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I had the pleasure of training with two guys I'd never trained with in the dojo last night during weapons class. One of them was a shodan I don't see all that often so I think he usually practices at one of the sister dojos. The other was a brown gold who really impressed with with his accuracy and level of control. His ken work was also better than mine as far as I could tell in the shihonage movement.
I really appreciated being able to train with them also because since they were both a lot larger than me, it is always a reality bites exercise for me to find out whether my aikido techniques hold out or not as there's no way I can muscle through any techniques.
Hope this trend continues. I figure for them it's more of an exercise in light control rather like learning how to sail in light winds rather than be fighting gusty strong winds and waves. One gets the adrenalin going while the other is finesse and subtlety and an exercise in just enough force without oversteering the boat. For me, it's the opposite exercise in steering a boat in strong winds.