I was able to make it to the first class tonight in Salem. Alan started us off with a little light HIP THROWS!!!
Actually, it was quite comfortable. When I land correctly, the banged up side of my knee is not involved. So basically, I got some exercise and blood flow in the area and it felt better after class than it did before.
So Alan asks me to help demo the throw and asks me to throw him. It's been a little while so after a quick hint from Alan I remembered which one he was interested in. I did fairly well with these tonight. Somehow I ended up in a threesome. This was fine though. We kept a good pace up... not too fast. Not too slow. Just consistent practice. It was nice. My two partners were improving. One of them was taking the ukemi funny. For those new folks that might actually read this thing.... you want to firm up your center. Don't allow yourself to be draped over nage's back like a coat. You want to be more like a plank of wood that gets flipped over in the middle (but in a relaxed sort of way). One of my uke's was constantly draping himself over nage's back. The other guy was having some difficulty with it so when it was our turn I mentioned it. He didn't quite get it but I wasn't going to harp on it. Now that he knows to think about it he'll eventually get it.
Alan had us work on shihonage some. He called me up again for the demo, put me in a position where I normally would have to breakfall.... he had my arm extended out. Then he paused, asked if I wanted to breakfall... to which I replied "ehhh... why not?". The problem I had though was one of timing. Because the throw was stopped and then started I didn't have the timing for the ukemi quite right. My gumby shoulders saved me a bit by buying me another moment as I did the breakfall. Very comfortable. Hadn't done too many standing breakfalls for shihonage. As soon as we picked partners, my partner seemed tentative. He told me he was concerned that everyone had to breakfall out. That was kind of funny. I said... no. Just normal shihonage. The throw wasn't important. Alan was more interested in our learning the entry.
At one point I got to work with Joanna for iriminage. We were just taking turns having a blast. At one point she was shaking her head and telling me my iriminage feels strong. I never really thought about it. One thing I like to do if I can is off-balance uke so that he has his head right on my shoulder. I noticed she wasn't doing that.
We started to noodle around with it some. Then she just got crazy and started resisting for the heck of it. For her trouble, she ended up with several faux atemi, to the face, ribs (under the armpit), and kidneys. Other times she ended up in an ude garame, where my tegatana was on her shoulder/arm joint.... a nikkyo, shihonage, and a kokyunage that came out of nowhere. She had said after one or two of them that she wants to try and remember that. The thing of it is.... In my mind it's not about remembering to do x when y is happening. It's a matter of just letting uke stick themselves in a position and you just sort of let them get there.
On my drive home I was thinking about how I could have done the technique anyway if she stiff armed me. I came up with two ideas. One was to move around her rather than having her move around me more.... the other idea was to offbalance her in one direction and then scoot behind her.
Ah well... knee feels ok... Still tender though.