Tonight we practiced many different techniques but all starting from Ryotetori.
I was afraid my soreness from Sunday adventure would interfere with my ability to ...well, do anything. But after about 30 minutes I finally started to loosen up. In was a good night and I worked with many different levels of Ukes. With a variety of responsiveness. Once in a blue moon I managed to get a move at least in the correct “ball park”. So, it was a good night, especially since I feared my absences would hurt me. The above YouTube clip shows one of the responses we practiced.
On a different subject, it came out that one of the Akidoka commented that he still didn't know what to say after I said Onegai shimas(u) meaning “I make a request"“ in preparation of working together.
I then gave him the phrases for before (the above) and at the end of class - “domo arigato Gozaimashita” (thank you very much for what you have done )
The thing this is, we heard that after a demonstration at an Asian Festival last weekend, two different people commented that they liked the bowing part of the demo. Basically they liked the politeness of Aikido, which is what all the Japanese phrases are about. You pay your respect to everybody. The founder, the Sensei and each other. Done it the right spirit it means we do it all with a sense of gratitude. This is what bowing is really all about (in my understanding).
For a few years I “practiced” Zen meditation where we bowed (from a knelling position) all the time. The teacher explained the bowing was a way to empty yourself before whatever, the teacher, the teacher's teacher, the door, the floor, a bug...whatever. Everything is “worth” bowing before, even each other. But again it is a pouring of yourself out before “thou”. And everything is a “thou”, a “du” a “tu”, etc...
So I, your humble narrator, in this spirit described above pour myself out before you..