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I learned so much in class today...one of the yudansha took class and he seldom teaches this class so it was a refreshing change. So I'm noting down all the bits I was doing wrong so I will hopefully remember.
1. ukemi for yokomen: I should glide forward with the front foot a bit if necessary to retain balance. Also should check if I'm moving too early if nage doesn't move.
2. shihonage from a yokomen strike: do not use the blocking hand to hold. Use the other hand. It makes pushing out the uke's striking arm easier.
3. shihonage: extending uke all the way through...proved very hard with the nage I was working with but essentially i was told that I tended to give uke back his balance in the second half of the movement..but I haven't yet managed to figure out if I need to move further behind uke to achieve this or to angle uke's arm down earlier...will have to experiment i guess.
4. kotegaishi omote from katate dori: tenkan then "step out" and remember the drawing back of the front foot goes into 270 degree circle...I kept stopping well before that cos i was just too afraid of hurting uke
5. kotegaishi ura version 1: keep uke's arm clasped down close to the body at the hip and just turn by taking tiny steps on the spot and above all remember to look towards my back shoulder while doing so and turn that way.
There were other points but well, I think that's all I can clearly remember for one evening.
I've had this happy glow both today and last Monday after class. And it's just because I've had good classes in the sense that I'm learning more aikido from a point where I know enough to start playing...which is always fun...
It's also it's just at a point where I'm so comfortable with the people and there're are enough people who are just obviously happy to see me and I them...that nice glow only really comes from that kind of community spirit that's been built over years. And since that's been rather hard won, i treasure it all the more.
And then i thought, there are very few areas in my life, where it's been so easy and so rewarding to build this up...as long as I worked steadily at it. The beginning was hard but because I loved the art itself enough, that alone was enough to get me through it week after week. Other areas of my life still take a lot of hard work and it's like ploughing in rocky ground...no matter how hard I work, nothing much seems to grow and flower but scraggly little plants which are barely getting by. Aikido was like ploughing in rich soil...it still took lots of hard work to get by but the plant that grew and grew made it all worth while.
So it's just nice to have this sweet spot in my life that I can go to several times a week to recharge.