After a great seminar, we had a quiet week. However, we had an interesting class today, with a new member, Shaun. Welcome Shaun.
We actually did have a beginner’s class, as a result, with the advanced students working on sharpening their basic skills. We all need to do that constantly – me too. A common problem is that we are just working on the basic technique, instead of thinking about the implications. In particular, you can do technique without getting off line much at all, but you leave yourself open to a strike with uke’s other hand, and this is a martial art!
For the general class, we worked on katate tori techniques, for Stavros’ next test, working mostly on ikkyo and shiho nage, but again looking at the details for the more advanced folks. Exactly where you put your energy, where you set your feet and where they are pointing, and how you grasp uke’s hand all matter, especially when you are not the biggest person on the mat. I have only been the biggest person on the mat when I was teaching the kids class on my own.
We also worked on freestyle movement. EJ did a very good freestyle, and probably it was so good because he was not worrying about getting the details right, but just performing. So we looked at escapes, and how to keep moving throughout the freestyle, moving from one uke to the next smoothly and in a timely fashion. Rhiannon is learning to play the piano. She starts a new piece by learning short phrases, and the first time she strings them together the result is choppy. That is what a lot of freestyle looks like. But some of us have been doing it for decades, so we should be nice and smooth by now! So you deal with one uke, and as you are throwing them your subconscious takes care of the details, while your conscious mind is already figuring out how the next one is attacking, and how you will evade that attack, so that they can fall into the technique.