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For the first time, I've managed to do at least not abysmally at randori....or at least in the words of my sensei, "not bad"...which sure beats the last few times I tried .
I'm sure part of it was that I had some very good ukes but for the first time, at least for the first half of it, I was actually doing ok as in not getting stuck with ukes and remembering at least half the time to turn right around rather than turn to throw one uke and turn back. I could still do with some improvement on that front but at least it's a start.
With these ukes, it really helped that they moved in a way that helped me to concentrate on getting my placing vis-a-vis them right. So it really helped my training. I was also moving without thinking so that I actually don't remember what I did until I did start thinking at which point I faltered because I then couldn't decide which of two equidistant ukes I should take...I had no real idea where the third one was but of course in those precious split seconds, they all closed in fast and then it was all over.
So yes, definitely still lots of room for improvement and lots of mistakes at the end but hey, I got fairly far along nicely until then which is a first.
had fun practising on Sunday morning with one of the guys whose technique I like a lot as it's very smooth and he's very sensitive in general to changes in uke's balance. Am trying to figure out how I can develop the same level of connection both as nage and uke. I still feel like I'm not that sensitive because I'm still using too much muscle...still need to attain that fine balance between being relaxed but not a rag doll.
Just one note from that practice so I don' t forget it: kotegaeshi from a tanto thrust. Use a small down movement to destabilise uke first then raise hand up rather than sideways as this is less dangerous to nage.
Postscript: I tried that little variation of kotegaeshi with a tanto attack on another nidan, but lo and behold, it didn't work anywhere near as well...hmmm...back to the drawing board.
I'm so pleased that I finally discovered how to do the boat pose in pilates/yoga. I've always been under the impression my lower ab muscles are weak as getting to do these slow curls into and out of a boat pose are next to impossible for me at very low angles...and the yoga teacher finally said something which worked. She said that if your feet rise faster than your head, you'll never be able to do it...and I realised she was absolutely right. I was just raising my legs way faster than my head most times.
It's not really got anything to do with aikido but I thought there are also these moments in aikido when the instructor or one's sempai notes something and it suddenly makes sense. One of these aha moments. And they occur certainly in aikido as well.