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Sensei was out of town this week, so Sempai taught. Refreshing to get a different perspective. He reviewed some of the atemi waza, and emphasized a few new things that he'd noticed while watching tapes of visiting teachers from Japan.
There were an odd number of brown belts, so we wound up doing ma otoshi in "circle of pain" style - one person is nage and throws each of the others, then takes up a position as the tail end uke while the front end uke becomes nage. When there is an odd number of people, this is somewhat easier than having someone left out.
Turned out to be a sub-optimal choice. None of us knew the technique well enough, and would have benefitted from some commentary and slower practice. This style is best for reinforcing techniques which are already well known.
Daughter and her friend were working with a visitor. Turns out she wasn't really a prospective student, but a cousin who came to see what the fuss was about, so she bowed out to watch for a while. I switched over to their group (cause that made two groups with even numbers) and worked with them. We reviewed the assigned atemi waza with her before she bowed out, then we switched (being odd numbers again) to a circle of pain to work on the jupon waza.
One of the seniors asked us to bring her back in and work on release techniques. Kind of an interesting challenge to make explicit all that we've learned for someone new. The senior student in our small group was emphasizing the importance of directing force against the gap between finger & thumb as a way of breaking free. But she was intuitively also moving off the line of attack, and using circles; the visitor (who was her cousin) wasn't spotting that. It brought home to me how much we know that we don't know.
Also amusing is that the senior student advised judo techniques against some of the attacks - claiming that they were easier and more intuitive. I had to break in and point out that for those of us who haven't studied Judo, they weren't quite as easy. Amusing to see her confusion at the notion that stuff that was second nature to her had to be learned.
One of the other students spotted my jodo book and invited me to jodo practice. Sensei promises that he'll have a new bokken & jo for daughter when he returns - around the time when daughter goes to the shore to visit grandma. So I may test the jodo waters then.