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Trouble waking up Saturday morning. Missed most of Brian's class. However:
Noticed that the idea of getting offline BEFORE trying to tenkan worked really well. This way of re-establishing the connection before any large or obvious movement is made gets at the heart of taking the initiative which is what I'm trying to learn. Couldn't quite get it to work with Brian, though. This has to do with feeling intimidated. I thought about this later during the day and thought about the idea of 'seeing the holes' which I think is really central to making Aikido work. When someone attacks, it's important to see it (from before the attack begins) in terms of the holes and open spaces towards which I can comfortably go. Instead of waiting for Brian to attack, I need to see and go to those holes.
Chuck taught bokken kata #10 and I really noticed the way that the defence of the neck needs to be a block before I flick the sword away from me to the other side. Also, if you make the flick go all the way over to the other side (good because it locks the peron's arms up) you can follow smoothly into the shomen that comes next.
Monday morning with Tom Hickey, back from Colorodo Camp, teaching, again, a new way to look at the unbalancing at 'touching time.' The basic idea is to try to settle uke back into his tail-bone but also to twist so the upper body curls up and back, away from the tail bone.
Another interesting idea was a way of leading a kosa dori around so that uke basically runs into your hand. I liked this because it brings me back to the idea of keeping the hip movement going (otherwise uke get's stuck and doesn't keep moving smoothly into your hand).
There is always more room for work on flexibility and fluidity as uke.