Just one student again last night: Michael.
We were pressed for time so we skipped ukemi. We reviewed what we've learned so far in the walking kata, and added the first two turns.
We did an extended review of releases 1 & 2, then introduced 3 & 4. Pat showed me a tweak that I think helped Michael keep that unbendable arm in release 1. His #2's felt pretty good and natural. We focused on synchronizing footfalls and letting uke determine where and how you step after the initial evasion. We also talked about having a relaxed arm (as tori), but not one that's completely turned off.....one that yields and fits and blends with uke, but also redirects his energy. Being directed, and directing. Welcome to the wonderful, frustrating, amazing, dichotomy that is aikido, haha! He picked up releases 3 & 4 just fine.
Next we had an extended review of Junana #1 (shomen ate), then I introduced Junana #2 (aigamae ate). We talked about how the evasion/off-balance for #2 shows up a lot from here on out. Michael's "#2 off-balance" was quite nice and effective. He seemed to get it very well, and almost threw me a couple of times with the off-balance alone. We worked on the "kata version" as well as Pat's "hiding around the corner" version. I did a quick intro to junana #3 (gyakugamae ate) just to demonstrate its relationship to #2. Something he can keep in mind as he practices is to wait for uke's reactionary step(s) to do the throw. I still have trouble "waiting on uke" as well, particularly on #15 - it's an easy thing in a lot of these techniques to jump ahead of and rush.
With the little bit of time left, our Cool Ninja Technique of the Day was Junana #10 (waki gatame) as the ura waza (countering technique) to Junana #1, and we cooled down with a little light randori.
Another great class!