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Sensei was out of town this week, so Sempai taught. Refreshing to get a different perspective. He reviewed some of the atemi waza, and emphasized a few new things that he'd noticed while watching tapes of visiting teachers from Japan.
There were an odd number of brown belts, so we wound up doing ma otoshi in "circle of pain" style - one person is nage and throws each of the others, then takes up a position as the tail end uke while the front end uke becomes nage. When there is an odd number of people, this is somewhat easier than having someone left out.
Turned out to be a sub-optimal choice. None of us knew the technique well enough, and would have benefitted from some commentary and slower practice. This style is best for reinforcing techniques which are already well known.
Daughter and her friend were working with a visitor. Turns out she wasn't really a prospective student, but a cousin who came to see what the fuss was about, so she bowed out to watch for a while. I switched over to their group (cause that made two groups with even numbers) and worked with them. We reviewed the assigned atemi waza with her before she bowed out, then we switched (being odd numbers again) to a circle of pain to work on the jupon waza.
One of the seniors asked us to bring her back in and work on release techniques. Kind of an interesting challenge to make explicit all that we've learned for someone new. The senior student in our small group was emphasizing the importan
Saturday daughter and I went to the dojo early. We'd talked about showing up early and doing a little weapons practice, and this week we had the chance to do it.
Our school doesn't do weapons work very often - largely due to low ceilings in the dojo. I've done some bokken suburi when I was in a Yoshinkan dojo in Michigan (Helton-Sensei), and we do a yearly jodo seminar as an excuse to ahve a cookout. So I showed the daughter what I remembered of Bokken & jo. Then we did about 15 minutes of jo randori, which was surprisingly effective as a warm up. When we left to go to the regular class I was slightly sweaty and definitely warmed up. (This morning I went looking for a Jo & bokken for my daughter - but I'm having trouble finding a dealer online whom I can trust. My last martial arts purchase online was quite unsatisfying. Might have to ask Sensei to broker the purchase, but I hate to bother him).
One of the Sempai was testing for Shodan, which was exciting. Her demonstration of the Junanahan kata was (to my eye) very good - her form is very precise, as well as being... pretty. there is a harmony underlying her technique which I enjoy watching. I'm not sure if her regular uke was there, or if she got the senior most student in line - she may have been joking before class. Uke worked very hard - some hard falls there. She is smaller and lighter than I am, and I took careful notes of differences, particularly in the floating techniques, which I'll have to master
I've been deferring the first entry for some time, trying to compose it mentally. Time to act rather than to plan.
I'd been looking forward to class all last week; it was a stressful week, and I really needed the tension relief that comes from sweating. but when I woke up, things began to go wrong. First I found otu that the dogi had been washed, but not dried. Then breakfast rice caught on fire in the microwave and burned through the rice cooker. THen I discovered that the dogi were not drying - two hours in the dryer and they were still soaking wet. I called my daughter and cancelled class.
Then I remembered that I had a spare dogi. So I called the daughter and told her that if she would be willing to wear sweats, I'd really like to go. I put my spare dogi in the bag & grabbed her wet uniform. Picked up the daughter and headed for class. Then I had an idea. I rolled down the window and hung the uniform pants out the window, and the top out another. Between the dry air and the speed of the car (bernouli effect ), the uniform dried. My daughter thought this was the funniest thing in teh world. She still gave me good natured grief - as did everyone when we got to class.
Sensei started work with hand grab releases - stuff I haven't worked on in close to 20 years. I found it marvelously fun, but the effort of trying to get the first one right drove all the others from my mind, and my partner had to remind me. My daughter worked in with us (we had an odd nu