Light Turnout For Tuesday Class
As I said, near a test I would have expected more people to come to more classes. Tonight consisted of two students, myself and Buddy. I like working with Buddy.
We did a lot of Morotetori attacks. We did kotagaeshi, shihonage, iriminage, koshinage (that’s 3 days in a row of that), and a bunch of other very fun techniques. The class was a blast.
The Shihonage I'd seen before although I was fuzzy on the footwork even though I'd done that footwork 1000 times. The iriminage I don't think I'd ever seen. Peter did a couple versions of it. I just took a crack at it. I have no idea if what I did was even close. This was one of those times where I got to see the technique but had no idea what I just saw. The nikkyo wasn't 100% natural either. Once or twice I stuck the hand up to the wrong shoulder. I immediately knew something was wrong and stopped my technique to figure it out when Peter told me outright.
One of my favorites was the kotagaeshi. You sort of end up ducking under and drawing uke's arm to you turning uke around. The trick is to remain in contact with uke the whole time. Sometimes when you can't get a hand in the right place you can use your arm to push the back of uke's hand. On most nights I can do this fairly fluidly. It feels like a natural movement to me. Although I'm sure many instructors are perfectly capable of doing it this way, Peter is the only one I recall doing this technique in this manner. It's one of my favorite ways of doing this. Peter is really sticky.
I had one interesting experience. During the class, I was doing fairly well with one of the techniques. Although the technique doesn't actively need the other hand Peter suggested to Buddy that he make the sae motion with both hands. Although not necessary it is a nicer form. So here I was doing this fairly well, I thought I'd try to the change. All I had to do was simply raise one arm up to match the other and bam.... I was having a little trouble. I was so focused on the other arm that the motion didn't feel natural to me any more. Someone recently made a comment how when dans try out new ways of doing things they can sometimes fumble around looking for it. I now understand exactly why that is. I was doing this fairly well, I tried to add a trivial detail and it fell apart on me. In a sense I would think it might be harder for someone whose been practicing longer.
After this class I'm having some different thoughts about the nature of Aikido. Also about the nature of testing. I was always under the impression that you did the technique over and over until they called for a new one. Now I'm told that they actually don't mind and would prefer seeing a couple variations on a technique. Wow. I had no idea. As for aikido, I can't put the thought into words as yet. It's sort of like being absoutely certain something is on the other side of the hill even though you can't see it.
There is a piece of me totally freaking out about the upcoming test and another part of me that is sure that I know this stuff. I think most of the anxiety is not having things as polished as much as I'd like. It'll be nice to just get the test over with so I can focus on just practice again.
The test is a huge distraction in my daily life. My 45 minute drive home today consisted of me wondering about techniques in general and transitioning from one technique to the next. Like.... if you wanted to get behind someone for an iriminage could you do this or that first. Can you convert a sankyo to a koshinage. I don't think so. You lose the sankyo trying to get into position for the throw. Anyone have an idea for this? Anyone?