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Been working on the ASU bokken kata's 1 and 2. I am glad to announce that neither myself or my practice partner hurt each others' fingers/hands. I've done this before (knock a finger or knuckle) and know that it can be a surprise and painful at the same time. By the way, I'm practicing these 2 kata in preparation for our upcoming kyu 6 & 5 tests.
As to kote gaeshi - here's a trick (actually the right thing to do): as you bend back the wrist from the kote gaeshi hand grip, also step back, effectively pulling the uke's arm and body off balance. It's amazing how little tips like this improve the movement.
When doing shihonage irimi, I need to remember that I shouldn't step past the midway point (between feet) of uke. This way, I end up behind uke when I complete the turn.
For nikkyo - for the other arm position not gripping the wrist - the position that works is as follows: my hand rolling freely against uke's writs and the forearm (to elbow) is over the uke's forearm. This give me more leverage and control.
Of note - I just put two and two together:
Shi - four
Ho - direction
Nage - throw
Our sensei has scheduled a kyu test sometime at the beginning of Jan '05. As this will be my official 6th kyu test, I am both anxious and curious how I will do.
I've been practicing (alone) at home the various test requirements, however, am limited to only my own movements and visualization. In the past few weeks, I have practiced with others and find that my mind blanks out at times when we yell out techniques to perform.
Although I will take the 6th kyu test, I am preparing for both 6th and 5th level (both hand and weapons.) It never hurts to be ready I suppose.
I hope that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday doesn't eventually weigh me down - literally.