First time here.
I'm reaching out looking for advice, tips, technique suggestions, anything.
Okay, here's my story.
I've been doing Judo for almost 2 years... currently a Yellow Belt (soon to possibly be an Orange Belt). I just turned 37. I've really been enjoying Judo since I started, and it has made me a lot more fit than when I started. That was one of the reasons I started... I'm a Web/Graphic Designer, so I needed something to get me moving. Plus it's just a great skill to learn.
Okay, so I find that I do quite well when it comes to practicing technique in a controlled style, where we practice moves on each other in a repeated fashion. But Randori is definitely a whole other beast. Much different actually trying to put those moves into practice. Much more challenging for me.
Now, the problem that I've been having is this. Randori is challenging enough when it's against an opponent of equal rank and size. But if it's against someone much bigger and stronger than you, then it seems exponentially harder.
When I first started, there seemed to be more people that were comparable size as me. But lately, it seems that everyone showing up to class is what I would consider "larger than average" (me being average). I feel like a little guy surrounded by beasts. On top of that, the majority of them also happen to be Black Belts. Not all, but most.
I'm finding myself being really discouraged lately with Randori. I know Kano advocated technique over strength... but I must say that lately I've lost faith in that notion. I'm even a bit upset at myself for even thinking this way. But all I can say right now is what I'm experiencing, and try to describe it a bit. So here's how I describe it.
When I'm doing Randori against an opponent of equal size and rank, I feel like I have a chance. There's some back and forth... sometimes I take my partner down, sometimes they take me down. But I feel like I'm at least able to apply my technique some of the time. But it seems that lately I'm forced to go up against opponents that are in some cases up to 100lbs heaver than me (on average at least 30-40lbs heaver or more. Remember that video game called Double Dragon where there's those huge punk gorilla looking guys? Well, one of the Black Belts is sorta like one of those, lol) - anyway, I feel like when they lock up their arms a bit, and provide resistance, I'm not able to get past that in order to even get into a position to apply my technique. For example, trying to do O Soto Gari to these bigger guys is like trying to do it to a huge Oak tree. I'm not able to do Kuzushi on these guys... so even attempting to do so is like trying to do Kuzushi to a Mac truck. And when attempting it, I'm just opening myself up for an easy counter attack. The other side effect of this, is that all this grappling at full resistance with these guys makes me absolutely exhausted... and I'm really maxed out and find it hard to find the energy anymore to even attempt moves after a while... I'm just trying to hang on and survive and play a more defensive game rather than offensive.
So while at times I just feel like quitting and giving up, I want to try and see if I can persevere and figure out if I can do better technique, and if specifically there's any techniques I can do when faced with larger opponents. Since it looks like I'm going to be going against larger dudes most of the time... I need real strategies that I can apply.
I feel like I'm not able to gauge my progress, because it's an uneven ground on which to have reference. I've already broken my collar bone in Judo about a year and a half ago, and I also worry about the possibility of getting a major injury again when I feel like I'm getting thrown around like a rag doll out there. Even a lower rank guy I was doing Randori with last night is throwing me around like a rag doll. That was the impetus to me looking for advice.
I don't mean to sound like a whiney baby! I know in an audience like this I risk coming across that way. Right now, I'm really just looking for tools and technique suggestions on how to go up against opponent much larger and stronger than you. I know technique is supposed to trump strength and all that... but in the real world, when actually facing someone much larger and stronger than you, and you can't even get past their hold, that notion is just a lofty concept that doesn't seem to help at all. It basically just seems like a bullshit idea.
Appreciate any help you can offer!
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