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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 for my next test. Her execution of sumi otoshi was quite different from what I've been taught (there are at least two and possible three variations taught in our dojo). I like the way she did it. In general her techniques emphasized a "falling back" blending technique rather than the more opposed kuzushi that has been recommended to me. I'd like to try both before I ask our Senior.
We don't often get the chance to practice the Jupon Waza for space limitations, so it was very good for me to see them all in a row. A review for something I'll have to practice in the not too distant future. Good review.
Her knifework looked good to me, and the fact that the Yudansha stopped it relatively early suggests that they agreed. I was one of the uke's for group attack. I was not pleased with my performance - I felt like I called "block" too early on one pass, and not early enough on a second. Confusion led to my third pass being just an embarassing stutter step. I should have tagged her but I didn't. I asked one of the judges afterwards and he cleared up my confusion, but I wish I could practice that more frequently. (again, due to space, we don't get to practice group attack as often as I'd like).
In the end she was promoted. congratulations!
When we lined up, my partner was our junior student who was suffering from a bad booster shot that restricted mobility in one arm. I tried to adapt the Tekubi waza to one handed, but it was very difficult. Obviously shihonage can be done one handed, and that's a good exercise. We repeated that, and kote gaeshi and Kote mawashi. Then we moved to one handed randori for the rest of class.
Next class I've got to start to work on my ikkyu test.