Actually, it turns out that this week was my first time back at judo in not two weeks, but three weeks. That’s what [Cobain] pointed out, anyways. That’s a pretty long time. I was certainly rusty– it took a while to get back into things.
I noticed something strange– I wasn’t really thinking very much about what I was doing anymore. Maybe it’s because three weeks of not thinking about judo meant that I couldn’t remember what I should be working on. But when I was sparring with my classmates, I just made things happen.
Normally I have to do a lot of thinking because I want to improve my technique. I think about things like my footwork, my level, my grip, my opponent’s feet placement, their vector, etc. This time, I think I just wanted to work– and I found that, while my game plans were abit ugly and my techniques a bit unrefined, for what I did use, I used it instinctively and appropriately. The technical quality of my throws had gone down, but my throw selection and choice of tactics to either attack or counter were way better.
It was probably all just the product of having a clear head, not bogged down by any techniques.
It was a strange feeling.
I was working pretty much only with people larger than me– Cobain is technically superior as well as heavy, so I didn’t score much there. But of the others, they were a mix of more experienced and less experienced people who were all physically stronger, and something about the break off made me resort to only the things I do well, and which had been built into my muscle memory with such depth that even three weeks away didn’t erase them.
It felt good to know that even if I feel like I’m not getting anywhere with training sometimes, the truth is, every day I learn a little something.
And I can’t lie– when someone bigger than you tries to take you down and instead finds themself going through the air and then staring at the ceiling lights? That’s a pretty good feeling too.