Practice & Drilling

We had a very good technical session at Camberley JC this morning, led by head coach Luke Preston. To begin with Luke delivered 10 minutes of structured solutions to a number of kumikata (gripping) scenarios which would enable us to dominate and then, as instructed, set up our personal choice of attack. The rest of the session was timed blocks of personal work. As I am currently in the thick of the Olympic qualification period the majority of my choice of techniques that I practice are mainly those that I regard as my best, those most likely to obtain me scores at the up and coming events. I am always having a look at new things and virtually every session I shall dedicate a percentage of time to skill acquisition, I find this helps keep everything interesting, especially after years at it. Who knows, that technique may serve to get me out of trouble, or, even become a tokui-waza (favourite technique) later on down the line. Currently though, time devoted to newer attacks is minimal.

This week has been my first week back to full training after an easier fortnight which followed the last busy block of competitions, 3 in 4 weeks. It was a nice recovery period with some lighter sessions and good to not have to step onto the scales each morning also. I was itching to get back to it all on Monday though.

I tend to ease into Friday’s technical work, after a hard week of training I feel it’s important to see how my concentration levels and body are reacting; intensity can then be built, maintained or lowered accordingly so that performance in the session is as accurate and pin point as possible.

I worked with Logan Campbell, a talented and hardworking junior. Logan is skilled in his technical ability and also as an uke (partner), we had a strong session together. I videoed the majority of the session and as I watched it back it dawned on me how much of a repertoire Logan has for someone at such a young age and with so many years ahead of him. 

I was going through a few notes in my older diaries earlier and came across something that I wrote to myself in 2013, regarding technical training; at the time there was a couple of people whom I didn’t particularly like doing technical work with as I was struggling to practice certain techniques on them. The note also serves to remind me of how well the training group at CJC has come on, continuing to go from strength to strength. 

…..ultimately you have to stay reactive to your partner. If they are not reacting how you would like them to then it’s YOUR job to adapt to whatever they are doing to score or gain an advantageous position.

For the first 19 years of my Judo training I went at absolutely everything like a bull in a china shop. After the London Olympics however I had to address my approach to a lot of sessions, calming down and focusing on technical progression being a key one. I would still get frustrated, especially if my partner wasn’t giving me the reaction that I wanted from a feint, chop, or any attempt at an attack set up. I have a very destructive part to my personality that I have to work hard on to keep under wraps, I am fortunate to have a lot of great help with that process. As a younger fighter there are more times than I care to remember when I spat the dummy out during training because I allowed myself to become frustrated by small things, a couple of times as a not so young fighter too! Now, if I feel the agitation begin to build I try (still in progress!) to ask myself how I can get the best out of what I’m doing. Regards to technical work, if that means not being so fixated on performing 1 specific technique, and staying open to what my partner is doing then so be it. For this reason I tell myself each time I step onto the mat, particularly for technical training, that I am ‘practicing’ as opposed to ‘drilling’. I find this helps any fixed patterns of thinking to disburse so I can think more clearly, and ultimately, train as well as I possibly can. 

I hope everyone enjoys the bank holiday weekend. 

Stay safe 😉