Randori is compared by many to a chess match and I agree. There aren’t that many quick movements … belay that. There aren’t many fast movements. There is a difference between quick and fast. Quickness describes explosiveness – “quick off the blocks”. Fast implies time between decisions. You might drive fast (is 90 miles an hour) but you change lanes quickly. Get what I mean?
Anyway, in ground fighting fast movements aren’t a boon. When a pause comes in the action, taking a moment to think is of the utmost importance. What do I have? What are they giving me? What can I take? If I look ahead a move, what do I have?
My problem is essentially one of panic. When I am in that pause between moves, I hurry to grab what I can and squeeze. That has two problems. First, it tired me out very fast. Second, it is totally ineffective.
Those two do not a good combination make.
I defend quite well, really, because I am big and I am not afraid to put a hand in someone’s face to make them thing of something else. If my upper body is totally exhausted I can’t make use of either of those benefits. When you add in the ‘best defense is winning” bit, I really have one path – taking the time to look for the win.
What does that entail? Certainly I have to stop working mindlessly. When I am in the position of having a break in the action, I must do a mental inventory of actions. What joint can I use my weight on to make it go the way it doesn’t? What leverage do I have? Perhaps I should even work with some uke to give me the chance to try this.
The take home here is “it’s a chess match, not a race”. Take your time when the fight goes to the ground.