What was different this time is the appearance of a new Albanian judoka who has taken 14 months off from training and was just making his return. He is wearing a white belt in the video, but is actually a black belt. Though he was noticeably rusty in his technique, he more than made up for it in intensity and “fighting spirit”. He kept getting up, getting really excited, angry, happy, lauging, etc. It was a little chaotic and concerning at first (since his unpredictability was a little dangerous) but it grew on me pretty quickly.
He was my training partner, and kept telling me that I was doing the te guruma pick-up wrong. Many of the points he made were absolutely correct, so I was happy to learn from him. More importantly, the harder and faster I threw him, the harder and faster he would throw me back. Given that the technique was clean, this process lead to one hell of a good work out. We probably got 30-40 big throws in.
Given how hard he went, I’m sure he won’t be back for a few days (needing to recover), but I look forward to seeing him get back into fighting shape. For a competitive person like that it’s always tough to step into a new club.