Perspiration trickles down Airman 1st Class David Reeder's determined face as he circles his opponent, Tech. Sgt. Stephen Dean, like a wolf circling its prey, searching for the quickest most effective way to subdue his opponent.
Both men are exhausted, dripping with sweat and inhaling as much oxygen into their bodies as they can, without taking their eyes off the other. Then he strikes. It's a test of brute strength, mental agility and technique as they grapple with each other. Each trying to get into the most advantageous position to throw the other to the ground and signify their dominance.
Approaching two minutes of this they are locked onto the other at a standstill, but still standing, as Reeder, supply specialist, 163rd logistics readiness squadron, steps out of the play area at the two minute mark and sensei, Staff Sgt. Michael Dorsey, C-17 aircraft technician, 452nd maintenance squadron, steps in for the next two minute round. After those two minutes, Dean, integrated avionics, 452nd aircraft maintenance squadron, steps out and Reeder returns to face Dorsey.
The two minute intervals are called randori, which is moving around while practicing how to break your opponent’s posture with pulling or opposing force, and comprises the final 30 minutes of judo class.
"I always say the reason you progress so much faster than any other martial art is because you're competing against someone constantly," Dorsey said.
Dorsey is a black belt who has been studying judo for 42 years. He has been trying to develop the on-base March Judo and Jiu Jitsu Club for the past three years, along with Dean, who helped champion the class through the Wing Advisory Council.
Dean is new to judo, but has been training in jiu jitsu for 6 years. He, along with Reeder, are two of the 10 regular students who have attended Dorsey's class for the past three and a half months.
Reeder's been studying judo for 8 years and his passion for the sport is evident as he describes the numerous benefits gained from training, such as stability, strength and muscle stamina.
"I recommend anyone try judo," Reeder said. "Number one, it teaches you self defense, but you also learn balance, discipline and how to fall correctly so you don't injure yourself."
Dean tries to attend class three times a week and marvels at all the ways the training has helped him improve his fitness level.
"Judo builds muscular endurance, has increased my stability, core strength and muscular cardio," he said. "It's also it's a team sport so you feel inclined to come because you don't want to let your training partners down."
Dorsey offers training to all levels of participants and recommends anyone interested stop by and check it out. Class typically begins with stretching and instruction on various techniques, finally culminating in the 30 minutes of intense randori with a partner.
"You're not just running through katas (choreographed fighting techniques), you're actually competing against somebody so every time you come to class you're building and building on your skills," Dorsey said.
Classes are offered Monday's and Wednesday's from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday's and Thursday's from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the 452nd MXS quality assurance and training building, bld. 355.
For more information contact Staff Sgt. Michael Dorsey at 951-655-7179, email@example.com.