Thursday, September 20, 2012

Judo stuff

Today I rode the elevator with a 10th degree blackbelt.  There are only four of them in the world, 3 of them men in Japan and one a woman living in San Francisco.  But yeah.  I rode the elevator with one.  And he liked my shoes.

Aside from me becoming best friends with a celebrity, there's this blackbelt that spars with my class who I have named either Bucho, or Bowser.  I referred to him as these names in my head because for a while I couldn't read the kanji for his name on his belt.  I called him Buchou (japanese for Department Manager) because there's something about him that just looks like a Japanese manager.  Maybe it's the wavy gray hair.  Then I decided Bowser was a better name because he's probably 20 kilos heavier than me and he grunts like Bowser.  I don't refer to him by these names, and have since learned his real name.

Actually the hair here is strikingly similar if we just do a palette swap.

But he's kinda my sworn enemy at Judo.  There's a handful of blackbelts who train with my class and most of them are very nice.  Like the guy who informs he in English as we do mat-work, "I am choking you.  Are you okay?  I am choking you."  I would like to respond with something witty to the effect of, "Yes, I did in fact notice that you were choking me" but then I'm too busy trying to not get choked to think of something clever and/or speak.  But the point is, even though we're fighting and he's choking me, HE'S SUPER NICE ABOUT IT.  Not so with Bowser.

His favorite move is tomoe-nage, a sacrifice throw where you plant your foot on the opponent's hip and roll backwards, flinging him above and behind you.  We've learned it in class but the senseis generally tell us not to use it in sparring because it has more potential to injury the opponent if they're not expecting it and don't land properly.  My issue with tomoe-nage, more than being able to land it, is when he misses the foot placement and catapults me by means of my balls.  Being catapulted by my balls makes me unhappy.

I've been on the receiving end of what I think was a Dragon Suplex, which I had previously thought was only a move in pro-wrestling.  It happened so fast that I wasn't really sure what happened... I was on the mat grappling his legs, and then I was in the air upside down, and then I was on the ground again.  Getting choked.  I tapped out but the choke continued several seconds after I had clearly tapped out.
His favorite pin against me is not a pin, since my obnoxiously long legs give me a pretty good chance to get out of most pins (wrapping legs around the pinner means it doesn't count for points).  He instead just likes to crush my jaw until I tap out, which is not really an officially sanctioned strategy but pretty effective.  I've gotten a handful of nosebleeds and bloody lips from him, and today also a big mat-burn across my face, which is perhaps what prompted this rant.

Another blackbelt who spars in the blackbelt exclusive class saw me in the fight where I received the dragon suplex, and congratulated me for putting up a tough fight.  He also confided to me that Bowser apparently likes training with the mixed class because he's not really good enough to compete at the blackbelt-only class but likes fighting younger and less experienced guys for an ego boost.  Don't know how true this psychoanalysis is, but the more I spar him the more it seems to fit.

I've just recently become able to pin him at times, and I've thrown him once.  These are big deals to me, both as indicators that I'm getting stronger and as a first step towards my sworn vengeance against Bowser.

Me beating Bowser will be like this, but more bloody and less adorable.

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