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We've had a visiting sensei come back to train with us these past couple of weeks which has been nice to see. He was one of our Chief Sensei's star pupils and has gone on to found his own dojo with our Sensei's blessings in Canada where he migrated to. It's great to see he has as much style and speed and efficiency of movement as he had years before when I joined and saw him. His daughter apparently has inherited some of her father's ability but I haven't had the chance to watch her train yet.
For my own improvement, I've been learning to correct some of the more basic mistakes i've been making and note them here so I don't forget.
1. for kotegaeshi: while turning the person around, don't forget to change the grip just before turning the uke over so that the pressure can be exerted on the uke. Now I know why one of the other guys I partnered a while back had put such pressure on my arm while practicing that movement on me...he was trying to show me how to do it.
2. I somehow forgot how to do shihonage with a shomen jo attack and had to be shown that the upper arm grip is face up while the lower hand grip is face down. I'm still trying to figure out though how far back I can let the jo go as i turn. I tend to hold it firmly in front of my forehead so that my balance remains grounded and I can't be pulled off balance. But I notice that my uke then tends to let go of his top hand which means I will end up changing the technique halfway through. I suspect though if the uke were taller he'd be able to retain his grip. My uke last night isn't more than 3-4 inches taller than i am so i think his arm reach is not long enough. I could give a little more space by raising my arms a bit as I turn but as he is much stronger, I suspect he'd just pull me off balance.