Tonight was a sparse aikido class with only Patrick M. and Kristof. Class started off mostly standard with some focus on forward rolling ukemi, contact points in the pushes of tegatana, some emphasis on #6 and #8 of hanasu, and several reps of the atemiwaza in nijusan. The chain of the night was one of the hanasu#4 chains in which we switch hands to maeotoshi then work into shihonage or tenkai kotegaeshi and from there into aikinage or ushiroate.
Both of the studets are within a couple more classes of having hours for next rank, yonkyu for Patrick M. and gokyu for Kristof. Both already easily have the skill level for their rank and mostly just need to work on their demonstration of kata mode together. Tonight I think the biggest things that I saw needing work were Patrick's evasions in nijusan - needed to be more off the line of attack. Kristof's attacks were a little dead, and I think that probably comes from working with a static uke in his old class, but we worked with that (particularly in the context of shomenate) and saw some improvement.
Everybody who gets to class a few minutes early or has a few minutes to stay after a class needs to grab an uke and get some reps in on their rank requirements. It is particularly important for partners in a rank demo to get in some extra reps in kata mode several times before a rank demo.
I did see some interesting motions in the context of the evasion in nijusan. If tori pushes hard then it is easy to push uke through the offbalance into a recovery. We played some with bsolute minimum force offbalances, which seem to lead to an opportunity for the technique much faster than if tori pushes uke hard. In the event that tori pushes uke through the offbalance, ura always follows the omote offbalance in nijusan. Cool insights.