Today it was so obscenely hot today that aikido started out miserable. We turned the AC on about 15 minutes before class and when we went back in the dojo was MUCH cooler than outside - but it was still too hot to wear oven mitts. We practiced in shorts and teeshirts and if that makes us the bad boys of the aiki world, so be it.
We worked tegatana, focussing on the 'helicopter' pivot and the last move - the large side circle. From there we moved into hanasu #1 and #2, emphasizing moving before uke gets into a strong, settled position. We also looked deeply at why the first step is a cross step - essentially stepping over the hill. We worked on some hanasu drills that allowed uke to have perfect timing to attack tori at the absolute worst part of the stepping cycle, and the releases worked great. We also worked these releases with fingertip-pressure friction attacks instead of hard grabs and this led us to a short session of contact improv to make the point.
The end of class was taken up with shomenate - another worst case scenario. Having evaded inside and parried with the power hand, tori is forced to learn to live in this dangerous place by efficiently trading hands and pushing the face backwards into a spine lock. Good work on fundamentals