Friday the 13th
It's customary at Shodokan to have a special class on Friday the 13th. Actually, I didn't even realize it was the 13th until I got to the dojo.
So the class usually has the theme "When things go wrong". When uke grabs in a non-traditional manner or when a technique doesn't work or when there is resistance and you have to change to a different technique.
This class was somewhat frustrating. I saw a demonstration where the teacher clearly finished a technique with an open stance. Yet when practicing, was told to do a full tenkan instead. Usually when this happens I just ignore it and attempt to do what is desired.
Tonight there was a ton of this kind of thing though.
I saw another technique shown unintentionally 4 different ways which left me with enough confusion as to wonder which version I should be working on. Then I was given a correction for something I was doing fine except that my partner and I didn't realize he wanted us to use a particular attack. I have no problem with corrections but it's tough to follow when things are done 4 different ways. Heck, there was even one time where I was told to put a hand in one place and when shown was showed with the hand in a different place.
One good thing about the class was that I saw Ariel. He hasn't shown up for a class in a while. Looks like he's starting back up again. Very interesting partner to work with. Very tall, skinny build. He was doing fine although I had to prod him to attack me properly. We were doing a shomen attack and he was bringing his arm down and stopping it in midstrike such that it couldn't have even hit me if I stood still. I asked him to attack properly. After a couple of requests he started attacking with a little more zeal.
The other thing we played with was a version of ikkyo. At this point I'm not a big believer in this flavor. I had a large uke for this who is very inflexible. I was asked to keep the wrist higher than the elbow for the finishing position. My uke was incapable of bending over. He just doesn't have the flexibility. So to avoid hurting him(he's in his 60's) I didn't put him all the way down. I got a correction for this.
Anyway.... the ikkyo. I think I've been shown how to do it another way which requires no muscle and doesn't give uke a chance to push back if he is inflexible. I still like that one better than the one shown tonight.
To top it off we were supposed to be doing a particular technique. My partner wasn't getting up from a bent over position and as a result I couldn't easily complete the technique. I was left with a few options. I asked him to stand as if it were a real attack as he wouldn't stay bent over in a real conflict(I could just beat his head in). He still wouldn't stand for me.... so using my hips I moved him one direction, past my center and then the other taking him to the ground and completing the technique. Once again I was receiving a correction for this. The reality is that the technique presumes that uke wants to stand up and not stay bent over in front of an opponent. No way to do the technique properly if uke isn't doing his job.
I get corrections in class once in a while and have no problem with it. However, the bulk of tonight was either my uke not doing his job(acting in a "realistic" manner) or seeing inconsistent demo's that alter every time they are showed. Freaking frustrating as hell.
Combined with the assault of cigar smoke in the dojo when I first came in, it amounted to a most unpleasant class.