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I slowed down a lot in this class. It was interesting that it did slow down some of the techniques a lot. Sensei picked my to do Tai No Henko with at the beginning of class. It amazes me how smooth he is. Even in Tai No Henko, I could feel the difference between each change of Nage Uke. The smoothness was amazing.
Sensei then talked about breathing and that you are supposed to do the throw part of a technique on an exhale. This made sense; he spoke about energy flow, and how if you were to breath in when the person made contact with you, that you were in effect drawing the energy of the person in conflict with you into your self. It is much better to keep your energy out there in front of you holding them off so to speak. I understand all of this on some level, but am lucky if I remember to breath at all when I am on the mat. I know that for me right now if I start to think about my breathing, I am going to forget to breath, forget my hands, forget my feet. Any one of which will result in me being on my back on the mat, after being run into by Uke.
I worked on some of the 5th kyu techniques tonight, and was Uke for some of the 2nd kyu techniques with Don and Rick. It was amazingly fun. Especially when I got to grab both their hands from behind! I have no idea what the technique was, but it sure was fun being Uke in it! At one point I grabbed Don, and held on. He said ready, and then I was on my back on the mat…Seemed like I should have been able to hold him….J
Then I worked for the rest of the class with Julia. Another great training partner. We worked on 5th Kyu stuff. I realized for the first time that on the 5th kyu test everything was both in motion and static. I am lucky if I can figure out the right technique after hearing the Japanese, let alone get all of them in both in motion and static.
The other thing that I noticed tonight was that I seem to have forgotten things that I thought that I knew. My feet seemed particularly poor performers. Thinking about teaching things to others, this may be part of the learning process, in which all of the knowledge that the student has been able to take in along the path has suddenly all come together. While each part of it was understandable as a discrete unit of knowledge, the entirety requires the synthesis of all of the parts. Something that is notably difficult in even simple endeavors, let alone something as complex as Aikido. Either that or I have muscular Alzheimer's and am never going to get any muscle memory!
I worked with Sensei a little on Katate dori Shiho Nage- oomote and ura. He pointed out that I was way off balance through most of the technique, and that I needed to stay over my center. I tried it the new way and it was amazing. Like a completely different technique. I still have feet issues though.
We did Gyakute Dori Kote Gaeshi Gyakute Dori Ikkyo oomote and ura some of them seemed like something that I might have done once a long time ago……