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Class on Thursday night was small, just 4 of us…all black belts. When it was my turn to teach something I saw during Ron's part of class made me think about extemporaneous movement which is how we teach together, building off an idea that the first person offers. We don't plan ahead. We just go with who shows up and with whatever state of health each person is in.
During freestyle I never think of what technique I am going to do. I know it's not like that for everyone but it is how I stay open and move with what is. I think it is the purist form of aikido…letting uke show you what way they want to go and guide them using their own energy.
So starting with a 2 hands on 2 hands grab I asked nage to do anything but not to decide on something -- just to do what seemed the easiest thing at the moment. After a few times through we all got more comfortable….then I asked us all to kote geishe from a standing 2 hands on 2 hands grab. I asked nage to not decide when to throw but to throw when the opportunity presented itself. It sounds really easy and yet from standing it was difficult. Nages did some strange things like: forgetting to do tenkan and backing up with small steps or grabbing with the hands instead of letting the hands lead. We kept at it and it got more comfortable but still was challenging.
Then Ron asked if we could do another round with uke grabbing nage the same way but with uke and nage both in motion. What a difference that made for all of us. The motion kicks something in for me and blending happens easily.
I asked us as a class to do tenchi nage with the same grab but back to standing. It was easier to execute that kote gieshe but doing extemporaneous movement when asked to do a specific technique is difficult. I thought this was a very telling and interesting aspect to seeing what happens and to staying in the now.