Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Training with Joyce Heron at Yate Star judo club

Several Tora Judo Kai members travelled to Yate Star judo club on Monday 13 February to attend a training session run by Olympian Joyce Heron, who competed in the -48kg category at the 1996 Atlanta games.

To open the training session, she introduced herself to the class and talked about her particular interest in developing and encouraging coaches (particularly female coaches) as part of her role as Widening the Market Manager for the British Judo Association.

The session began with a thorough warm up including forward and backward rolls, monkey runs (forwards and backwards) and something nameless resembling double wheelbarrows.

The session focussed on a turnover demonstrated by Joyce with 1st dan Lorna Gibbins, with uke on all fours and tori attacking from behind, grabbing the left collar from underneath uke's left arm and wrapping up the right arm with tori's right arm. After rolling anti-clockwise and to the right, tori  tucked their feet under uke's knees, pushing them to the left and moving into a kuzure kami shiho gatame (broken upper four quarters hold). Members of class performed a number of repetitions of the turnover in pairs. Joyce then demonstrated the turn over moving into a variation of ude garame (entangled armlock), and then into an extremely effective kata ha jime (single wing strangle) which were practiced by everyone, followed by a period of training where tori attempted one of the techniques with uke allowed to defend and escape if they could!

The large class then divided into two groups for some randori, with 10 seconds of ground work permitted after a successful throw. The end of each of the four randori sessions concluded with the players taking it in turns to perform three clean throws on the move.

Joyce led a comprehensive cool-down and the session closed with acknowledgements from Sensei Mike Guatieri and a formal bow.

Joyce Heron's direction was extremely clear and technically precise, which was definitely appreciated by the class. The sustained focus on the technique and attention from the excellent team of dan grade instructors on the mat was for me (as a green belt) very welcome as it meant we could really focus on honing it and learning it as a drill which hopefully will stick in the memory!

The Tora Judo Kai members - Sensei Judy Maslen, Sensei Rebecca Maslen, Renz Vallerja, Judith Ogden, Phil Whittingham and John Whittingham - thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Yate Star judo club and would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome.

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