Sweeps and rakes were the order of the day this Saturday.
We worked on combinations, set-ups and transitions, ie. OuchiGari to Kouchi Gari. The idea being that you attempt Ouchi Gari, but Uke counters it by stepping of with the leg you are attacking. This results in Uke's weight being transferred to the leg that he just stepped of with, allowing you to attack the other leg with Kouchi Gari.
It sounds simple and, in theory, it is, but the key is to keep your momentum going and that is what we worked on mostly. If you attempt the first attack and uke counters, the next attack should follow immediately, as the shift in uke's weight is only for a second or two. By the time you start thinking "oh no, I've been countered, what do I do now!", uke has already sorted his balance out and the opportunity is gone! So with that in mind, we just drilled a couple of transitions, concentrating on the transition being as smooth as possible, with no 'stutters' and pauses in between. I did struggle a bit with getting the transitions done smoothly, but it got better towards the end and I think it will improve with more practice.
My first competition is this Sunday! I feel as ready as I can be and I will have one last training session on Saturday morning. There are three other people from my club also going to the competition, so at least I will have some support and guidance. I am really getting excited now!
There was also grading done this Saturday and I want to congratulate Sean, who got his 4th Kyu (Orange belt) and Lizzy, who got her 6th Kyu (Red belt).
My sensei informed me that my grading (for 5th Kyu) will be done after my competition, so I need to be ready!
On my next blog entry, I will share the experience of competing for the first time, so stay tuned...