Yesterday was a special day at the dojo. My son, Sam, returned to practice after a long hiatus.
Sam's 15. He started aikido with me in 2006 and was a very quick study. Toshi, a former deshi, took him under his wing and he blossomed quickly. All was going well until about a year ago, when, as will happen, Sam discovered girls. The time he was taking off turned from days to weeks to months. I didn't want to make too big a deal about it. I knew he would come back.
We partnered in Yamada-sensei's class. It started off with sensei's trademark technique. I have no idea what to call it. A kind of kokyu, I guess. From katatetori, nage leads uke's arm so that the hand winds up behind uke's head, arching uke backward. This time, sensei did something different, however, and the throw ended with nage putting his head down, like a bow. Honestly, I didn't really get that part, but leading up to the throw was pretty standard.
We did lots of techniques from katatetori, including koshinage. We did the version I can actually do to some degree, moving in perpendicular. It was particularly easy to do this with a smaller partner, so I was pretty set. Sam did OK for someone who's been out for a year.
We also did yonkyo, which is not one of my strong points, but it is slowly getting better. A few times I had it, as I could tell from the funny noises Sam was making. At one point, sensei walked by and laughed at them, too. Sam got me good a few times.
At the end of class, sensei joked with us about yonkyo. "If it hurts, you are normal. If it doesn't, then something's wrong."
Sensei also said that, contrary to prior postings, the dojo will be open on Easter Sunday. I was happy to hear that and I think I can make class. :) I had posted before about my pet peeve of so many dojo closings, but I never imagined Easter would be one to change. Do you think sensei is reading this blog?