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I think the general standard seems to be rising. The 3rd dan chap grading to 4th dan was just spectacularly good as was the nidan to 3rd dan woman. It's inspiring and when I watch them I think, yeah, this is why I do aikido, because when they practice, the flow is incredible, not to mention just very effective. It's not that I think I'll ever get there, I probably won't but to watch people who are just very good is just great.
Today's practice: I'm compensating too much for the iliotibial band syndrome the result of which the other side of the knee got a bit swollen. It went down after I returned home and iced it. I stopped after the beginner's class. I figure I probably shoudn't be practicing but it's hard not to go .
Nikkyo from shoulder grab: I need to nestle the hand into the crook of the shoulder and then lean into the person. I tend to not tuck the hand in comfortably first and then tend also to lean outwards which has little effect on the uke. It's great to partner the dan grades because I learn so much from them and today my partner taught me exactly how to do it describing it when I clearly didn't get the subtleties.
Rolls: I'm getting slightly better at keeping my left side straight but not always. At least I've figured out what I'm doing wrong...I just turn too much as I go down so then I roll slightly tangential. Now I need to train it into my muscle memory so I don't have to think before I roll. My right side rolls are all nice and straight although I'd like to be able to tuck them in a bit more so the footprint is smaller.
kaiten: one of the dan grade women is really really fast...and when she comes and grabs I just stand stock still in shock at how fast she moves. I need to be trained to that kind of speed cos I figure yeah, that's pretty much the speed at which a real fight might occur but my reflexes are getting old. I notice though that because she pushes the person with her bum, it's hard as uke to do a nice elegant roll out of it. It's probably very effective in real life cos it's liable to push the person into a face plant!