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A great class. As much to digest intellectually and spiritually as there was physically. The Friday night classes at our dojo are an hour and a half. Sensei says that some people think that this is too long and don't come for that reason. Others seem to see it as the start of the weekend, and so are partying or relaxing at the end of their long week. Personally it is always one of my favorite days on the mat. Fridays have a different format, one where you work on techniques that you want to work on, and sensei comes around and helps you with them.
There were four of us in class tonight, I worked with Victor, Sensei, and Noel. It was amazing. The amount of things to learn from working with three Yodansha is amazing. Also there was the lesson of where you grab someone determining how much they are going to fight. The more that they feel that there is a way out of the situation them more their body is going to be relaxed. The more that their body feels that they are trapped, the harder and quicker they are going to put up a fight. Sensei demonstrated this with both Noel and I. I must say that it was a great demonstration, something as simple as where it is that you grab their arm when you are doing Ikkyo can make a difference between escalation and transformation. I see some of these subtleties, but I am not able to correctly perform them. It can be frustrating and at the same time helps me keep a beginners mind, and be open to the spiritual aspects.
Working with Victor on having the uke not notice physically that you are doing anything until you take their balance is excellent. I can't get all of the subtlety of the way that he does it, but it is really amazing even the little bits of it that I do get.
Sensei came by and showed us that the blend on direct entry is actually turning the Ukes elbow away from their body slightly, then their whole body goes away from you, and their hand drops into your hand for the Ikkyo part. I watched this with my own body. Then with Victors, and with Noels, even though I understood it, my timing and aim were a little off and I could not quite get it. This was a little frustrating but at the same time is one of the reasons that Aikido is soooo soooo cool. If you got it in 10 minutes, then it would not challenge you to grow and change would it?
It seemed also tonight that my brain was taking in all of the subtitlies and some of the reasoning behind a lot of the stuff in Aikido that I had not heard before. Victor explained to me that motion is relative, and that if the Uke stops then you can move to complete the motion and add energy back into the system. In that way the motion is not the motion of the Uke only but the motion of the system. Also he explained that a lot of the reversals work on this principle too. If you go faster than the Nage, then it is as if the Nage were standing still, still faster, and you can become the controlling energy of the situation. This was amazing to me, and then to watch Victor do it to show me was really cool too.
I also worked with Noel who worked with me on Shoman Uchi Ikkyo with a fade back entry that was a bit easier in a lot of ways than the direct entry. Although me feet seem to get out of kilter really easy. I had to relearn the cut instead of a push and some of the finer points that I would swear I had integrated in the test for 5th Kyu that seemed to have completely disappeared.