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Class this week has been heavily influenced by the Kirisawa seminar a few folks attended last weekend. It's been good training as it deviates a bit from our usual approaches in that it is a bit more indirect, doing things like taking uke's energy directly to the floor to unbalance with no joint lock or other coercion.
Also notable this week was learning a new breakfall using ushiro mae ukemi to fall out of ryotetori tenchinage. Once I started practicing these ushiro mae ukemi breakfalls, opportunities to use them seem to be popping up out of tons of techniques, like irimi and sumiotosh.
Inevitably questions have arisen out of this about how 'real' it all is. I.e. the falls take time to do... Could you ever really be relaxed enough to take them in real life without having your neck broken?
Adiscussion last week in Aikido-L really caught my attention, and I've been thinking a lot about it. The initial article ( http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00010347-101C-14C1-8F9E83414B7F4945&pageNumber=1&catID=2 ) really struck home to me about practice and what is required to become an expert. I feel like it is especially timely with me currently trying to change my practice a bit. It reinforced that I need to think in class about what it is I'm trying to accomplish.