Tonight we warmed up with two variations of suwari oshitaoshi - one with reactive timing and one with provocative timing. Then we did a couple of reps of tegatana and several reps of hanasu, followed by a lot of hand randori switching partners every 2-3 minutes. Randori is a tough concept for beginners to get a hold of but our beginners do much better these days sincebeing exposed to the chains. After randori we worked through te first chain up to hikiotoshi then cooled down with light randori drills and some ukemi from shomenate.
I think Andy became a true believer in shomenate tonight - and he didn't even take much abuse from it! Somewhere on the web a while back I read someone's opinion that shomenate alone will solve 50% of all problems tori encounters in aikido. Tomiki suggested that it was more than just another technique, that it was THE critical technique of the system. The truth is probably somewhere between these two estimates - probably a little closer to Tomiki's view.
Andy is a little bit beyond the hours for his green belt demo - we will do that demo either this saturday or next wednesday with either Patrick M. or myself as uke. Patrick M's green belt and Gary's yellow belt will be coming up soon after that.