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Morning class was wonderful. I worked with Rick and Niki and Noel. It was fun. Niki took me through all of the Suwari waza. It was definitely not graceful, or mostly correct, but I think that I have at least a basic idea of what in the heck this is. Niki is an excellent teacher. Worked with Rick on a variety of techniques. It was a great class lots of energy. Sankyo was really interesting. So was Yonko which I worked with Rick a lot on.
Evening class was a struggle for the first time for me to stay present. I had a phone call just before class that made me mad. It was a struggle for me not to think of ways to deal with the situation that started on the phone when I was in class. Focusing on the techniques that I did not understand, and working with Eisa on Shoman Uchi Ikkyo through Yonkyo was helpful, then I worked on reversals with one of the yodansha. This was interesting in that it was the first time that I really understood what it was all about. After a couple of reversals I stated that I wanted to try to not let the reversal happen. Sensei came over immediately and explained that I was supposed to let the opening happen, create it for the Nage even, so that it was there to exploit. Then he showed me how to close the opening that I had naturally in my technique. It was a bit embarrassing as it was something that he had pointed out to me already. I did a couple of Kote Gaieshi Reversals which made sense once I understood how they worked. It also was easier to see the error in my technique that left the opening open. The biggest problem with my Kote Gaieshi is that I am doing a lot with the persons hands and arms and not a lot that is really effecting their center. This coupled with the idea that the Uke's hand goes more back toward them and less toward their back is key. Thinking about it the hand is bent back toward their center, not necessarily their back. I also need to lower myself leading them toward the mat, and to take their balance while retaining mine. Wow and that is only one technique. Wow there was a lot to learn. Along with the above I also worked on the correct way to pin in Sankyo, both Omotee and Ura. And the pins for Yonkyo. Egads, at one point Sensei came over and helped Eisa and I with Sankyo. There was a ton of information that he gave us, we each probably processed something in the area of 5% of what he was trying to teach us. When we were talking about it after he had headed off to the next group we were each a little frustrated that we were unable to get all of the information that he had told us into our minds even, let alone our bodies. It was good to hear it all though. Really that man has the patients of a saint, sometimes it seems that I learn this so slowly that it must be frustrating to have to teach me.
Discussions after class on the phone call with Sensei of couse added a great deal of insight to what I was feeling, and helped me understand that while my inner reaction is not as good as I would hope, that I am still a lot better in my out reaction than I would have been before I started Aikido.