Yesterday was the first time in quite a while I've been back to Pat's to train. We camped out mostly on Release 1, and the new way Pat's been doing it. It feels brand new to me again, and it's a little confusing. I think I "get it" conceptually, but doing it correctly is another thing entirely. It reminds me of when I first started and felt like there were a couple dozen things to keep in mind for each release. Looking forward to getting enough reps of this new way that I don't have to think about it much. It will be nice when can I gather with my students again and see how the tweaks figure in to the way we've been doing releases. There was an emphasis on keeping the slack out of the uke/tori connection by changing the direction of the energy. I need to remember to maintain a "push" throughout, not a bunch of alternating pushes and pulls (which keeps creating slack). I also need to remember to "release with my feet" and not try to do the whole thing with my arm. Like I said, I'm feeling like a white belt again with this new approach!
Pretty much all of the aikido portion of the class was spent playing with Release 1. That was really cool, but it got even cooler when we started terminating it with iriminage or aegamaeate. And it reached the Miles-Davis-level coolness when we ended it with a hip throw! We went from there into using Release 1 as an entry to other judo throws. Blew. My. Mind.
We focused on ending every technique in a dominant position (ukigatame, or knee-on-belly). Lastly, we played judo/aikido randori, including a little ground work. It exposed a great need I have: to get back to training judo and drilling hundreds of reps of basic throws. I stopped training judo while only a green belt, and that was two or three years ago. It's time for me to go back and relearn the alphabet, so I can relearn how to form a few words, and move on to some communication, figuratively speaking. Our randori ended with my little toe getting dislocated or broken - my first injury in about 7 years of aikido, less than that of judo. Hurts like the dickens!