We had a great practice today, with 12 of us on the mat.  Then we went to the ranch and had an equally great party.

We had two totally new beginners today (welcome Joe and Hannah), so we did a lot of basic stuff, like basic punches and kicks, basic defenses, back rolls, ikkyo, irimi nage, and kokyu nage.  We worked on some not so basic stuff, also, like ma ai and timing.

For the second class, we did basic bokken and jo movements.  Shomen uchi is a very important movement for aikido, and most techniques have some aspect of that movement in it.  We practiced moving off the line of attack and counter attacking, again working on ma ai and timing.

With the jo, we practiced choku tsuki, kaishi tsuki, ushiro tsuki, and tsuki gedan gaeshi.  We practiced attacking choku tsuki high, middle, and low, and defending against those attacks.  We practiced correct distance by moving as little as possible to just avoid being hit by chudan choku tsuki.  We took away the jo from both ai and gyaku hanmi positions.

Finally, we did randori.  There are many aspects to randori that are important, but one thing that several people messed up on was losing track of where everybody was, so that they were vulnerable to an attack from behind.  We need to work on that.

After class, we went to the ranch for the party.  The dojo provided beer, wine, soft drinks, and hot dogs.  Jerry brought shrimp dip and some really good burgers.  Other folks brought dishes, including Jennifer bringing my favorite cookies.  We had about 30 people at the party.  I think the kids all enjoyed the horses, including some getting a ride, thanks to Ramona.

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