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I didn't go but my instructor did. I was having afternoon tea with a friend on saturday who I train with and we started making the usual jokes about courses.
The four big ones are:
The course will be acclaimed as being very good and the instructor will only have taught basics.
There will be no change in the basics, but the ukemi will have become more flowery, elaborate and require uke to do a lot more and require tori to be sloppy to allow uke to do this.
Nothing will actually be explained.
Great excitement will be expressed that shockingly our Aikido is STILL just like Doshu's. This is confirmed several times a year and is still a great source of excitement.
So we went training last night and sure enough now we're taking six more steps on our ukemi with no clue why. I did ask Sensei, got into an argument actually. Sure enough Doshu did basics and nothing but.
I honestly wonder just what's going on at hombu. Everytime we come into contact with someone from hombu nothing changes in the technique but the ukemi becomes incredibly daft. I mean jodan irimi nage modified so that uke can take two steps back and chuck themselves across the mat? Why?
This is what caused the argument: if you ask me as uke to take two steps back and I end up back on posture and back on balance then I will just stand up. It would be dishonest not to. Frankly if you ask me to take two steps back I will always step back on posture, this is why we always completed the throw at the