Black Belt Night: Alessandro

Alessandro ran class at Philadelphia Judo Club (located at Osagame). It was high-paced and high-intensity. By “high-paced”, I mean that most of the drills were active, and the breaks in between where Alessandro would explain things were very brief and purposely hurried. By “high-intensity”, I mean that drills were all cardio-intensive.

The general structure of the practice was:

  1. Warm up with fits and throws
  2. Speed uchikomi
  3. Balance and off-balance drills
  4. Grip fighting session
  5. Randori

Here is a video highlighting some of these:

In general, I find Alessandro to be probably the closest black belt in the club to the level, style, body type, and athleticism of the black belts I face in competition. Another one is Shannon, but Shannon’s style is a little unorthodox and so is not as representative. In any case, for this reason, I learn A LOT from Alessandro every time we work together AND I get a great work out.

The emphasis on gripping with a purpose and controlled aggression was great. We had a great gripping / randori session which allowed me to get more and more comfortable throwing in the chaos of highly dynamic gripping and movement.

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