We started with ukemi and walking, then moved on to Releases 1-8. Ever since I’ve been training with Pat, he’s emphasized getting off the line and synching up with uke (evasion and timing). Now he’s introducing another concept to think about: This "mechanical/structural" dynamic. I probably won’t do justice to an explanation, but it involves stepping onto the line of uke’s weakness. Pretty cool, and it has a dramatic effect on kuzushi.
Next we played with the first section (I think) of Ichi Kata, then moved on to Junana #14. While practicing 14, Pat tweaked my footwork in such a way that (at the time I thought) he completely fixed my Release 6 & 8! A quick foot switch seemed to have my R6 & R8 working like magic.
We looked at our “Junana chains” (consisting of Junana 1-5) with an emphasis on finding opportunities for atemi between the techniques. Made some good “aikey-strikey”. Then we did the same thing, but looked for floating throws instead of strikes.
At some point it really struck me how differently various aikido techniques can be applied. It’s like there’s a way to do things with “Oomph” (more muscle, less dependable, but possible), and there’s a way to do them more effortlessly…..more efficiently….more “aiki-like”. And I’m starting to get a peek behind the curtain at how people much farther along than me are doing what appears to be magic. I can’t wait till I’ve been doing this 20 more years.
We ended the class with some fun randori.