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Smarter uke = better releases

Today we worked on small steps in tegatana, emphasizing avoiding the big ups and downs and weaknesses that go along with big steps. We repped hanasu once in kata mode and then worked on hanasu #2 getting back into last class' issue of uke attacking tori at his worst possible moment. I showed them the sumiotoshi that uke can do to the unwitting tori and then worked on how having the smarter, meaner uke can make tori's release better. That naturally led into several minutes of #6 hanasu. Interestingly, we got into all the same issues that all the aiki buddies worked on at the ABG recently. Another observation that Patrick M. made was that as uke gets smarter and meaner the releases make more and more sense. They stop being some random motion that sensei tells you to practice and they become "real" aikido.
In nijusan we repped the two types of motion from the kata several times each then worked on a technique that was representative of each - oshitaoshi and shomenate. The shomenate was really neat because we could really feel the tension impact that changes tori's motion and spins uke and tori into each other. For the cool technique of the day we worked on one of Kristof's requirements for when he returns to Ukraine- yokomenuchi shihonage. Lotsa fun. Playing with the yokomen really made our practice of always working with shomen attacks make more sense. After working a lot against the most efficient attack uke can make (shomen), tori feels like he can take a break and drink a coke while throwing the poor uke that throws a yokomenuchi.

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