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steve
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PostSubject: Judo seminar    Tue 13 Dec 2011, 09:43

Had a really great time on Saturday at Si squires judo seminar. Sam and Vince were great Vince started by putting us all through a 1 hour Olympic style fitness session it really tested all of us, as fit as I am even I found it hard. Next we did a 1 hour no Gi stand up session going through some throws this was followed by 1 hour of ground work. Big thanks to Si squires for arranging it hope your injury heals fast mate.

Edited to add photos
















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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Tue 13 Dec 2011, 10:18

Should have mentioned as well Sam Lowe is a commonwealth gold medalist in the 78 kg ladies judo class and has just received her letter telling her she will be in next years Olympics. Sam is just recovering from knee surgery and will be back to full contact judo training in January I am sure I can speak for us all in wishing her every success for the Olympics she is the best at her weight class we have.

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Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Thu 15 Dec 2011, 10:37

By all accounts a terrific day. Big plaudits to Si for taking the time and effort to aid the efforts of two of our athletes.
I spoke to a couple of the Gutterfighers who attended, and they said the conditioning almost made them throw up....and these are fit lads. Awesome day guys.

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Sijkd1
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PostSubject: A Review by Simon Squires   Tue 20 Dec 2011, 21:08

Failed upload; try later. Pics not posting.


Last edited by Sijkd1 on Tue 20 Dec 2011, 21:52; edited 1 time in total
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Tue 20 Dec 2011, 21:22

Very nice review Si thanks for a great day.
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Sijkd1
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Wed 21 Dec 2011, 11:29

Seminar Review: Sam Lowe and Vince Skillcorn

Review by Simon Squires

Yep, the gym was freezing. Mushin Martial Arts is an awesome martial arts dojo and it gets warm via the very life force of the martial artists who practice, sweat and perfect themselves through rigorous and arduous sessions. Mushin Martial arts Gym was cold that morning.




It is a link from the ancient warriors and their systems that we see glimpses of in the traditional arts practiced there.....right through to the modern combatives and sport sambo practitioners that have adapted those practices to face modern threats and modern sports scenarios.




Judo. One of the “modern” arts. Created from the vestigial samurai class and their schools of fighting.....dragged into the 20th century by Dr Jigoro Kano who wanted his country and countrymen to enter the burgeoning modern world and compete with the Western countries. And he succeeded. An Olympic sport practiced by millions, judo is one of the most well known martial arts in the world. It has influenced all forms of grappling and remains one of the most hotly contested sports at the Olympics with only a minority of countries not entering fighters.

On this cold and slightly wet Saturday morning, fighters from various martial systems gathered for a seminar that was to introduce to many techniques from judo, adapted for use without the “white pyjama” uniform called a “gi”. It was our honour to be trained and coached this day by 2 Olympic class athletes who have represented the UK internationally many times. Sam Lowe, the tall and fierce female is in fact a commonwealth gold medal winner and despite injury has begun her assault for the Olympics in 2012 in the UK. In fact, she is the only under 78kg fighter named on the squad. Exciting times for this excellent and elite athlete who has the gentle manners of a true warrior. Her partner, in life and training is Vince Skillcorn; a multi medal winner himself who will not be at 2012 due to the multiple injuries that plague the modern judoka, brought on by the intensity at which they train.




The goals of the seminar were twofold: a fundraising attempt to help two of our national athletes, both of whom are unfunded. With the national press reporting funding gaps for many Olympic competitors, it should come as no surprise that Judo, has also suffered. In return, Sam and Vince were to lead us through a snapshot of their conditioning training, as well as showing us some judo skills from their throwing and grappling repertoire that would require no “gi”....so we could take away, adapt and improvise for our own use....or simple for us to enjoy as a snapshot of “what they do” !!!

And that is how it began. After an introduction from myself about the way the day would go....the hardships faced by our judoka and a brief mention of the type of people in the hall (all vetted, all identified as good people with a lack of ego).....we were off. And Vince led the way with some of the drills that looked vaguely familiar.

Both sadly and enjoyably, that’s where, for most, the recognition ended. The just sub one hour session tested everybody. That in itself was important as there were some very fit people in the room including grapplers, ultra runners, boxers, traditional karate guys and combatives practitio0ners......each and every one of them felt it. A brief snap shot indeed. Burpees, sit ups, bear crawls, press ups, squats and not one piece of equipment demonstrating that to be truly fit and strong, you just need to move your body. I was going to say “as nature intended” but I’m not sure that even mother nature and all her harshness would have inflicted 8 sets of b@stards with a bear crawl sprint. Vince, however, seemed to enjoy it.





The group worked hard and sweated harder. Soon enough, the dojo was warm. Amusingly, it looked like someone had gotten carried away with an extended warm up, which you could be forgiven for thinking, had you not known this was a quick look at an Olympic Level conditioning session. Lots of guys were gasping, shaking and couple sloped off to the toilets to say hello to the basin. Most were left knowing, that given time, you can always do more.





A far too quick water break later and Vince was propelling the session forward and it was time for the “tachiwaza” session: the throwing bit. Stand up grappling, to takedowns to be precise. Vince made a point of saying he wanted to go through stuff that could be assimilated and used quite quickly and without patronising anyone, he felt that throws where you turned your back on people were generally hard to learn, take lots of practice and then need pressure testing to gain confidence in......he wanted to make sure we took something useful away so had selected a few he thought we would like.

A warm up round of avoiding take downs got everyone in the mood: avoiding bear hugs with a simple push off and face planting your attacker in case of a leg grab, with a shooting backwards of the hip. Given I am fairly effective at taking the lads from the club down, I was especially surprised at the speed at which Vince moved. The attributes of an Olympic class athlete are not to be sniffed at, even when they’re not really trying. And comparing my judo black belt which was a huge achievement for me, is not really in the same county let alone playing field as our national level players.

Ura Nage was first. Not something that an uke would like to hear is up next. Ura nage looks something like a suplex. Enough said. Here’s a series of pics in slow motion to show what it looks like:





From the person being thrown’s point of view ( “UKE”), it felt like the wind was carrying you.....until of course you hit the deck. It was at this point, that I got a shock of pain through the hip cradle. A product of dysfunction, as per the advice of Shackleton and something that would come to bear in the next section.

The next throw for people to practice was a version of “ouchi gari”, an inner reaping throw, where the opponent’s landing foot is swept away as it lands and weight is placed on it. This version was done as the opponent takes a large step to try and grab you.....you lift one of their arms up by simply raising your own as they try to grab you and pull their other arm towards you at the tricep towards you....forcing them to take a large step....you turn to your right, reaping their stepping leg away....




The pic above is how it looks with the traditional Gi on.

This throw was real insight to judo. It was 100% movement and as such, when people “got it”, it felt like they had done nothing......an indication they had, in fact, done it correctly.

A review of “o soto gari”, one of the more famous judo throws was next.....a large step behind (pushing their arm from around your neck and over the top, onto your “inside”), with a punch to the ground and a sweeping of the legs backwards. I have to attest, this was the most spectacular version of the throw I have been subjected to, no doubt mostly down to the skill of Vince.




This throw had a very combative feel to it and as such, people took to this one quickly. There were more than a few people crashing into the mat during this session ! The repeated picture above is Vince throwing me with “O Soto Gari”.

Then came the spinning whirlwind that took me off my feet and onto the mat at high speed. To this day, I have not been thrown like that. I had no idea, what I had been thrown with. It appeared to be a type of spinning “Ko Uchi Gari”. As I stood up, that was it, the adductor was complaining and it was not worth the further risk to carry one.





After contacting Vince to discuss it, I found out this is a throw that he developed after years of fighting...using momentum, speed and body angles to create a throw. I can attest, it works, so I’ll name it as “Vince Ashi Guruma”. ‘ Cos that’s what it felt like.


Uke’s then swapped and a combination of a few lads got Vince through his demos. Vince then went on to teach various “pick ups” where people are attacking you and you turn the tables to dump them. Pictures speak far more than words could on this: This is Adam who is a little taller than me, showing technique over strength as he lifts big Carl, who is much taller than me.




Another example- note the foot sweeping action, typical of judo !




Overall, Vince showed us that balance is everything, movement is key and practice makes perfect. The seminar delegates found that we can pick these skills up for sure but seeing the difference in his execution and our own lets us know the dedication that an Olympic athlete goes through to achieve their levels of skill.

Next came my favourite part, the “newaza”, the ground work. Sadly, at this point, I was being treated by Shackleton and had to lie there in my pants as he made me squeal in pain as he pointed out the overly sensitive support muscles that had caused the muscle twang I had experienced. Gutted.

Vince showed some excellent controls from the side mount/half guard position.......emphasising the need for good “spine control”. In true combatives fashion, one of the delegates said “But I’d poke you in the eyes if you did that”...the ensuing groans and grunts as Vince controlled the spine and asked how he felt about eye poking was enough. Note to self: never threaten an Olympic level athlete with an eye gouge and tell him in advance !


Vince and Sam went around correcting and adding to people’s techniques......you could see the urge from Sam to get involved.....several times I caught her on the floor in or out of someone’s guard, showing people how it should be done; I guess even injured Olympians can’t help themselves !

Then, as the seminar drew to a close, Vince some “turn over techniques”, employed in a pure grappling situation and something judo is known for. These are applied to someone who has gone to their knees and balled up in a “turtle” like position.

Vince’s natural strength and power showed through with several participants commenting. “when he gets hold of you, well, you KNOW”..... I understood. I was still limping !

The turnover into triangle chokes was as impressive a display of groundwork technique as I have ever seen; it was flawless technique and applied with conviction, the opponent was soon tapping. Yet as complex as it was, the instruction and coaching from Sam as well as Vince allowed people to practice it and apply it well. The pics say it all:









At this point, people had been working hard for over 3 hours....their spirits were willing but bodies were flagging. A few people had a grapple as some left.

Sam and Vince and her Commonwealth gold medal were kind enough to pose for photos for those that wanted them.

An interesting, painful and demanding look into the life of an Olympic Level athlete; all the delegates appreciated the day and despite one other injury (exactly the same as mine), the day went well. Money was raised and people wished two of our finest athletes all the very best.

One of the most telling comments I heard repeated on the day was “For such high level athels, they are really lovely people”. Both Sam and Vince are as approachable, warm and engaging as they are skilled and hard working.

From a personal point of view, it was an honour to host them, see them in action and to get the chance to talk about their motivations. And given I love Judo at the Olympics, it gives me a greater reason to cheer during the matches!









I am sure we wish them all the luck and good fortune as we stand behind our countrymen ! They wanted me to convey they're thanks and to say they really enjoyed the session too.

So, say we all !
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Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Wed 21 Dec 2011, 11:58

Great review Si, many thanks for posting.

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Dave McC
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Wed 21 Dec 2011, 21:47

Lucky guys..looks great.
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Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Wed 21 Dec 2011, 22:21

That sequence of the Ura-nage is superb....


...great photo; you can really see the dynamics involved.

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Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Wed 04 Jan 2012, 11:31

Those who attended the seminar will find Nick Hughes' article A re-think on Judo of great interest.

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Giles
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Wed 04 Jan 2012, 20:20

Looks a great seminar, sorry to have missed it.

Giles
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Sijkd1
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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Thu 05 Jan 2012, 08:03

Great article.

Judo has brought many qualities to my life to be honest and although a sport, there are many cross overs to the world of self protection.

Balance, body movement, fitness but most of all the ability and experience of man handling people is one of the key elements in my humble opinion.

And its fun......the only issue as an older person being Nage-Komi, that's what kicks off most minor injuries and lay offs from training.

Other than that, love the discipline, love the training, love the finesse and love the history.
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Michael

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PostSubject: Re: Judo seminar    Thu 05 Jan 2012, 12:24

Agreed.

I wish I had known the value of Judo when I was 14-15. Judo was my intro into the world of martial arts, and I was fortunate to have a very combat oriented instructor. Just the contact and physicality alone makes it worthwhile, not to mention the body control and throwing/grappling/choking skills to be learned. My instructor also taught the atemi, which is rare today in most Judo classes.
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