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Well, after five long days of not attending class (went to visit family) I finally made my return. YAY! Yesterday it was a cool 108 degrees Fahrenheit here. Needless to say our AC lacking dojo was quite warm. I showed up to class to find only myself and Sensei. I got changed and Sensei informed me that we would probably be working on weapons. I was pretty excited at the prospect of having a private lesson. Alas, that did not happen. The new guy showed up, so Sensei informed me that we would be working on body arts tonight. No big deal. As the two of us lined up, we heard the familiar gravel crunching sound and it turned out to be one of my sempai's (a 5th kyu). So it became the three musketeers for the class.
We started off with a light stretching and worked on our forward rolls as the new person still doesn't quite have them down. I quite enjoy forward rolls and don't mind the extra time trying to get mine to be as smooth and quiet as possible. After working on that for a while, sensei had us partner up and work on a few extension exercises. After that, we worked on ai hanmi ikkyo. I discovered that I am better on my left side then my right (despite being right handed). For some reason, it just isn't as effective. Maybe I am not coming over the top as much as I do on the left. Or perhaps, I am not utilizing my hips the same way from one side to the other. This is something I will have to figure out on my own.
After that, we worked on gyaku hanmi iriminage. I am proud to say that I felt more comfortable then usual with this technique. I am hoping that this lovely feeling won't fade away by the next class. HAHA. At one point, my partner was confused and stated like he didn't feel he was ending up the way sensei did (he was tenkan-ing around). I politely mentioned that I thought we were doing the irimi variation, but turned and asked sensei which variation we were doing to confirm. Sensei confirmed that we were doing the irimi variation and proceeded to use me as uke for several throws. Somehow I managed to get mat burn on the outer side of my right ankle. I knew as soon as I did it that it would be stinging soon since I am sweating so much. My thought was barely over before I began to feel the sweet stinging sensation on my ankle. I acknowledge it and move on. Once sensei is done with me, I check the mat burn to make sure it wasn't bleeding; it wasn't. Back to my partner I go!
Towards the end of class sensei asks me to be his uke. He must have done about 6 different techniques on me. He had me flying every which way! He was talking about the points of weakness on a person and showing how to take their balance. He explained that the following will work: Take their elbow/ expose their armpit, take their face/ head, take their "third leg", bend them forward, bend them back and I am sure he did more. He then went on and showed the various forms of sumiotoshi and told us which one he wanted us to work on. By the time he was done tossing me around (which felt like 5 minutes, but was probably more like a couple) I was utterly exhausted! It always amazes me how tired I am after being sensei's uke! At least I am not alone as there are some yudansha who are also tired after being his uke as well.
For this technique, sensei partnered me up with the new guy. He did pretty good. My only concern is his backfalls. He just sort of falls like a tree and he doesn't really tuck his chin. It appears as if he is going to bash his head into the mat! I made sure to take him down slower so he had time to lower his self so he didn't fall like a tree from a complete standing position. All in all, I think he is doing quite well for someone who has been taking classes for 2 or 3 weeks.
Since sensei says I take hard falls, tonight I really tried to focus on soft ukemi. I didn't do any slapping unless I truly felt it was warranted and instead tried to be as soft and quiet as possible. It was nice to see that once I put my mind to it, my ukemi was rather quiet. After that, sensei had us line up and explained the proper way to rei. He explained that the butt doesn't lift when you rei and that if anything, it sinks lower. He also explained about the left hand going to the mat first and returning to your lap last.
Things to fix:
1.) Extend more (up and out) for ikkyo
2.) Work on turning/ twisting your hands more for the techniques
3.) Keep feet firmly planted (I thought I did a little better with iriminage this week!)
1.) Mat burn on my outer right ankle. I've had worse
2.) Exhaustion. Part of this might be due to the heat, but not sure