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So, last nights class was kinda fun. Madrid worked on his test requirements while Couch, Lan, Sensei and I worked on our high falls. We're trying to get it down just right so that the fall is soft, or at least softer than just the old fashioned "slap" style. Lan has been watching Donovan Waite's video and so we got the chance to work on that last night.
Things to work on regarding high falls:
1) Lead with the back hand. Gotta REALLY REACH BACK and ease self down on the landing with that back hand.
2) Keep the kick over leg straight with the foot/ankle turned in so as not to slap with the ankles.
3) Straight up and over. I'm at an angle every now and then. Need to really straighten it out on the fall over.
Anyhow, Madrid passed his test. Looked pretty good! He kinda got in a hurry on some thing, needs to extend more. But, he didn't stop and he didn't NOT know at all. He knew it, he just needs to convience himself of that... but all in due time.
Afterwards, we worked on my exam requirements. Only had time to do Yokomenuchi Ikkyo (omote and ura) and got to throw everyone a couple times on each. Still need work on the footwork, but it's coming along. I felt much in control on the mat. Still need to work on footwork, but I realized, just a little bit ago actually, I'm not intimdated anymore. Before now, getting ready for an attack, I remember feeling apprehensive and nervous a bit... especially with Couch because he really gives a good committed attack. Last night, he was first up and things went fine with no worry or distraction. The whole world falls away and all my focus was on him.
Watching Kato Shihan in action really brings things to light in aikido. It's hard to discribe, but the more you watch him, the more you see just what it is he's doing. Sensei Riggs can pick up more than me, obviously, but it really is something to see in person. Video doesn't do it justice and having someone tell you about it is almost sinful compared to the real thing.
I've learned a lot in the last year or two. Aikido is making so much more sense to me. And when I move, easily, and execute a technique... it becomes obvious to me I'm not what I was two or three years ago. I'm better... and it's a good thing.