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Worked on Direct Entry Ikkyo before class with Rick. I can't get the timing and the intent right. I think that this has something to do with being large, and trying not to intimidate people all my life, so that when I am in a situation that I am supposed to intimidate people for the start of a technique, I find it extremely hard to do so.
Class was Shiho Nage from Kihon, Shoman, and Tsuki to the head. It was great, worked with Rick several times, and with Anna, Linda, and a Yodonsha. In working with Anna I think that we both made some interesting connections to life through Aikido. I had been thinking about our last time on the mat doing Shiho Nage for two days, and thought about the beginning of the technique, and how I could change the way that things work. It was interesting to try the first of these things which was a tiny pull on her arm when we were connected, and then to ride the energy back as she pulled back. It worked pretty well to start things smoother and to get some flow happening. However it kind of felt like cheating in some way, especially when I am working on some level on effortless aikido. Will have to talk to Victor and Sensei about it. Maybe tonight!
I managed to trip on my Hakama for the first time today, it was inevitable, while I didn't fall over, both Sensei and Rick noticed it and welcomed me to the hakama club while laughing.
Doing Shiho Nage from Tsuki to the head, Sensei pointed out that I have to actually act like I am going to punch the person in the face, otherwise it makes the technique really lame for the Nage. I worked on that the rest of class. It relates also to the issues that I was having at the beginning of class. They are all connected.
I also realized that there are times when we are disappointed by what our partner does during our practice with them. Not being disappointed and letting them be whoever they need to be at the level which they are working on things is as important as any ability on my part to do the technique to the person. This was a real insight to me, as I watched my ability to be not connected to the outcome today, really make room for an insight into someone else's practice. The idea of not being attached to an outcome is a new one for me that I am working on. The more that I begin to understand it the deeper it becomes. In some way which I cannot quite articulate yet, the only way to actually achieve the outcome that is desired is to not be attached to it. There is truth in the ideas of the Samurai that to be attached to life is to loose it, and that only by letting go of that attachment can we really hope to stay alive. I can't explain it, but I can feel it somewhere close to what must be my center.