Sunday was a great class with Peter teaching. Somewhere in the midst of it I managed one more of those soft breakfalls. I still am not sure how to do it on a consistent basis though. These happy accidents are occurring because I am being mindful of it while I practice.
Got to work with two folks new to Shodokan. One is a younger kid.... maybe 14 or 15. hard to tell. He's had a good amount of training in the past from what I understand. It shows. At one point, he was not doing the technique that was shown but he did a variant of it that looked great. There is some muscle memory developed there. Good stuff.
I saw the other newer guy again. Sean. Taking ukemi from him was great for kaitenage. I've never had someone focus so much on making sure, uke's head can't get up. I tried doing that too when it was my turn to see how that worked. Love working with folks from other dojos. They come in with new(to me) ideas.
Peter had to leave a little early that day and suggested that our Sempai on the mat (Buddy) take over and keep us busy for the last 15 minutes or so. Buddy had us doing some interesting stuff. At the end, he and I were off in a corner while he experimented deciding what to have us do next. What he was doing led nicely into koshinage. I set one of those up and he liked it so much he asked if I would demonstrate it for the class. I said sure.
I showed the class the setup for the throw. No need to actually throw. There were two newer students whose ukemi I wasn't sure of and another guy I know was recently out with a back injury. Good time to just practice setting up the throw. I made a point of teaching the ukemi aspect for the demo as well.
I got Sean as a partner so I told him he could throw me if he wanted. During the practice I suggested he pay a lot of attention to where uke's position is before the throw. If he is falling forward then that's the direction you want the throw to go. I also suggested he bend at the knees way more than he was (thanks Jim). He made the changes quickly and the throw was feeling awesome.
So... looks like just when I was railing away about not feeling useful in the dojo the universe answered in an unexpected way.