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The magic in small steps

This morning we worked on Tegetana, dissecting the first turn and making sure that if you start with the balls of your feet on a line then you end up moving slightly off the line as part of the turn. This is an indicator that you are falling instead of stepping (a good thing). We also worked on bringing the small steps idea and the feet-under-center (as opposed to center-over-feet) ideas into this technique.
After tegatana we practiced the evasions some with partners, emphasizing small evasions. We worked on seeing how small a step wecould take and still be out of the way. From ma-ai, uke has to take a large step to hit tori and tori only has to take a small step to evade. This gives tori a lot of extra capacity or freedom that he can use to his advantage in several ways. We played with several offbalances emphasizing these smallsteps and Andy was throwing me onto my knees during the first step.
In hanasu we got into some ofthe principles and ideas surrounding and leading into chain #1, including the separation step and seeking the neutral place between #1 and #5. These worked well and we got to explore oshitaoshi, udegaeshi, hikitaoshi, udehineri, and kotegaeshi in this first chain.
In nijusan, shomenate was working like magic when we emphasized the small steps. I ran through 1-10 with Andy as my uke but he only got through #5 nijusan - but that was my fault. The humidity was so terrible and my out-of conditioning condition from the holidays made me a wimpy uke. I promise to return to better condition soon, and hopefully it won't be this humid for another long while.

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