Today we had a surprise chop. Chops is summering in Baton Rouge and plans to make the trip to Magnolia on Saturdays for a while. We just thought he'd heard about the blackberries and tomatoes starting to make and was showing up two weeks early to the Aiki Buddies Gathering.
Before class we worked some jodo because I rarely get to stick-whack real people. We worked on the sword traps and on hikiotoshi. Chops verified some of the direction I've been going with my jodo based on a recent trip he took to see Henry.
In aiki, we worked tegatana and hanasu with the brown belts (Andy and Chops) rotating between the white belts (mytchi and Richard). We chained our way through chain #5, working on kaiten nage, wakigatame, and hikitaoshi. At the end we worked shomenate as a form of aiki brush-off. Richard and Mytchi had to leave early, so the brown belts worked on some grab-and-go knife randori and some knife nijusan with uke specifically instructed to stay centered on tori and keep cutting no matter what. Shomenate, gyakugamaeate, and aigamaeate were the most effective things we saw today.