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Strange last week I ended up teaching class on Thursday. Yep teaching class! The interesting part was coming into the dojo and being met by Anna S. She immidately said without taking a single breath; "You are the highest ranked person on the mat today, so you have to teach the class. You are in charge". Then she smiled, sighed a deep sigh of relief, I imagine at being the second highest ranked person in the Dojo, and went back to sweeping the mat. Turns out that sensei was not feeling well, and could not teach.
Two things really worked in my favor, one it is open training, two I had worried about this happening last month when sensei was on vacation. The first meant that since we are getting ready for a test, the class is not structured as normal, everyone pairs up and works on their test materials. Since there is no demonstration no one would be forced into watching me do a semi-correct technique in front of the class noting every detail as something to be replicated. The second meant that I had committed the warm up exercises to memory, not just the follow along type of memory, but the kind of memory that allows you to sing the words to the entire Bob Dylan song without the record playing….
Once the warm ups and bowing were done things seemed easy. (Ok we didn't sit in seza long enough, and the claps seemed kind of ragged at both ends, most likely because I didn't have enough body language to allow people to follow my movements, and they were too fast….)
I thought all I have to do is stand here, and make sure no one hurts anyone else or themselves. My inability to do techniques like the masters is not going to come into play….
No sooner had I thought this than two people doing Ikkyo appeared to be trying to break one another's elbows!!!! EGADS, I guess this is where I have to go over….."Hey Aikidoka how is it going", (Wow I did that just like Sensei, only I don't think I ever heard his voice wavering like mine just did). To my great relief both partners start asking why it seems so hard for them to get their partner to the ground… I can demonstrate a bit of the bent arm instead of arm bar they seem amazed at my knowledge, I am amazed that I didn't fall over and get stuck in my Hakama so badly that I needed a pair of scissors to get out.
Great, the I start to go stand in the corner of the room and look for stray parts of the space station falling through the dojo roof, or maybe a large truck out of control speeding through the front window…. I don't make it back to my corner when I get asked a question by another group. This continues until kokyu dosa.
Good news is no one died, bad news, some people are going to be doing their techniques Guy's way until Sensei notices, and helps make them into Aikido