Yesterday's aikido lesson began with tegatana no kata, as usual. I didn't really notice anything new with it this time. I do need to devote more time at home to walking. I've been slipping lately.
We moved on to releases 1-8. Once again, I feel like the last 4 are improving ever so slightly, little by little. The dojo's theme of the month for June is Otoshi/Guruma. To illustrate these principles, we stayed with release 3 for a while. Pat demonstrated the difference between catching release 3 on the otoshi timing vs catching it on the guruma timing. For a much better explanation of otoshi and guruma than I could give, see Pat's posts here:
Pat was able to help me out tremendously with release 7 by drawing a comparison to a particularly vicious flavor of gedanate we've been playing with lately. I think it kind of made it "click" (but I don't think I can explain it very well). He also showed me a very cool thing with the releases: by letting your free hand become the "doing" hand, you can turn the thing into a completely different release. Again, I don't think I can describe or explain this adequately in a post. It kinda blew my mind though.
We continued looking at otoshi and guruma for the rest of the lesson. I was glad for the extended look at these principles - I get the concept, but sometimes it takes me a while to really understand this stuff. I was excited because the throws we were getting out of these examples looked like the type of throws that made me want to practice aikido in the first place (uke is thrown into a forward roll).
Just as we did with judo, we discussed how I felt about the green belt material. I was 50% to my green belt requirement after yesterday's class.
Yellow belt material (improvement in previous belt's techniques is required): I feel like I've been improving in tegatana, one one bite at a time. Same for releases 1-4. We haven't worked on Junana/Nijusan 1-3 in a while, but I think I'll be okay there as well.
Green belt material: The only added requirements for green belt are releases 5-8 and Junana/Nijusan 3 and 4. I do feel as if I'm 50% ready to demonstrate releases 5-8. I don't think I have them down well enough if I were to test today, but I feel like I'm on pace. We've played with gedanate quite a bit since I became a yellow belt, so I think I'm on pace for that too. We've only played with ushiroate once, but Pat's version (slightly different from my previous dojo) makes way more sense to me, so I'm not too concerned about being ready for that one.
All in all I feel much better about my aikido that my judo. I have several weeks to work it all out though!