Tonight’s class was weapons. We usually focus on one weapon per class, and tonight it was jo (my favorite!). We did the first 12 jo suburi, and a combination of several at the end. I think I’ve only done 1 through 5 or 6 before tonight. I definitely had not seen the bigger swirling-the-jo-around techniques – those were fun!

I really like weapons classes, for the opportunity to work independently and slowly. It’s possible to focus on the mechanics, alignment, center/base, staying relaxed, breath, posture, and so on, without the rush of doing partner practice. I wouldn’t want to train like that exclusively, but it’s nice to be able to break things down and work on what you need to work on.

I also like that once I get something basically down, I can practice it at home on my own. (I keep a spare jo in the barn for that.)

Tonight I was really happy about most of what I did (not really lost at any point). I felt much more solid and settled than usual during the techniques. Between techniques, however, I caught myself being a bit busy and unfocused in the way I was moving. I’ve seen what that looks like in videos (it looks ridiculous and goofy), and have been trying to be more conscious of it. So tonight I tried my “being someone else” approach (see that blog post). Sort of “how might this look and feel if I were…?”  It worked beautifully. No “trying” just doing. And then feeling what it felt like to be doing things that way.

There was a second class tonight, normally for 2nd kyu and up, but tonight anyone could stay for it. I was very tempted, but also very tired. I would’ve been the only one below 4th kyu. I decided to stay if by doing so I would make an even number of students (6), but as luck would have it the number came out odd with me (7), so I passed on participating. Probably for the best, as I was really wiped out from little sleep and a very fast-paced day at work. It wasn’t until I was on the way home I remembered that I also had to get the barn ready for a feed delivery in the morning, so it’s a good thing I didn’t stay later.

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