For the past few months, I’ve been working on getting an aikido class together that I could teach locally (My teacher is 75 miles away). Well, it didn’t pan out exactly like I originally thought it might, but last Thursday, I did teach my first aikido class. It’s a milestone I’m pretty excited about. I’ll be keeping track of training logs here for that class too. We’re calling our group “Kazoku Dojo” – “kazoku” means “family” in Japanese.
Students for the night were Michael, Melissa, and Kim. 2 of the 3 were being exposed to aikido for the very first time, so we began with simple back falls, concentrating on sitting-more-than-falling, and tucking our chins to make sure our heads didn’t hit the mat. Then a brief introduction to forward rolls from a kneeling position.
After a short explanation of what kata is (solo and paired), we went over the first 3 sections of our walking kata. We focused on “dropping” into the step rather than “shifting our weight east in order to travel west”. We also focused on bringing the “following foot” along without dawdling.
We then practiced using those same steps to evade an incoming zombie-arm attack. Just to demonstrate the idea of getting-out-of-the-way. We moved from that into the “aiki brush-off” concept that Pat teaches, which led nicely into Junana #1 (Shomen ate).
We ended the class with Release #1, and a little bit of Release #2, with a focus on synchronizing with uke's steps and finding the right timing to seperate and create distance.
Somewhere in all of that we talked about the how and why of “same-hand-same-foot”.
I’m thrilled about the prospect of teaching, and acutely aware of my insufficiency to do so. But it’s all part of learning, right? I do need to learn to organize the class time better….we have class again tonight, so we’ll see how I manage!