Last night was my second attempt at a lesson. I only had the vaguest idea of what I was going to do, because I figured Teacher was going to keep things basic. When he split the class in the 2nd hour and placed me with Teacher Slim I definitely didn’t do well.
Teacher Slim, who rarely comes to class anymore, has a very eclectic teaching style. Basically, whatever comes to him he will teach. So super advanced technique will be taught hand in hand with some basic skill.
Teacher Slim also has 4 black belts and is probably pushing 60, but he can snap me like a wet towel so I find “teaching” with him to be very intimidating. Plus, my teaching style is very methodic and poorly timed. So together the students in our group has a constant questioning look on their faces.
Teacher asked us a question, “what’s the difference between a professional and a Master?” I was about to spout out, “the pay,” but held my tongue.
He said, “the professional will practice the move until he gets it right and the Master practices the move until he never gets it wrong.” Awesome.
Teacher Slim’s specialties are locks, painful locks, and brutal take downs. Whereas my specialty is nothing. Great teaching combo. Anyway we started with kotegashi (wrist twist) which is fun, but when you work with younger folks with flexible wrists it becomes very difficult. In steps Teacher Slim. He introduces the concept of “softening” the opponent. After locking the wrist up and bringing to your abdomen while turning, bring up your elbow into the face of the Uke and that will help he/she fall down easier. Needless to say there was a lot of elbow-cheekbone contact, but the Uke does go down.
As the endless hour moved on I realized my anxiety to make a good lesson was being channeled into talking faster and moving faster which translated into a crappy teaching experience. I really need to breath more and slow up. Hell, even Teacher will stop and think and no one even blinks about that.