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Newsflash: Uke wins at suwariwaza

Today in tegatana there appeared another phenomenon that I'm having a hard time putting a finger on. It showed up in the two middle pushes - the ones with the up-down-up timing. They have a different rhythm than the down-up pushes and I'm not sure the cause. I think it might be either muscular tension in the upper back associated with raising an arm or it might be the mass of the raised arm raising the center of balance, causing the falling step to take slightly longer. In any case, we ran all the pushes 4-5 times and I'll still have to work on that a while to identify the essence of it. After tegatana we spun through hanasu and moved into the nijusan atemiwaza. Gedanate was working much better for me today, and I even got a good udegaeshi when we moved onto hijiwaza.
We focussed in on oshitaoshi (ikkyo) for the rest of class, working it from the spinning-apart relationship in nijusan, the four varants from the first chain, and an interesting suwari ryotedori variant - more on that later. We saw better success when tori followed the reboud instead of bludgeoning hs way through uke's head. For a few minutes in Chain #1 we had uke attack with the wrist grab + face strike and it was super obvious that the extra energy from the face strike was smearing uke much worse.
At the end of class we worked on the last suwariwaza technique from sankata - the scooping throw. This always appears to be a stupid technique because uke either sits there dumbly as if saying "ok, do the thing to me." or he stands up and jumps, so it's difficult to get the real feel of the thing. We worked on it today from uke's perspective. Uke's attack was to pin both of tori's wrists long enough to stand up and drag tori onto his face into an udeosae pin. If tori doesn't respond, he gets smeared. If tori resists with upper body strength, he gets smeared. If tori creates a ground path through his legs into the ground then he is able to throw uke back from him and rise to standing. If uke recovers from being thrown back, tori does the kata technique - the scooping throw. So, by having uke smear tori a few times, we got a more intelligent uke and a better feel fo the kata technique.
After class we had a formal rank demo for Gary. He demonstrated tegatana and both roles of hanasu (uke and tori). He did great and is now gokyu. We're looking forward to moving on up through the ranks and improving our skills!

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