Teacher Student Conference

It was Wednesday night and Charlie taught and Sensei was just a regular Joe like the rest of us. Except of course that he was not perplexed like the rest of us.

I've missed a lot of Wednesday classes over the past months so I have not worked with Sensei as a partner in a long while so tonight I made a point of working with him. And I really think it is one the really cool things about the dojo, that the Sensei wants to (I think) work with everybody at an individual level.

He doesn't instruct or even correct (much) but he does take his time and tries to figure out what you are doing and how to make it better. It really is like a 10 minute private session with an Aikido Master. Charlie brought his Tomiki style background to the mat but so we did some things slightly differently but Sensei focused on the responsiveness of what I was doing and not whether the techniques were slightly different that had practiced in the past.

We were starting from a static katate-tori stance and went to shiho-nage. At one point Sensei struggled to get me to recognize the timing I felt as he grabbed my wrist (somehow we went to a more dynamic start), and helped me work on responding to his movements as I grabbed his wrist. He used the analogy of a metronome where the musician must pace themselves the beat that is give. But then he switch to saying that once you are in sync with uke then nage takes control of the speed, direction and pace.

At one point I think we spent 5 minutes of him grabbing my wrist, I tenkan and “feel” when I need to shift back and go to shiho-nage. We didn't complete the throw but just focused on me getting a sense of his timing and using that to move the technique along.

Anyway, it was a great experience. I hate to “beat a dead horse” but I can't help but wonder what a master of something must be thinking when all this wisdom comes out but can only go to a perpetually clumsy pupil. But he is never acts as if it is an imposition to explain and help us even though we seem to forget it the moment after he tells us something

We did some other cool stuff but the above video (around 1:09) show what Sidney and I worked on, although I didn't do the neat break fall in the omote version although he told me how I should position myself to did it if I needed.

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