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Sensei seems to have been doing a lot of reflection on his goals as a teacher, lately. Our classes have gone from being a series of 4 to 6 inter-related techniques down to 2 or maybe 3 with a lot of attention to detail, blending, technique. It doesn't feel as physically demanding (although my fitness has come a long way this year, so maybe it's more a function of that), but it's harder too.
Sometimes I feel like a stone with water pouring over it. I get wet, but nothing sinks in. I have to let go of frustration and move slowly, not out-pace my ability to feel uke's balance, to lead and stay close, keep control, move uke around my center.
Cross hand grab. Lead with the fingers, roll palm up (heaven), take uke's balance. Step in close, cut down to center. Roll the ball between the hands as hips turn back across uke's center. Uke falls.
Cross hand grab. Lead with fingers, roll palm up (heaven), take uke's balance. Step in close, cut down to center. Slide in a bit continue the circle, start uke moving THEN tenkon. Spiral uke down to pin with center.
This is what we did for most of the class. Right hand, until we got it at least once, left hand the same, switch. And it was a good class. I learned a lot: that I do know something, that there is a lot I have to master. So much of everything else will fall into place when this becomes smooth.
Maybe, then it's not so bad to be a rock under the waterfall. Maybe I can never hope to be a sponge, just a rock. A rock that shows up and sits under the waterfall, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year- until the water has shaped me.