After the long holiday break many of our students were very eager to get back on the mat and prepare for the exciting month ahead of us.  The Judo team is still getting ready for two tournaments this month.  The first tournament is a PA Judo state promotional examination and grading. The second tournament is a Freestyle Judo tournament that will be held at Marywood university and is hosted by Tom McGuire and Matt Marcinek of Scranton MMA.

The Judo class started with a great warm up that was run by Sensei Jenn Williams.  Jenn ran the class through some great warm up drills that not only got everyone physically ready for the class but the drills and exercises she had the class perform also allowed the students to practice some of the basic throws and combinations that every Judoka should know.  Rather than have the students do pushups, squats and sit ups the drills focused on some of the basic movements that make up or are present in most of the Judo techniques the students will be performing during the class.

After that there was a quick question and answer session where some of the students asked questions regarding the upcoming promotional exam.  Some of the students wanted some clarification on techniques and how they should be demonstrated.

Following the question and answer session the formal technical practice portion of the class started.  The technique that was taught and demonstrated was a basic two handed hip throw.  This throw is required for all the students who will be testing for the rank of green belt or higher.  The throw, Tsurikomi goshi, allows the students to work on a throw where they keep both hands on their opponent throughout the entire technique.  The throw is also a great teaching tool and building block for some more advanced throws that are a bit more commonly used by advanced students.  After the students were comfortable with this throw they were then allowed to practice any technique they wanted to improve on and get help from all the black belts on the mat.

The class ended with over a dozen rounds of sparring.  Since there were so many students on the mat every students got to spar with lots of different partners.  Everyone got to work with people of different sizes, strength, speed and rank.  This is the best way to progress. Ideally you want to train with people more experienced then you and less experienced then you as well.

This was really a great class. Everyone left getting a great workout and left more prepared for the upcoming events.