So Rob taught last night. Not sure if he was having pity on my left knee or it was just time to do some basic stuff for their newer student Jeff but it was sort of a simple class.
We did a nice round of stretching and warmed up with some ukemi practice.
We did some tai no henko. This is the "sort of simple" part. You could play with this for a while. The focus was on trying to allow/force uke to keep a nice solid grip. In a lot of videos you see the grip shredding. I can easily do this exercise without using strength. However, the trick is doing it without shredding the grip.
It seems like the initial angle of the grab can determine in a major way whether the grip will shred. So, you have to present the hand/wrist at the correct angle. Oddly enough, it's the simplest, most natural angle there is. You end up with a grip across the palm somewhat diagonal. If uke has something that looks like a sankyo then you have the wrong grip. As soon as you tenkan it will shred.
Then we moved on to shihonage. I saw the version Rob did for his demo so I tried to do that one as I had Jeff as my partner and I wanted him to learn it the way it was being taught. So Jeff got my version of what Rob was doing. Hopefully it was close enough to help him make forward progress. For the most part I thought he did well enough. He needs tons of practice in basic techniques and controls at this point. He needs to build up the muscle memory that we all have.