Drake @ the Western Area Joint North & South Training Session - Bath
Visits to the hallowed tatami of Team Bath are not to be undertaken lightly and so it was with a little tinge of excitement, trepidation and anticipation that Lottie, Lucy, Jake, Charles and Dan took to the mat for the combined North & South training session. For those that are not aware, as the Western Area is so large, it is split into a North & South smaller division. Our friends in Cornwall join us in Devon in the South Group. Bristol and western Hampshire are in the North Group. A couple of times a year, the two groups meet up and have a technical and randori session.
The first 2 hour session concentrated on fundamental techniques taken by Jason; movement into a throw, feet position and balance. With sweat pouring off the foreheads of the adults and the kids sucking in big breaths of air, it was a hard session to watch. It was great to see Charles working with the Team Bath Elite players and our juniors mixing it with other clubs. A bit of “light” newaza (groundwork) randori and then standing randori in groups of three kept the sweat flowing (nice, I know). There were some nice match ups with stand out contests between firstly Jake and James Smith, a green belt from Bradley Stoke, with Lottie taking James on next. Both of the DJC stood up well against a really competitive judoka (just back from a competition in Europe), higher graded and older.
After a little mopping down, it was time for a refuel.
Dan and Jake took the opportunity to make their move and return south – it was Andrea’s birthday after all and the toll of a long weekend sightseeing in Bath had sapped energy levels.
Round two was a hard randori session. Harsh words were said by Simon as the energy levels in this session were not what they should be. If you weren’t going to put the effort in, then this was not the place to be. 5 rounds of 4 minute newaza contests with 4 tachiwaza contests to follow, also of 4 minute duration pushed the judoka to the limit. Lucy pushed herself beyond her expectations and got half way through the standing contests before hitting the wall. Charles, with black and brown judoka to play with, lasted little shorter time. Lottie held her head high and made it through to the end.
Some very tired judoka crawled into the car for the return journey back home, but a great session and Charles was buzzing with ideas for the next Friday session.
Well done all, more exposure at a higher level for our junior and senior judoka: proud to play taxi driver for you lot!