As usual, a great podcast. I work nights for the USPS (and yes, that really is my last name), so I have a lot of time battle the demons of boredom by listening to music and podcasts, and having the Aikido podcast around is fantastic.
I do have a few questions for Ledyard Sensei, but rather than send a private message, I'd like to post them here for everyone's benefit in case they had the same questions. I hope no one minds.
Mister Ledyard :
1. Mental Irimi - Did you mean to mentally "imagine" (or project, because "imagine" sounds silly) yourself moving into a technique before doing it, or to sort of "start" a technique before the uke grabs or attacks by shifting your balance and sort of "leading" uke into it, or am I just completely missing the point? :P
2. The Ball - I've never heard of this before. Can you briefly explain this, and if you have time, provide a few examples?
3. The bokken exercise - How does the kamae of the bokken change for the nage? Does it go from gedan, to gedan-hasso, to jodan-hasso, to jodan, then segan? Or is it in the opposite order? Also, when the uke attacks, does the nage block in any specific way, or do they just try to deflect the uke's thrust in any way they can? Is this also something that one can figure out with just a partner, or would it be better if an instructor taught and supervised it?
Thank you very much for your time! I can't wait to listen to part 2!