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We worked on Yokomen Kote Gaeshi this morning . Focus the double two step variety, cutting with the same hand, and blocking with opposite hand while still two stepping. It was a good class. Sensei popped one of my circuit breakers while discussing the idea of capturing the soul of UKE through the eyes. He works on making his eyes show the compassion of his soul, and eliminating the aggression and fear that he feels so that he can do this. The eyes as a window to the soul idea. I have experimented with looking in peoples eyes and capturing their attention, (Soul seems way to strong for me at this point), but where was I taking them? Was the trip to a good place or the place of all of my fears and anger? What a difference this would make to the person that was attacking you. What a difference this would make on the mat to the person that you are training with.
Working with different people today on the concepts of looking into their eyes, and focusing on them instead of focusing on the hand that is going to come around and hit you in the head was great. It really focused for me on the things that make this Aikido vs. Aiki Jujutsu.
I need to work on getting my soul to a place that is a lot more welcoming, comfortable, and a lot less wounded, angry and violent. This feels like the essence of my Aikido practice right now, soul work, bucketing out the pond of guck that is on top of my soulů