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This was an awesome class. There were 4 students at the Dojo. It was amazing. Me, Julia, Don, and Victor. One white belt, and a bunch of Sempeis! This was wonderful!
We started off with Tai no Henko Ki no nagare. I was paired with Don for the start, then Julia, while my fix worked wonderfully with Don, it failed completely with Julia, we were back to the same cave in of the arm. After that we traded partners and I worked with Don on a variety of techniques. Then we switched, and I worked with Julia again.
I asked that we start with Tai No Henko static, so that I might be able to figure it out. Sensei came by and helped out a lot, explaining that every technique is different every time that you do it, and especially when you do it with different people. So I got something that was a lot more passable but still not the solid non caving arm that I was working on with Julia. Sensei came by again and explained that sometimes for some reasons techniques don't work between some people and that when that is the case use a different one. He then tossed Julia effortlessly to the mat with Ryote Dori kokyu Ho, which is one that Julia is really working hard on. She came up all smiles, and we started working on some other stuff.
One of the things that came up tonight which I had never though of was thinking about what is next in a martial situation if you are Uke. This means that even as you are a partner for your Nage that you are putting yourself in the best possible position for either getting out of the pin etc, or that you are getting ready for a reversal or technique. This was a new thoought for me, sensei explained that they way that I was doing a technique as uke with Don left me back wide open, where if I were to pivot on my feet, it would not be that way, and I could be as covered as the nage was. This was a radical shift in thinking for me. "What you don't assume you are always going to be in the best position in the conflict do you?"
So in the course of the night I did Gyakute dori Ikkyo, Gyakute Dori Kote Gaeshi, Katate Dori Shihi nage. I spent a lot of the evening working on Katate Dori Shiho Nage. It seems a really difficult thing to get. It was interesting in that I got to work with Victor on it. He was wonderful, and I could not get it to work at all. Victor does not fall down for you, you have to take his balance. Sensei came over and worked with my on finding the sphere for Victors energy and how to get on the tangent of that energy. IT was a lot of work mentally, and some physically. I can't say that I really got it, but I did get an idea of what I was trying to do, and occasionally even felt the feeling of getting to the point that I could take Victors balance.
We then went to Kokyu Dosa, and I was still working with Victor. This was amazing. I could not get him to move at all. He toppled me with what seemed like no motion at all. So we worked on it, and worked on it. And still I got no where.
At the end of class Sensei talked about letting people have success at some point in each class. Whether it was during the technique practice, or in the Kokyu Dosa exercise at the end of the class.
I think that this was because I was working with Victor, and did not get a Success with him in either the techniques or in the Kokyu Dosa period.
After class I asked Victor for some more Kokyu Dosa stuff, and he helped me add to the flow, and moving from center a lot. He would not move when I had it wrong. It was cool, I could feel how it flowed, and what the moving from center was more than in anything else that I have been doing.
After class Victor and I stood outside talking for about an hour about history, politics of eastern Europe and the like. I was amazed at his knowledge of the history of the area. It was great. He had a couple of pieces of knowledge that I had not heard before that made a lot of the events that I had an understanding of make even more sense.