Tonight, I was able to make good use of my previous Judo training. Most people think of Judo as a throwing art, but that was not the portion of Judo that I used in my match with another white belt tonight. Another important aspect of Judo training is ukemi, or break falling. Before Kano came along, proper falling technique had not been taught in a systematic way. In most jujutsu schools of the day, you simply fell however you could and hoped for the best. Needless to say, there were a lot of injuries. So, did the white belt throw me? Well, not in the way you might expect. What happened was that I caught him in a triangle choke from the bottom, but before I could sink it in, he stood up and did what any untrained former football player would do. He tried to physically rip me off of him from a standing position and chuck me away from him. I believe this is technically illegal in sport jiu jitsu, but he probably didn’t get the memo. Anyway, my Judo instincts immediately kicked in, and I let go of the triangle choke and slapped the mat after falling from a height of about three feet. The bad news was that I lost the triangle. The good news is that I didn’t get a concussion or a dislocated shoulder in the process, and was still in open guard, ready to try another attack. Eventually, I swept him and caught him in an arm bar, so it all worked out in the end.

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