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It's been a little while since I posted, but my wife and I are settling on a house at the end of this week and we've been very busy. I did not attend class at all last week, but I'm hoping to make it this week to at least two classes.
The last class I attended was on the 17th of October and I ended up sustaining a slight toe injury during the randori practice. Toward the end of one particular exercise, nage's knee hit my right toe and bent the toenail sharply down, cutting the skin under it. I bled a little bit, but it hurt like heck. With regular applications of Neosporin, and keeping it covered with a band-aid, my toe is feeling 90% better after about a week and a half. It's amazing how something as small as a toe can cause so much aggravation.
We did a really interesting randori exercise that night: instead of lining up with the ukes facing nage, we put the ukes in a circle around nage, and everyone started out standing. The first time around, nobody's turn went very well. Our instructor finally noticed that we were all first turning to face a particular uke, and then trying to move in a straight line. We did it again, with our first movement being a simple straight line, and things went much better for everyone. The result was a very graphic demonstration of the principle of entering directly (irimi).