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I missed class on Saturday and Tuesday of last week due to the flooding over the weekend and my grad school work. However, I made it this past Saturday (9/24/04) and ended up leading the class for its first half. Richard took the second half.
Things went well. I started everyone out on a tai sabaki against yokomen uchi with a tenkan movement. After that, we worked on four techniques that all used the same attack and basic tai sabaki. I made sure to work in with everyone and take some ukemi.
Richard then took over and showed bokken dori techniques that were nearly identical to the open hand work we had just done. It was almost as though we planned it that way.
Toward the end of class, one of the new students asked why he could stop one of the bokken dori techniques just by locking down. This led to a good discussion and demonstration about how (1) locking down is no longer attacking, and (2) we are stretching time in order to give nage plenty practice applying technique and uke plenty of practice attacking.
Then Richard and I had an "aiki moment." In our dojo, that's a term for when uke and nage both reach a certain state of sensitivity to one another's movements and something unplanned, but totally appropriate happens. I told the new student who asked about locking down that I was going to attack Richard with the bokken and then follow through with a second attack. Richard moved well and then did something with the sword just as I was starting to raise it again for my next movement. I felt the blade on my neck and one of my hands trapped. I rolled a bit, just ahead of the blade and ended in a breakfall. My ukemi and sensitivity saved me from a simulated beheading (and a real, though less fatal, whack on the head or neck), and Richard's movement saved him from, well, being cut by my attacks.
Everyone was amazed and said that what we did looked really cool. He and I sort of took it for granted, but neither of us is exactly sure what we did.