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We did something different tonight at Trojan Judo Club. We skipped newaza and focused on drilling ashiwaza. Ashiwaza is known as foot-techniques. There are a ton of foot sweeps that are part of this family.
Judo was originally designed for a smaller, weaker and frailer opponent to defeat a bigger and stronger opponent. IMO, this is one family of techniques where power plays little role. It is about timing and form.
Take okuri-ashi-barai (sending foot sweep). This is where you time the sweep while your opponent slides his feet so that you sweep both feet underneath him.
For all these sweeps, to include deashi-barai, timing is crucial. A second too late and you hit a tree trunk, a second too early and your opponent is able to recover or even counter you.
Tonight, Sensei Roy drilled use with basic walking with and without gripping our partner to time a sweep in the four major directions. We also practiced sweeping at an angle where uke turns his body at a 45 degree angle and steps. It is critical for uke to take a step as if he were actually stepping and not keep his foot floating. This does not help tori.
Other drills included pulling and stepping to one side, lowering yourself and pulling up with the suri-te to get your opponent on his toes. Pull, pivot and lift.
The last drill was to faint or check with your right shin to force your opponent to step back and you sweep with your left foot. You must break the natural mechanic and follow your right foot forward with your hips. A good uke will slide his right foot to his left in order to help tori develop timing.
On the side note, ashibarai is effective and if the timing is right, you can't help but to throw your partner. So make sure everyone knows how to fall when doing these moves. Lastly, cup your foot otherwise it will hurt both you and your partner.
-- Congratulations to Himal Suthar for passing his promotion exam to a yellow belt under Sensei Roy Harting.
-- Welcome Sensei John Sunwoo to our Judo Club. Now we have four yudansha affiliated with USC.