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Yesterday, Jonathan Klopp taught a class which I named 'catching a baby.' The class was focused on the idea of receiving. The central idea was that when you want to catch something precious (like a baby?!) you first reach out to it, and then, once contact is made, allow it to fall towards your center. You soften your arms and use them as cushions while bringing your body towards the thing you are catching. I found the metaphor -- thinking of catching rather than connecting -- to be a powerful one.
The combination of techniques was also very nice. Most of them don't have any names that I know of, but the idea was to work mostly with very direct attacks (katate kosa, ryote dori, mune tsuki) and in each on to reach out towards the attack while getting of the line irimi or tenkan and bringing uke towards your center.