, do everything the same, (that is, lock above the elbow, use your inside hand to post), then spin around behind your opponent as shown and continue your mat work from there.

Grab their wrist, pull it into their body, and then go into the wrist control series from here... 

 The next page begins a whole new series, for several more pages. It's brilliant, and anyone who has ever seen Jimmy Pedro,Jr. or Kayla Harrison or anyone else Jim coached knows that it works. I find it fascinating because it's also not the way I do mat work at all. This is chapter four.

So what did we talk about in the first three chapters?
 Chapter two is entitled "Ten quick ways to a submission"
Chapter three is "Two techniques everyone should know"

 But I don't want to talk about that, I want to talk about Chapter Seven, that I am working on now, which is situation drills. This is almost the opposite of what Jim did in chapter four. He says that you must always anticipate where your opponent is going to go.

My strategy is the flip side of that - having a reaction to whatever your opponent decides to do. The first drill is what I call "Help 'em up." If your opponent gets knocked to one knee and is so silly as to not let go of the grip immediately, you should do one of two things - either run straight into him, throw with o soto gari and bury him, or, if he is so silly as to try to stand up, step into an uchi mata and bury him.

I do this drill for two reasons. One is to teach the person who gets knocked to the knee that this is a very, very bad position and to not ever get here. The second is that, although you will not get a good player in this position very often, if you do, the person will only be there for an instant before they realize it is a huge mistake, drop the grip and either turtle up, get in the guard or some other more defensible position. Even really good players will make a mistake from time to time, but they won't make many of them, which is why you need to be able to capitalize on every possibility.

 I like the first drill because it allows you to catch even exceptional players because the bottom person is in such a bad position.

The next two drills are for positions that are much more likely to occur. Check back tomorrow night when I will (hopefully) have pictures of those, since that is part of what I'm teaching in the clinic in San Diego. 

Oh, The Book, right, when exactly will it be done and for sale? Well, our editor very inconsiderately decided to get married without consulting us in advance as to whether it would be convenient. While we thought editing our book was a perfect way to spend one's honeymoon, she apparently decided something else might be more interesting. (Yeah, hard to believe, I know.) Right now most of the photos in the book are "placeholders" so we know we want a photo of a counter to sankaku, for example, that shows the beginning, the exact placement of the hands, the roll, and the end but, of course, the quality needed for print is quite different than for on the web. We need to schedule a photo shoot in studio with the photographer. We're having Ronda do most of the demonstrations because she is much cuter and less wrinkly than me. We'll have to work around her fight schedule, so the photo shoot will probably happen some time in January.

 I saw a blog I wrote in January that said we hoped to have The Book done by the end of this year. I don't think we'll be too far off. How long after we get done all the publisher's end takes, I don't know. Guess I will find out.

1 comment:

Al B Here said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book whenever it's done. I'm sure I'll learn quite a bit about the art (which I'll definitely need if I ever expect to become competent in judo).