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I normaly only train on Monday and Wedensday because that's the only time I can get to a formal class. On last Wedensdays class I asked Sensei if I could come in on friday to train on my own. Sensei had already given me a key to the Dojo so I knew he wouldn't object, and he didn't. I also invited any one who wanted to join me if they wanted to. One of or new students said he'd be there and thus we were training together last night.
I was there about 45 minutes before he showed up so I spent half that time warming up, very carful to work out the stiffness of my back injury. I then spent about 10 minutes meditating using Ki breathing exersizes. I am still not very good at Ki breathing but it still helps to relax me, and with all the stupidity that has been happening to me at work lately I need all the help I can get.
After meditation cleared my head and got me relaxed I began to practice Jo and Boken Katas. I concentrated mostly on the weapon being in the spot that I was extending to, and not alowing the weapon to waver at the end of thrusts and strikes. I found in order to accomplish this I really had to focus on staying relaxed in the shoulders especially.
The new student that wished to train with me then showed up. We worked on a few stretching exersizes due to his poor fexability. I urged him not to force the stretches, but rather to relax into the strectches. That way he wouldn't hurt himself while stetching, and the stretches would help his flexablility sooner.
We worked on Ushuro Ukemi, starting from a sitting position, then to a kneeling position, then to a standing position. We only touched on forward rolls. I showed him how to do a begginers forward roll from a kneeling position, which he tried a few times. His lack of flexability hinders him a bit but I find that he is a fast study.
After Ukemi 101 we worked on Katatori ikkyo, irimi and tenkan. We broke it down into the attack, the hand grab, the entering, and finally the finish.
The attack- I mentioned that the uke should make a concerted effort to grab for nage's shoulder. I also mentioned that the lead foot should be facing the direction of the attack because the knee is designed to handle more stress from body weight in this position. Constant lunges forward to nage will cause undue stress on the knee if the foot lands in a sideways position.
The hand grab- We worked on taking one step back while moveing off line of the attack and catching the hand with a brushing off the shoulder motion. After the hand is captured we worked on holding the hand down, close to nage's center of power, with unbendable arm. I pointed out that there is a slide of the foot back into hamni to keep the uke off balance. keep body upright and balanced right into hamni.
We repeated this quite a few times until he got used to it. Again I found he was a fast study in that after about 10 reps for each of us, he was capturing my hand and holding me in place, off balance, very well.
Entering- He had no problem with this what so ever, irimi or tenkan.
Finishing- This is where he ran into a little problem. Like I was when I was starting, he is concerned about hurting me while dropping me into ikkyo. He would hesitate thus not completing the "weight under side". After going through the technique a couple of times in slow mo to help him see how the handbone leads the shoulder bone, and the shoulder bone leads the body bone right to the floor. And that an uninterruped downward motion will guide the ukes energy to the floor. We practiced this a good 10 times each. Buy the 10th time he was guiding me to the floor with little effort on his part, and nothing I could do about it on my part. It was neat seeing the grin of realisation on his face when he started to perform the technique well.
I was very happy to help him with his first technique. I have to say though that I learned a quite a bit from him as well. Being a new uke he tended to be very stiff and unintentionally uncooperative. I really had to focus on technique to get him where I wanted him without muscling him into position. At the beginning of the session I had trouble dropping him into ikkyo from irimi without following him around the mat till he was down. I had to really concentrate on leading his energy through his fingers to get the shoulder and hence the body to follow. Buy the end of the session my ability to put him where I wanted him improved dramatically.
As I said before, I am enjoying working with the new students because I am learning so much from them.