Playing the pyjama game like an old man

by Jinryu

About a month and a half ago, I sustained a minor groin injury from doing judo. That injury compounded into pulling something in my left butt, and eventually spread through the sacrum area and my lumbar. End result is that, about a month ago, I could barely sit in a car without an extreme amount of pain– I felt like, when I moved a certain way, I’d feel a paralytic pain that wouldn’t go away until I shifted my weight completely. It was debilitating, because it felt like my body had been cut in two.

After about a month of physio, I’ve got about 75% of my back’s normal abilities back. It still gets sore quite easily, and frankly getting out of bed, putting my socks on, tying my shoes and clipping my toenails is now a serious chore. But I’m getting better, and I’m glad for it.

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I’m back at judo on light training now.

I’ll still go through most of the fitness elements, and I can now do most throws. Last weekend, I started doing light tachiwaza randori (stand-up sparring) for the first time, though I’ve been doing newaza (ground work) for some time now.

It’s interesting, because I naturally tend to favour throws that work well from a typical striker’s clinch range. This means that I’ll mostly do tie-ups and arm drags into things like hip throws. But I don’t like a lot of the ‘classical’ judo throws as much because I think they’re too fancy, or have a low percentage chance of working outside of a judo context.

Because of my back injury though, I’ve recently had to start working on low-power techniques– it has been interesting because this means using more sweeping and timing, rather than my usual method. My usual method tends to be to gripfight and work for superior position before attempting an attack– I don’t usually get things with just speed or timing alone.

It’s been eye-opening to try and fight with a different style. Always something more to learn.

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