Last night's class focused again on a specific attack. It's a complex one called katatori menuchi. The first part is easy enough: a shoulder grab. Then it gets a little complex. When uke grabs the shoulder, nage gets off line and delivers an atemi strike to the head. Uke's block to that strike is then the "attack" that is worked with.
It was a lot of fun and led to many good areas to explore. We did ikkyo, kotegaeshi, kotegaeshi to sankyo -- that's henkawaza (changing from one technique to another) -- and a kind of kokyu nage. The kotegaeshi to sankyo was particularly interesting since, to make that work, the grip on kotegaeshi has to be slightly altered so it can be later positioned better to get the sankyo.
All this is typical for Luis, who taught last night. He always likes to find odd and interesting things for us to do. It's never boring in his class, even if it is sometimes confusing...
The idea behind henkawaza is, if a technique doesn't work well for whatever reason, nage may still have partial control of uke and in that case should be able to change to another technique and finish the job. It's a valuable practice for when you have to think on your feet!
Here's an example of henkawaza -- though it has nothing to do with what I described above. It's just changing from one technique to another. And very nicely done too!