Class was a lot of fun today. It is always nice coming back after having been away for a while. It makes me appreciate the students, the teachers at the school and just judo in general more.
First, we covered the switch, where you pull your opponent forward and then, when the opponent reacts, slide your leg behind their legs and throw them backward. Here is one student showing the entry into the throw after the person resists.
Here is a picture of a second pair of students finishing the throw.
The thrower should have turned his body more toward the mat and been more on top of the opponent, but considering this is the first time they had ever learned that throw, I thought they did very well.
Second, we practiced o soto gari - what the announcers on the fight called a leg sweep. Since this was the first throw they had learned at the beginning of the school year, it was just practicing it. Some of the students had watched the fight on Showtime and were very impressed when they saw it that Ronda used a throw they already knew. I made the point that this is a technique that people use from their very first tournament right up to world and Olympic competition.
Then, we finished off with harai makikomi and arm bars. With the arm bars, we focused on two things. First, breaking the arm free when the opponent is holding on for dear life (lock it against your body and rotate toward the head). Second, I explained entry into arm bars and how even though Ronda had done the same arm bar twice, she did two different entries into it.
One of the teachers at the school took pictures on his camera, so I'll have those next week to talk about how to do the arm bars.
Speaking of teachers - I want to note that this program has been going on for THREE YEARS and Mr. Jose Gonzalez, a social studies teacher at Gompers Middle School has volunteered his time after school for the entire three years, on the mat, supervising this program. A second school staff member, Mr. Jimmy Sanchez, began coming this year to assist.
The next time you hear someone running down public school teachers, think about these two gentlemen staying around on Friday after having worked all week, to work more, for free.