Foreign Exchange

I've had a day more to think about my time in the city. I wish I were able to express what occurred better, but I'll do what I can. I went to the dojo on Thursday and meet a few of the people working with kids. Very pleasent kids and the teachers seemed very good at working with them. Highly enforced manners to teachers, instruction and each other. Very formal, but nothing over the top - everyone still laughed and had a good time. I was warned that I wouldn't be able to "play" that night because they are big on having the visitor watch first. The Sensei came in and confirmed that, but it the beginning it appeared that he was going to give me the option to join the class, but found out that I could come back the next day so I sat out. It was probably the smart thing to do to see how the class was structured, but I was aching to get in there. Formal bow in and respect to the founder and then exercises that lead to more and more complex moves. Nicely done.

So I go back the next night and fill out the "holds harmless" form and off I go. After I changed into my Gi I got to meet everyone attending the class while we stretched out. Such a small world. I met a lady who knows people from our town. I started blathering at that point in order to prove that I'm from here. I wished I could have shut up a little bit more because I suspect I would have come across a little more settled if I had. The sensei asked me if I could a forward role and demonstrated and then he asked if I could a backward one. I must have looked pretty shabby because he grimaced. I guess I'll be working on that one.

So on to the exercises. Everything was based on a wrist grab and the attacker holding on pretty tightly. Based on that the defender would do a variety of things that would end in a role or slap. Very fun! It was nice to know that the exercises could be performed without a wrist lock, but the massive emphasis would be on timing and a complete attack by the partner. Sensei was extremely supportive and I was treated just like any other student which made me feel very good. I can't wait to talk to Teacher and Teacher Slim tomorrow.

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