On Wednesday 27th January, UBJC were lucky enough to be treated with a session from Tony Sweeney, 9th dan, and former student of Bristol University. It was such a great opportunity to learn and develop our techniques, and we are so honoured to have experienced such a wonderful masterclass, from such an internationally respected judoka.

We started the session off which some light uchikomi, to get us warmed up and ready for some serious judo practice! We then tried our hand at a move which was new to most of us; how to deflect an attack with a flick of your opponent’s elbow and spinning them round to distract them, giving you a chance to prepare your next move while they recover from their disorientation. At first this seemed rather complicated, but we gave it a go and found it to be extremely effective – and certainly disorientating! I certainly found this to be effective, but I felt that it might need a bit more practice to perfect, before using it in a serious competition environment!

The next move he taught us involved gripping your opponent and sinking down into a lower stance, sweeping your leg round and turning to throw your opponent. Again, this was slightly novel to us, similar to Tai Otoshi, but again, with a twist. Although this seemed initially rather complex, Tony Sweeney ran through it with us so that we understood how the technique might be used in combination with other throws, which helped us to understand how this might be used in a competition situation. This move was slightly easier to follow because of the similarities to other techniques we have been learning, but as before, I felt it might require a little more practice before using it in any serious environment – but it was so effective, I know I will certainly keep practicing until it works for me!

A big thank you to everyone who made the session such a success, it was great to see so many of our club members so keen to learn more and develop the skills we have been working on this year.

Again, a massive thank you to Tony Sweeney for coming all the way down to Bristol – it was an truly invaluable experience, and we will continue to develop what we learnt on the mat!



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