Monday, 5 February 2018

On The Mat Day 948: Takedown Lesson (Double Leg Takedown)

This is the 3rd lesson I've attended taught by T-Sensei. The lesson started with break falls. 20 to the back, 20 side to side and 10 to the front. The front ones, although done from the knees, are stingtastickly painful on the hands. The mat is cold and in fact during the morning 8AM drilling lesson the room was -1 Celsius! that slapping the mat in any kind of fashion is particularly discomforting. But we are all warriors here right?

Following the static break falls we moved onto break falls along the mat. This is similar in fashion to what Aikido practitioners do or Judoka for that matter. You roll forward on the "unbendable" arm and finish flat while slapping the mat and keeping both legs apart. T-sensei mentioned not to have the legs close together or stacked, nor to hit the mat with the flat of your foot. Both legs should be flat. Oh, and tuck your chin!

I'm pretty sure that's me at the back doing a forward break fall

Initial drills were wrestling switches. You face your partner and turtle while they grab you under the armpits. You then perform the switch. Grab their arm, post foot, duck the head out and spin to the back. There were a few alterations that I have not seen before in the technique. Namely, hugging their arm and leg as you duck out.

The next part was double leg takedowns. T-sensei showed how we have to get the timing of pushing and pulling the opponent before shooting in for the double leg. We basically practiced, push-pull timing, shooting in for double leg and finally a counter to being sprawled on. The points I picked up from T-sensei as he talked are below.
T-sensei controlling the inside space for the double leg

1. The double leg is performed from 相四つ (aiyotsu). If your left leg is forward, the opponent's left leg must also be forward.

2. To have a successful double-leg you must control the inside. That is, both your hands must be inside the opponent's. One on their arm and one on their head/neck area.

3. Your front leg must pass the heel of their front leg as you shoot in so you can drive forward enough.

4. The back leg must quickly move around in an arc as you drive forward.

5. Most people grab the back of the knees or clutch their hands together but this allows the opponent's legs to widen out and possibly back out so they can sprawl. Instead keep your arms extended and rotate them to face your palms outwards as your straight arms compress their legs together. The takedown is done by pushing their legs together (they should become knock-kneed) and hitting them with your chest.

6. Don't go in head first. Your chest should be hitting them on their quadriceps.

After this we did 1 minute specific drills for 5 rounds. Both people obtain aiyotsu position, one will shoot in for 1 minute while the other must try not to be taken down. This was hard. I enjoyed it a great deal but wow was it exhausting. I liked how T-sensei set it up when he said the tackler must be 100% committed to taking the opponent down. As soon as the opponent says go (by clapping their hands) the other should shoot in immediately. The defender only needs to stop the tackle and disengage to win. I felt myself floundering a lot and annoyed that when I became tired I dropped back to bad habits and not use the technique we were shown.

I really enjoyed the lesson and can't wait until the next one.

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