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I asked for volunteers, and Jeraldo (not his real name) stepped up. They were all excited, as the class has run for three weeks and I had not yet taught a single technique, focusing instead almost exclusively on ukemi. Well, today I wanted them to take ukemi for ikkyo. They had just learned shikko that class, and they were hungry for more.
Tense and excited, Jeraldo gabbed my wrist, using ai-dori . What would I do, he wondered? Would it hurt?
Suddenly, his head whipped up. "Wait!" he exclaimed. "Did you hear that? It was outside: sounded like someone saying 'you're going to get what's coming, now!' Did you all hear that?" All six pairs of ears were now attuned to noises outside, in hopes of tuning into the same wavelength as Jeraldo.
We were up on the second-floor, way in the back of the building. For someone to come into the Center, he'd have to ring the buzzer, wait to be buzzed in, climb a flight of steps, and make his way through a 30 or so milling students and people in the foyer, to finally reach where we were training. Immediate danger from outsiders was not a likely possibility.
And so, for the next few minutes, I attempted in vain to get the class to re-focus. But they wouldn't have it: they were caught in the spell of fascination and voyeuristic dread that accompanies traffic accidents: people just have to slow down and scan the area for blood...my students were attem