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Today I ended up partnering one of the newbie guys, older and very stiff and still of the mindset that harder is better. Fortunately I had another senior girl who's supremely flexible so we both worked with him but I realised that he falls like a tree. Somehow he automatically tenses his entire body, as if he's bracing himself, when he loses his balance. Naturally he then topples over like a felled tree rather than trying to fold down or roll down and he seems to think that's the way it should be. And I broke my rule of not telling people to relax as I couldn't stand it anymore . I'd pause midway through one of the techniques and say, *this* is where you need to relax. And he actually did start relaxing a teensie bit which made his fall softer. Unfortunately all that got undone in the second class as I notice when he gets hyped up he just goes faster and harder cos he just kept telling me when I was nage "go harder, go harder" and he just seems to love slamming down no matter how lightly I threw him, so it was kinda pointless. I tried really hard to resist the temptation to laugh but must confess to cracking into laughing out loud after desperately trying to stifle my chuckles after about 1.5 hours. Needless to say I admire all my teachers and sempai for not laughing at me when I was a newbie!! Plus I really wish I were like one of the yudansha women who can actually imitate my mistakes and then show me the right way of doing it.
Anyway, I'm getting an immense amout of practice in learning to control a very stiff and moderately strong uke which is actually good practice for my control. Plus I can't throw him too hard so it means I really have to make the technique work s-l-o-w-l-y so that he has time to adjust his ukemi...not that he usually does but at least then if he slams to the mat it's because he likes to not because I made him.
I have to say at this point, I'm glad to be a girl ....girls seldom do the heavy handed approach...they make different kinds of mistakes but seldom this one.