April is Ne Waza Month!

Well, it will be for those of us in the morning class. It's not really part of any grand movement anywhere, although feel free to participate and clue me in on what you do.

Mostly, I've just come to the decision that I need to do something to improve in that area, not only for me, but for the benefit of the morning class in general.

An hour class just doesn't seem to be enough to get in as much material and practice time as you need for judo, although it seems to suit aikido just fine. Most of the time, we talk about nage komi (standing throwing) for a little longer than planned, which little or even no time for ne waza. We may get in a drill or two, but we never seem to get around to doing some good ol' randori.

And to be honest, grappling is not my absolute favorite part of budo. And if I were to be even more honest, I'm not in that great of shape, and ne waza seems to make that fact more painfully obvious than other aspects of my martial training. ("Martial training"... that's funny, because I may have a certain number of skills in my back pocket, my body is no shape for war!)

So, I'm resulting to making ne waza more of a focus for the month of April and see if I can get us a little caught up. I still plan on working our way through the gokyu no waza, one throw per class, but after that, I think the rest of the hour will focus on grappling. Lessons, drills, yes, but also some rollin' around.

I do like to plan ahead what I'm going to talk about for classes in general, so I imagine that I will eventually formulate a plan to some degree, but at the moment it's still up in the air. There's so much to choose from!

For me, personally, my main goal is to keep grappling fun for myself. Ultimately, if I get worn out and frustrated, if it's not fun, I'm not going to want to do it. My main goal is to slow down, be patient, breathe and take my time. That's the characteristic I admire most from all the best grapplers in our school.

More on my plans as they develop!