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I taught part of last Saturday's class and it went very well. I showed some reverses by first showing the proper way to do the technique, and then having nage make a deliberate, but small, error for uke to use as the basis for the reverse. The way we practice ukemi leads pretty quickly to performing reverses, but a dedicated practice on the topic now and again reinforces what we consider to be good ukemi.
And on that note, I got some very good criticism on my ukemi and nage waza last night in class. We were working on tanto dori. There has been some debate from time to time on whether tanto dori is a realistic exercise or just martial mastrubation.
My opinion is that the tanto adds intensity to practice. I know I was responding to it. We perform our empty-hand technique with the thought that our attacker is actually armed, so tanto dori should not be very different from the empty-hand work. But I was responding as though it was. The criticism I received was that I was rushing through the tai sabaki to get to the technique.
I was also cautioned that at my level now, it is very easy to stop a technique, and much harder to give a good committed attack without foreknowledge.
As a result, I spent a lot of time focusing on the things like moving smoothly from the opening movements to the throw, and giving good ukemi. I found the effect to be a blessed tonic to my otherwise currently befuddled state.
Why befuddled? Because I found out last Fridayy (Good Friday) that I'm going to be a father!