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Last Tuesday's class was very interesting. We had four beginners and two "old guys" (Richard and me). Richard and I only got to work with one another for the final technique of the evening. We were working on yokomenuchi irimi nage. After an hour and a half of giving careful, slow speed ukemi, I had a difficult time, at first giving more fluid a quick ukemi to Richard. After a reminder from our instructor, I started doing just that, and boy did it make a difference!
When giving a more fluid attack, nage's timing is very important. This is a pretty self-evident statement, but it was neat to actually feel the truth of the statement in practice. The main problem during this technique, for both Richard and me, was that if the off-balancing motion is not applied to the shoulder of uke's striking hand at the right moment, uke can wrap around under nage's arm requiring a change in technique to something more like men nage (throwing by the head).
When done smoothly, and with good kyusushi (off-balancing, I'm not sure I spelled it correctly), the technique goes off according to plan.
In any event, it was good to have a strong reminder of why good ukemi is essential to helping nage learn.