Saturday, January 12, 2008

Finding that balance

Saturday's class was all about flow and body positioning, as is usual in Ruth Peyser's class.

Ruth usually takes one idea and explores it in different ways, which I find very illuminating. Her clear demonstrations and explanations are always very helpful. Her approach is very efficient and instructive.

The funny thing is, when I first met her, I was a bit intimidated.

That day, I was very, very new and happened to have a partner who really didn't seem to notice or mind that I didn't know what I was doing. Ha. We were doing irimi nage and he was throwing me around like a rag doll. I was a bit out of sorts from the pounding I was taking, but I tried to take it good-naturedly. I didn't dare say what was on my mind: "WOULD YOU TAKE IT EASY?" I reacted in the only way I felt I could at the time, I laughed at myself.

It must have seemed a bit different to Ruth. I guess she thought I was not taking things seriously enough. She zeroed in on me with laser-like eyes. "You have to pay more attention to your ukemi..." I was a bit surprised, but I just tried to follow what she was saying. I'd say it took me several weeks or more before I even came close to getting that footwork right.

Iit also took me a little while before I dared look her in the eye again. Haha. Now I've come to really enjoy and look forward to her class.

Saturday I partnered with a sempai, Sharon. Recently, I have been trying to concentrate on being more relaxed and Sharon gave me some great ideas for this. She pointed out the difference between keeping an extension and being tense. The extension can't be so relaxed as to be limp, of course, nor should the fingers be pointing almost straight, as mine were. It's tough to find the right balance.

Here's a video of Ruth demonstrating -- what else? -- irimi nage.

No comments: