Tonight's aiki class included Patrick M., Kristof, and myself. We did some rolling, emphasizing the concept of the point of no return and looking at what happens around that point. Until uke reaches that point of no return, he still has options. Uke's not dead until he's dead.
We repped tegatana, looking at the 'pulling forward' step that the aiki buddies have been tossing around in our email discussions lately. Works nicely. Certainly interesting feel. It's cool how a kata that youve done many times per week for nearly fifteen years goes completely apart when you add a new concept. Yes, Andy, that still happens to me, so get used to it.
Moved into hanasu for a rep or two of kata mode followed by an emphasis on #8. It is important to turn the hips completely inward during the two turns in this thing. We also looked at this technique as a true release. It's easy to get partway through the release motion and get in your mind that you have to get into a strong position to do a thing to uke, but this spoils the release. If you think that release #8 is basically shihonage then this screws the whole thing. It changes from a release to a throw. We finished up hanasu by looking at chain#8, which includes tenkai kote gaeshi, ushiroate, and all the release #3 motions, such as kaitennage and wakigatame.Cool set of techniques to practice and this chain has the extra advantage of being short and sweet. The chains really give me the feel that all techniques are releases instead of throws.
We ended class focussing on shomenate from two situations - one the more flowing, following shomen found in nijusan and the other the more angular, direct shomenate found in junana or when uke settles down to be strong.