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10:29 am: Judo

I took second place in my division at the Pam Ams yesterday. I was in the M1 (30 to 35 year old) novice (non black belt) under 81 kilo (< 178 lbs) division. There were three of us. One Canadian (green belt) and one other person from the US (white belt). Here's how it went down:

The other two guys fought first, and the white belt beat the Canadian pretty handily.

Fight 1: Next it was my turn to go against the white belt. He was a lot stronger than he looked. Easily as strong as me. We moved each other around for a while, and he threw me twice for a half point each time.

Fight 2: Then I had to go against the green belt. That match lasted 11 seconds. I came out, got my grip, moved him where I wanted him to go, and hit an o-uchi-gari (major inside leg reap). I hauled down and forward really hard on his left shoulder. That made him step forward with his left leg. Once the leg was there, I hooked my right heel behind his left heel and drove forward and to my right as hard as I could. Observers said that I "laid him out."

Fight 3: Our bracket was a "true" double elimination. That meant that at this point the green belt was out, having lost twice. I, however, was not yet eliminated. So it was back out with the white belt. This one I won in about a minute, using a combination we've been working a lot. It's a shoulder throw into an outside leg reap. Me any my long legs like the sweeps and reaps. I stepped in and pivoted counterclockwise so my right side under his right arm - as if I was going for a shoulder throw. Actually, I totally *was* going for a shoulder throw. He blocked me by hunkering down and pitching his weight backwards. At that point I hooked my right foot around the outside of his right foot, clamped on to that right arm, and spun back clockwise to face forward, throwing my weight forward. He couldn’t step or block, and down he went. A second ippon.

Fight 4: At this point he had beaten me once, and I had beaten him once. So, it was back out for a third fight with the guy. He hauled me to the ground and choked me until I tapped, giving him the win.

Turns out that the white belt had cut weight down from 195, which explains the “unusually strong for our size” thing.

Overall, I’m totally happy with my performance. I achieved my goals for the tournament, which were:

* Win at least one fight
* Use the techniques we’ve been working on
* Throw combinations rather than just single attacks.
* Win or lose, but not on points. Play good judo.

I also learned some stuff: My endurance was still not where I want it to be. I feel like if I had more gas on the ground, I could have taken the gold. Also, my ground game needs work. I still get too defensive and wait for the referee to stand me up. Instead, I need to attack. Again, win or lose, but attack.

One more thing: A woman from my school brought her son, a curly haired 5 year old with bright blue eyes. As I was leaving the mat area, they congratulated me and said that they had taught the boy to cheer for me. On cue he said in a piping little voice: “Go Chris Go!” It was just about the most adorable thing ever.

Then technolope and capital_l came over and we all stayed up until stupid late (like, 4am) watching the Watchmen movie. They’re still asleep, I think. redmed on the other hand, got up early and made apple crisp.

Originally published at chris.dwan.org. You can comment here or there.

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