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Saturday's class went very well, and it felt good to be back. I'm looking forward to Tuesday's class.
For me, right now, the biggest challenge is to get my injured right shoulder back into shape. The PT from earlier this year really helped, but I've backslid a bit by spending too much time on the computer and not enough time doing my shoulder exercises.
This week was, and next week looks, particularly hellish. I have a midterm and a lot of homework in my stats class, and a take-home essay midterm in my planning theory class. All this while working full time and trying to at least see my wife for a few minutes each day (a slight exageration).
Oh well, I can do some work solo -- especially weapons strikes. I can also take the time off from training to really focus on my shoulder exercises now that my shoulder injury is acting up again.
So, one does what one has to do. I'll be back in the dojo in eight days.
This past Tuesday featured absolutely horrible weather, mostly driving rain. As a result, it took me almost twice as long to get to the dojo as it normally does. I missed the warm-ups, so I warmed up on my own while our instructor demonstrated the first technique.
Because of the weather, only two other students, Richard (2nd kyu, like me) and Robert (4th kyu, but ready for 3rd kyu), showed up. It was nice to have a class with just senior students. I tried to describe it to my wife, but had a hard time. Basically, the atmosphere was relaxed. It's not that we didn't work hard, because we did. We attacked hard, made some mistakes, and executed vigorous techniques and ukemi. Yet for all of that, there was a relaxed feeling to the practice. I think all three of us were very comfortable with one another's abilities, so we were able to simply attack or throw without so much attention to protecting ourselves from unexpected mistakes (too much muscle, improper body position, etc).
Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, when we make a mistake as nage at this level of training and with skilled ukes, the technique stops almost immediately -- by mutual concent. A couple of times we each switched to another technique; maybe just to show ourselves that we could adapt and recover from mistakes. But most of the time, we stopped and worked out what was going wrong.
I guess that's the key to why things felt so relaxed: we all knew what is expected of nage and uke, and we all met those