I went to Shodokan last night. We had a visitor. A nidan from the IrAF. My understanding is that she's visited us a few times over the years. Bob had her warm us up. Some of her stretches were different and really nice. There was one I got a great stretch from. Bob gave us some time to work on our ukemi.
I got to work with the visitor for a short bit. There are a lot of people you really get a flavor of their aikido. I didn't get that with her. Perhaps their style is similar enough to our own that nothing stood out. At one point in our kaitenage practice she decided to pick up the pace a bit and as I rolled back up, she'd move towards me ready for me to grab her. We went back and forth a bit before the technique was changed.
The techniques/exercises covered included a kokyunage and kaitenage. To stress the freestyle practice mindset Bob had us practice something at the end of class. Three lines of sorts. One at either end of the dojo and one more in the middle. We were supposed to do uchi kaitenage on one line, soto on the other and the kokyunage on the third line. Also, we needed to practice both left and right sides. Go through the lines twice and everyone is back where they were started. Bow the next nage in.
I always like working with different people so it was fun working with our visitor. I tried watching her with other partners when I could out of curiousity. She was a pleasure to work out with. She seemed to have good control and was obviously adapting to her uke's abilities. You never really know when someone visits how they will be. Some people just lack control.
Afterwards, I headed out to North Shore Aikikai for another class. Jim taught this one. After normal stretching he had us do some partner stretches. These are awesome. I can get some real good stretching in when I have help like that.
We did an iriminage that I had to work on a bit. When I had a larger uke, I was adapting to uke's momentum and moving around an extra 180 degrees. Although I was keeping up wth uke fine and it was smooth, Jim wanted me to focus on purposefully doing the technique and not allowing allowing uke to necessarily drive the technique a particular way. In other words, I should be more in control of uke and myself. I was able to do this although I'm curious if I will consciously continue to do this.
We then did a kotagaeshi from the same attack (a grab and punch). This is an attack we probably don't do enough of really. It really is a very likely attack in a real life situation.