Last night's judo class was very enlightening. I We did a lot of walking drills, where you walk across the mat with a partner and perform a technique every couple of steps. We focused on tai otoshi and de ashi barai. I was lucky in that I was practicing with one of the black belts, so I was able to get good feedback on my technique. I did all right with tai otoshi, although I still need to work on bending my knees more. I didn't do as well with the foot sweeps, since I was often too close to uke to perform an effective sweep. Sensei said that my biggest problem is that I'm still not very fluid in my movements. In other words, I'm not moving with my partner, but sort of "fighting" him. I tend to make small, choppy steps instead of smooth steps. That is something that I'm going to have to focus on in the future.
I went against two people during randori. The first match was against one of the newer guys. He's a bit bigger than me, and he's to the point where I need to use correct technique to throw him. I focused on blocking then countering and was somewhat successful, although he did dump me on one unsuccessful counter. I was able to perform a clean uchi mata from a failed tai otoshi. To be honest, it happened so quickly that I really don't remember the full set up. I didn't even think about it when it happened; I just did it. It was pretty cool.
I also went against the black belt in randori. It was very much cat and mouse, with me as the mouse. :-) He is very good at gripping, and seemed to always get me in an inferior position because of it. My highlight was when I successfully blocked an uchi mata and sort of countered it. The counter wasn't successful, in that I landed on my back with him on top of me, but it was encouraging. Of course, we got back up, then he planted me with the next throw. Heh.
Overall, it was a successful session. I really need to work on "feel", which is pretty hard to do, but something that I'm understanding a bit more with each session. I'm also getting better with my blocks and counters. Sensei mentioned that I'm still leaning forward a bit, and suggested that I lean back a bit more (IOW, put more weight on my back foot instead of the front foot.). It makes sense, and I can't wait to try it next session.