Went to NSA last night. Jimmy came back from retirement to teach a class. Was good to see him again.
We predictably did tenchinage. I dislike this technique. There are 100 variations..... probably more and they all have problems.
I was doing ok but then went to change partners with Matt. Matt is a gift to aikido students. He is relatively new and hasn't practiced long. However, he has a solidness about him and an intuitive understanding if he gets to feel something more than once. He tends to resist techniques both actively and passively. Which means an experienced person like myself can learn a lot from working with him.
For the tenchinage, he was only loosely gripping. I didn't really have a committed grab from him. This makes it a little harder. The other thing he was doing was disconnecting his center from his arms. Because there was no push back the arms just kind of moved back. This particular variation didn't seem to focus on the earth hand being low or the sky hand offbalancing so much as the stepping through with your body. This meant that I was wasn't affecting his body much initially. Then when I step through I'm pushing against an on-balance rooted big guy. Not gonna happen. I think for this technique to work well with him I need to off balance him. Otherwise... it's just strength against strength. And... he's a lot bigger than me.