Monday, November 21, 2011

The return. Södra Judo Open 4.

I haven't been really training or competing in judo for the last 10 years. The details aren't relevant but it sure wasn't my choice. About a year ago I returned to active training, and last weekend went to Stockholm for a small regional judo tournament Södra Judo Open 4.

The whole travel was somewhat poorly planned on my side because I did not know if I was going to participate not until a day before the competition, consequently I was doing the regular workouts and did not prepare had time to shed the weight to compete in my weight class. Consequently, I decided to go for U90 kilos (my actual weight is about 83-4) but there was no way I had time to sweat it out and going for the competition without proper meal and not 100% guarantee of making it to U81 I decided to sign up for U90.

The other thing was that I had to leave early in the morning to make it to weight-ins at 15:00, and yeah taking a car ride for 7+ hours and than immediately hitting the mat, is something to be avoided in the future.;)

Anyway, I got to Stockholm semi-ready to fight, and confirmed my participation as soon as I arrived. It was really unfortunate that in U90 weight class there were only 3 fighters, so I immediately signed up for 90+ as well, cause traveling 1K kilometers for 1-2 fights is somewhat stupid.

The first match began about 17:00 o'clock so I had time for a nap after the weight-ins :). My first opponent was proper U90 kilo brown belt, and immediately lack of sparring experience made my life somewhat harder than I expected. Over here up North in Sweden there is only one guy I train with who is about my size, and consequently we often spar together, but it is clearly not enough and is somewhat harder to fight someone either much bigger or much smaller. Anyway, even though the guy was bigger than me I did score yuko in the first minute and continue pressing attacks and dominating the fight until the end. My opponent even though losing did not make much effort to change things around. Consequently I was very surprised by the refereeing since the guy was constantly blocking me with his right and more importantly being passive throughout the fight. No warnings have been given though.

The next or the final fight in U90 did not happen at all, because my opponent did not show up. I was disappointed but there is little I could do. So, I took gold in U90 in rather hollow and meaningless victory.

In 90+ things were a bit more peachy, the first fight was again against the same guy I won in U90. Again I was pushing the pace, attacking, but as the guy continued to defend I got in into left sided uchi-mata fall on my front, and as the dude rolled me over on the ground the referees gave a wazaari to him. That was a questionable call, but unfortunately I don't have a video to elaborate more on that. From there on my opponent was pretty much on defensive and blocking but the refs did not decide to give him any warnings this time around either.

The next fight was almost immediately after the previous, I got 4 minutes to recover. As I began the fight I felt rather winded, but again the guy I was fighting wasn't that good and he did not do much on the offensive either except for kicking me in the leg with his right. Again after a minute into the fight I managed to recover, and in the 2nd or 3rd minute into the fight I went for left low tai-o-toshi and scored an ippon.

The last fight in the 90+ I fought against the guy from my actual U81 weight class. At this point I was a bit winded and lost the focus, consequently standing on straight legs. The guy got into left sided uchi mata and clipped my foot flipping me on the back. I did see him getting in, but I was sure he will not be able to do much from that position. I guess due to the lack of randori practice on my side he managed to roll me over. I was somewhat surprised, but given the level of my current condition and rather poor prep specifically on the mat it ended up disappointing in the 90+.

On the upside, I did feel alright regarding the conditioning. I got a little bit sick on the way to the competitions which was all my fault, but given the rate of my attacks in all fights I am doing the right thing at the gym. I have also felt much stronger in terms of physique than my opposition, even though some dudes where bigger than me. On the downside, lack of sparring accumulated to the poor technical performance. The last time I competed I weighted in 55 kilos, and I was never the stronger side in terms of physical power. With this in mind I came in into the fights, which was tactically stupid thing to do. But all in all, it was a good experience in terms of upcoming national team competitions in which I will hopefully take part. I have specifically outlined 3 tactical changes that will certainly improve the performance.

...and hey I also got a gold medal:

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