Kazushi Is King
Went to North Shore Aikido's class. Matt taught. We did taiotoshi, ukiotoshi and something I believe he called kasagarume. I love all three of these. I've done them before. The focus however was different for this practice.
Instead of trying to quickly pound uke into the mat. The idea was to try and grab uke with just a couple of fingers for each hand as an exercise. See how much you can get with just a light gentle grip. Very cool idea because it allows you to really focus on the kazushi. I was a lot more focused on floating uke higher before the throw and so forth. I would love to try this again some time. At the very least if we do normal taiotoshi, I'll be focusing on moving uke for better kazushi.
A few posts ago I mentioned someone threw me on his leg for taiotoshi. I got to see him during this class and I can see why it happened. In fact he threw someone else on his knee but it was minor(no damage). He's aware of the problem as are the instructors. He's having trouble making the correction. I think I see why he's doing it. What you normally might do at the end is sort of blast your foot back as you drop. What he does instead is take a step with that foot and tries to throw uke using his whole body. He sort of attempts to throw uke as if he is hauling a sack of potatos around in a circle. Trying to throw uke to the mat as hard as possible. So after the step if his foot was square at all, it becomes slanted because he turns his whole body including his hips(reminiscent of a hip throw). I think he'd do better if he concentrated on which direction he's really supposed to be throwing uke.
It's an interesting thing. A student can feel a large amount of force coming from his partner and not interpet it correctly. Sometimes it feels harder because the technique is correct. It's not harder because someone is physically throwing you harder.