Dan grade class

I've been far too tired by the end of the week to get up in time for jodo on Friday morning the past couple of weeks. I finally made it in this morning, and discovered that the few folks who have been showing up have decided to do aikido instead. They happened to be a little higher rank in aikido than jodo, so in ended up being a sort of black belt class, which is actually kind of nice once and a while.

When all you have are dan grades, you can get a little more refined in your analyzation of technique, you can explore higher kata, and you can have a little more confidence in your uke's ukemi abilities.

Today, one black belt mentioned how he'd like to look at the latter half of randori no kata, since he typically spends classes working with lower ranks on the first half. We only managed to cover waki gatame, kote hineri and kote gaeshi, but we got a lot of good information out of it. Too much, really, to try and go over here (I don't know that I could remember it all!)

We talked about making a solid, committed attack, for one. We tend to give lower grades a lot of slack so that they can learn in an environment of success. But with shodan and above, we had to be sure we stepped it up a little and made sure tori did a proper balance break, etc.

We talked about uke always keeping the second hand engaged and ready, always trying (at least in our minds) to get at tori. We hear a lot about tori keeping his second hand up and engaged, but it's good to remind ourselves, that uke can't just let his second arm dangle uselessly (the Bad Guys on the street certainly wouldn't!)

Everyone seemed to have to tenkan version of kote hineri down pretty well, but they hadn't spent much time on the good ol' fashioned, straight line, elbow through the ear version (which I did when it was my turn to be attacked and surprised everyone). Good to know both.

We also talked a bit about kote gaeshi and some cheeky ways to handle the guy with an iron grip who's hell bent on ripping your wrist off (with no hazumi, natch).

Anyway, lots of good stuff. I hope we get to do it again soon.

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