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Hmm... tonight, if you didn't guess by the subject head, we did breakfalls. We almost never do breakfalls, as most of us are newer, and there is rarely enough speed to make them neccessary. Well, consequently I suck at them. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, other than "landing in pieces," rather than all at once. I mean, I know what I'm doing, but not what to do about it. We have thick crash mats, so nothing we do ever really hurts me. Some other students seem to think they're not so soft, but I've never had a problem with them. Anyway, even though I'm breakfalling wrong, I don't get hurt doing it, which is good because I could pretty much do it the whole practice if I wanted to. It seems as though I'm landing on the "wing" area of my back, and then my feet come down and my hand drops later. Like I said, it doesn't hurt, I just know I'm doing it wrong. Oh well.
Tonight, we talked a little about some of the more esoteric aspects of Ki, which is something else we almost never do. Our instructor was talking a bit about trying to feel other people's intentions, making a connection even before the moment of contact. It was pretty interesting, but now I want to know if there's a way to try and work on that connection outside of the Dojo. I try to empathise with people I talk to, to think about what they're thinking about or imagine what they're feeling. This is a far cry from that sort of connection that you try to feel in the Dojo, however.
We have a couple of teenage girls in the Dojo, I think they're both 15 or 16, and I'm always impressed when they really nail a technique. They are both very thin, and I doubt they could generate much force at all, but that's what makes them so cool when they really get something. I was working with one of them tonight on a katate tori ikkyo, and her timing was so perfect I started to think that there might be something to those one-touch throws. Not really, but it was very cool. What she kept doing, not entirely on purpose actually, was begining her front-foot tenshin just before I grabbed her wrist, and then keep it just barely out of my reach. I would follow that wrist every time, and then once I was extended she would simply grab my hand and continue the technique. I never grabbed her hand at all, but I might as well have, the effect was the same. I think that this may be because I try to keep the intention real, and I always think of the katate tori as a setup for a punch with the other hand. Anyway, I try to keep it intense and this made it possible for her to exploit that commitment to keep herself safer. Great stuff, that left me thinking a bit after the technique.
I'm getting excited now, the Y. Yamada Sensei seminar is coming up the weekend after next, and I can't wait.