Why take two classes? It gives me two chances to get everything wrong. Ok... just kidding. The first class usually warms me up enough that I can do the more advanced second class. Although last night was like in the 90's with bad humidity. A friend of mine commented that there was a strong breeze blowing through his apartment(even though it was 90+ degree wind) and I said... yes... that's what they call convection cooking. Sensei Mulligan grabbed me and another beginner to fetch a couple more fans out of storage. They did help some.
The first class I did so so. One nice thing was the on again off again success I have with shomenuchi nikkyo. On this particular night I was getting the technique fairly right.
I think from now on I'm going to have to take notes at night. We are doing enough different things in a class that I can't remember specifically what we were doing.
I finally saw my old sensei from Cape Ann Aikido. He popped in for the class. He worked with a beginner in the corner. I looked over a couple times to see him teaching rolling and... I thought I saw him doing shihonage. I really wasn't paying lots of attention. When I'm practicing aikido my attention is usually on what I'm doing or what my partners doing. I don't find lots of time to look at anywhere else. I did see one thing though. During one lesson I was attempting weeble rolls for the ukemi and doing them reasonably well. I happen to glance over to see my old sensei watching me and smiling. I think he was happy to still see me practicing and improving over time. A far cry from my first attempt at a roll. To this day I don't believe I've seen anyone do worse than I did on my first roll attempt. For me the ukemi has been and will be an evolving process. Speaking of which....
The second class went well for me. I can remember a lot of what we did but can't remember all the names again. Maybe after hearing them over and over I'll start to remember. We started out with a jo exercise where we were taking ukemi from a couple different jo movements.
We did something I guess I'd call suwari waza nikkyo. It was a shoulder gi grab version. Start off stepping offline, atemi, grab the wrist and nikkyo... go up and through in an omote version and do a nikkyo pin. Oh ya... for this I couldn't resist ignoring people's nikkyo again. The first lucky person to try to nikkyo pin me was the instructor that took over Tuesday classes for a while. She's excellent to learn from. Actually, she's the one that had me dancing like a puppet a while back in a sankyo. Her sankyo's kill. She started pushing and then I hear her say "wow... that's kind of rare". Then other folks tried. One guy who is amazing to watch went for it and he was very strong but it just didn't hurt. Finally, Matt (Monday's first class instructor) who knows my wrists took a crack at it and managed to make me feel tingles so I tapped out. After class he asked to take another try at it and he had me tapping out quicker. I think he didn't put my arm all the way down to the ground and instead pinned me to his knees. Somehow having my arm up like that helped the pin. I think he had my elbow bent a bit.
Then we did a really cool technique where nage is seated and offers a wrist to uke. When uke grabs, nage turns his open hand upward forcing uke to his toes. Nage brings other hand over the first and moves uke around him and brings him down off balance. Sort of ends up in a pin you'd see for shihonage knife disarming where uke's hand is behind his own shoulder. The first one of these I didn't move right away and felt the full force. I was up off my toes and my forearm was killing me. I started moving finally and took the pin. I couldn't get up. I forgot that I had loose shoulders and I guess people were really pushing down and it felt comfortable. Then they experimented a bit showing a couple things. At one point the guy pinning me asked... does that hurt? Nope.... it's comfortable. I can't move.... but it's comfortable. After I got home I wondered if it's possible to roll over your own arm and head to get out of that.
In general I tap out early nowadays for wrist and shoulders. I've been told from people that even people with looseness can permanently damage things if you keep pushing it. Also, in the basic class, I tap out on nikkyo's if I feel enough pressure so that my partner is likely doing things correctly. It keeps my joints safer, and keeps the practice moving along. I couldn't help messing with the advanced class. Also, they if anyone can benefit from working with a strange case and most of them teach the classes I attend and I like the instructors to be familiar with my ability or lack thereof. So... unless someone asks for it, I'm tapping out again early again from now on. They've all seen the show and I don't want permanently damaged anything.
Then we did a technique with uke doing a yokomen strike. You sort of spin down on a dime taking the arm and making a circle. My first toss as uke had me catching tons of air. I was way up there. Very cool.
Overall, I felt my ukemi got a little better. I actually did a few correct advanced breakfalls. There was one where I really got tossed and it felt like I went over like a hip throw so I treated it that way. I felt great when I landed. Then another, I was tossed far and I did a correct breakfall for it. It's so sweet when I do even a few of those right that I even if I do nothing else well I feel like I did great for the class.
After class, Matt suggested that I try to make more advanced classes. He said that in the first class he saw me struggling with some of the techniques. Yet in the advanced class I managed to have steady improvement as nage. He felt as though I am learning more being surrounded by more experienced folk and I'm the type of person that can somehow take advantage of that. So... whenever I can I will be taking 2 classes on mondays. I also need to give the instructor some credit here too. Because it was such a hot night, slowing things down and explaining more gave everyone a chance to breath ( 90 degree air) and gave me the chance to learn more. Frequently, he is very clear in what you want to do. That doesn't mean I can do it. It just gives you a fighting chance.
Anyway, although Matt thought my nage waza was improving.... I felt as though my ukemi was coming along. This was so fun.
Wrist hurts a little along with forearm. That suwari waza killed me because I didn't move when I was supposed to.