Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Good aiki class

The weather has been more temperate, more spring-like and we are able to have more vigorous classes without shattering the first time we hit the mat. We worked on tegatana emphasizing the balls of the feet and getting the turning steps right. We did hanasu concentrating on the change in intent when uke tries to maintain metsuke (proper eye-contact). Ran through nijusan some and then focussed in on oshitaoshi (ikkyo) and kotehineri (sankyo) working on controlling uke into the ground into a pin. Then we worked on a kotegaeshi similar to the one in owaza and the one in chain #1 - that is, with a backward grip and moving away from uke the whole time. For cooldown we briefly explored the four hammi handachi (tori kneeling and uke standing) techniques from sankata.
For my part, I especially liked working with Gary the Hattiesburger. He is much larger than me and it is unusual when I get to play with a guy who just vastly outclasses me in both mass and strength. It makes me put all the things I preach to my students into play (put my money where my mouth is) and it is very good for me. I very much enjoy having the opportunity to work out with both very large and very small - very strong and very fast people. People both trained and untrained. It makes me better and I, in turn, am better able to help them. Thank y'all!

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