I've had probably 4 classes or so since I posted last. Lots of good stuff. Since John Rogers visit to Shodokan the teaching there have been several classes revolving around ideas he stressed.
Recently in a Sunday morning class there was the mention of awareness. Peter threw me and started talking about how uke shouldn't be just looking away or waiting for something to happen. Uke should have a connection with nage. Don't take your eyes off him just because you are waiting for him to roll you over for a pin for example. I'm usually pretty good at this.
Since I train with lots of different kinds of people I learned a long time ago to pay attention. At times you never know when someone will do something surprising. I remember one class when my nage all of a sudden did a totally different technique after doing it correctly for several minutes. He spaced out. Luckily I was paying attention to him and followed him with no problem. The surprising thing was that he was an experienced person. I expect that kind of thing from someone just starting out. The beginners can be more dangerous because you don't really know what they are going to do.
The last class I had was a Monday night at NSA. Matt taught. So often in aikido we are looking for way of off balancing uke. Matt had us doing some exercises making me think a little bit about that.
Actually something about this entry finally clicked. A lot of times when Matt teaches he somehow can suck you in before a throw. I could never easily replicate that. It was this class that helped it click. It's not done with strength and yet it feels strong. It's seems to me now that it is done by having nage in a certain position and then using his center.
The entry was something like....
Step with your back foot a little to the side and bring the front foot back. So essentially as the attack comes you are allowing it to continue in a certain direction while you get out of the way. We started off with some static wrist grabs for it. We played around with this entry for a while. One thing we did a little different was do some uchiotoshi. We go into a nikkyo and as uke comes up, lead uke up and out, then go to one knee. I'm used to pushing the hip with the other hand at times for this. I could do this technique all day long and still play with it. It's a fun one. The nikkyo was interesting. Matt had us take the hand in front of us and use our other hand from the bottom rather than the top for the nikkyo. I've seen that but it's been a long while since I've practiced it. There was one other difference in this technique. Sometimes we practice getting really close to uke and the turning in our body helps the off-balancing. In this class Matt had us doing it a little different. We were a little further away.
Rob... you'd be proud of me. I was looking to float uke for this.