Today we started out with range of motion and ukemi, moving into hanasu. Patrick M. got some advice on hanasu#6 and hanasu#8 with emphasis on the idea that these should begin with tori moving ofline just like in hanasu#2 and #4. Kristof got advice on hanasu#1 and particularly on hanasu#3 - walking forward in order to apply tori's strength and weight (ki) along the length of the unbendable arm instead of pushing sideways.
Moving into the #7 chain, we practiced kaitan nage. As a stylistic preference, I prefer to execute kaitennage as an otoshi pushing toward the far front corner instead of the classic aikikai rotary throw. When this doesn't feel right, uke shifts into hikitaoshi then into oshitaoshi. We arrive at super-interesting situations because we have a student who has one arm that is incapable of swapping grips and doing things like everybody else. As a result, we ended up practicing tekubiosae (yonkyo) instead of oshitaoshi (ikkyo) as the last move in this series. The parallels between tekubiosae omote/ura and oshitaoshi omote/ura were very interesting.
Kristof says he is enjoying the aikido here. He says that the mat space he is used to practicing on in Ukraine is slightly larger with more headroom and they average about 10-15 aikidoka in class each day. That would be a very crowded mat space at Mokuren (and there will be this many attendees at the October Aiki Buddies Gathering at Mokuren). Kristof says that the aikido we do is much the same stuff as he is familiar with. It has been obvious that he has practiced the same motions a good bit because he has put them into hanasu order very rapidly.