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I started class on this cool late summer morning with free movement. Each person chose a weapon. Charlie, Ron, Ann and Dora picked bokkens. Jocelyn picked her jo and I used my short sword. When you met another person you could engage or simply move on by. After 5 minutes I urged everyone to be more aggressive and to interact as often as they could with each other. This created amped up funness. I got poked once by Jocelyn and had a couple of near misses when the third person attacked me and I was a bit late in response. After some wrist exercises and rolling we explored freestyle with the parameters of not controlling uke in the least. Then we did a 2 person freestyle with none but the usual parameters of keeping uke safe at all times.
Kata Tori Shiho Nage offered us an opportunity to explore correct technique, moving very slowly but still in motion. We brought it into the circle throwing 3 ukes one after the other, moving more quickly than before but focusing on correct technique and ending up behind uke. I urged students to use Shiho Nage as an opportunity to know where their bodies were in relation to uke's body at all times.
Ron explored Shomen Uchi Kokyu Nage and Irimi Nage. Shomen Ucho Koyku Nage was with the baseball throw extension metaphor which allows nage to keep moving even though uke may stop. We did Irimi Nage with a in your face atemi that swept past uke's face and then back again made more challenging because our habits around this technique include tenkan. Ron asked us to move in and turn slightly instead of the sweeping tenkan we are used to doing.
We finished with a standing wrist grab where uke pushed and nage directed the push by letting it in and then extending out. Dora offered the metaphor of the pistons in old steam engine.
We ended sweaty, happy and cleansed, ready to face another day.