AI It's Hot Out
I went to two classes last night. The first at Shodokan. Bob taught. Because it's such a hot day (about 95 indoors) we kept the practice at a slower pace. Must have worked as I didn't end up mouth breathing at all. The focus of the practice was so that uke could harmonize with nage. And yes..... nage needed to harmonize as well but the stress was on uke following nage.
We would make a connection, first just a finger... then later a whole hand and do body movement to convert the attackers energy. I had a hard time not doing a technique. For good or bad I'm at a point where some techniques just pop out when I am attacked certain ways. Come to think of it.... this was a similar exercise to one I did at Baltimore Aikido last year.
Later on we practiced moving through multiple attackers. First, just by entering and getting out of the way using the same exercises we did earlier and later by attempting whatever technique seemed appropriate. One of the things in said in general to the class was something I always wondered about my own style of aikido. It was suggested that keeping your feet around shoulder width apart during the freestyle exercise is a good idea. Going to the ground may not be good, spreading your legs out too much may also not be good. I know that for some of my style of aikido I tend to let my stance get a little wide for some throws. It's something I was aware of but haven't focused on tightening it up at all. Maybe I should. One other comment was to make sure are attacks are sincere. When grabbing one hand make sure you continue attacking by facing your center more at nage. Because realistically you are going to attack someone with intent maybe grab with the other hand or punch. I'm not sure I was doing that but I made sure from then out that I had more intent.
At the end we did a slow walking pace freestyle to practice a bit. For whatever reason, I noticed that for yokomen and shomen strikes I tend to block/deflect and enter behind the person a lot. At least thats what came out last night. I notice that my freestyle frequently reflects what I've been working on the past few classes. Not sure why but I found sankyo somewhat frequently too.
After this I headed out to North Shore Aikikai. We did a lot of things to practice ukemi. Started off with our normal forward and backward rolls (same as Shodokan) and then moved on to tsuki sumi-otoshi.
We formed up a couple of lines and did more techniques to help us practice our falling.
Also practiced in there was a kotagaeshi version and an ude garame. The ude garame made sense when I picked up a little detail about trying to hit uke in the face with his own hand. That comment made a huge difference on how it felt.
We slowed the pace a bit with a little ikkyo at one point.
My falling lately is a little wonky. I've been over-rotating a lot lately. I have no idea why. Not enough to hurt anything but enough that I know that I'm doing it. I need more practice falling.