10/21/09 w [5s, 22v] No new folk. Did Friday type class. Worked up from irimi tenkan to basic nikiyo [omote, no take-down/pin]. This proved to be a good technique to instill the need to "center" i.e., bring uke's arm/center down and directly into nage's center. Told them we would start at that point Friday after warm-ups, and continue that technique to a more advanced level.
Note: As the schedule of when new folks come in to the Ward, and to avoid confusing myself, I'm going to re-name the 3 types of class I defined above;
Monday will now be "A" advanced
Wednesday will now be "B" basic
Friday will now be "I" intermediate
10/21/09 At Aikido of Northampton [my regular dojo]
2 guys from the big 8 [ward 8 is the location at the VA facility where the PTSD vets live] visited a regular class. They were a bit blown away at how effective aikido can be when you go full out. They also remarked on how the very limited, basic technique we are able to do actually are the basics of a full aikido technique. They got to meet Todd Martin Sensei and liked how he reinforced what they were doing. One guy is leaving the program Tuesday and asked if I knew of any dojos in the Providence RI area. He thinks he might want to continue his aikido. I will get him a list of the dojos I know of.
10/23/09 f [5s, 20v] A type class. Warm ups, solo & partner irimi tenkan. Repeated irimi tenkan to nikyo omote as a standing pin. Progressed to nikyo ura as a standing pin. People were surprised at how powerful nikyo is, and how destructive nikyo ura could be if pushed a bit too far. Very high interest in this technique. A lot of people experimented with different grips and hand/body positions.
I ended with a demonstration of nikyo ura to a takedown and floor pin, and how well it enabled me to control uke while being completely relaxed myself.
10/26/09 [ s, v] B [3s, 10v] Apparently a lot of people left today and we had 2 new guys.
also, starting on-time, at 2:30 on Mondays is problematic. A lot of people are involved in other activities, group meetings, counseling, clinics, etc. that are supposed to end at 2:30, but often run over, and even if they do end on time, by the time people get to class it is often 5+ minutes before they get to the class. I don't know if we can do anything about this but I will try to get the class to start and end 5 minutes later.
NOTE: I just have to plan on not being able to plan any regular sechedule of classes. I will just have to concentrate on the goals I set and try to implement them as best I can with the group I have on any one day. If I reach a few people, inculcate the concept of relaxing, breathing and centering when confronted or in stressful situations I will know I haven't wasted my time. Althought it has only been a short time, it seems to have happend with a couple of guys and that feels real good.
(Original blog post may be found here