After warm-ups Sensei had us move up and down the floor in the zenkutsu stance to clean up foot placement and weight placement. Definitely more intense that I remember from my old school.
- at least 80% of your weight is on that front leg (this stops feet from moving around prematurely to moving - a naughty tell).
- The outside of the foot is parallel or turned in slightly. Never outward or even slightly outward.
- I have heard you should have your knee forward enough that can't see your toe, but it should be to the outside enough that the whole foot weight is centralized.
We'd assume the stance and sensei would walk around us with a Bo (staff) and drop a pointed end all around the knee. If the knee wasn't placed correctly then the staff would bang into your foot. Thankfully Sensei isn't cruel and didn't slam the tip down. Nevertheless it was incredibly illustrative.
I spent the rest of the class with Mark working on his complex application. I can't believe how rusty we seemed just after two days. It took about a half hour to get the whole thing back together and up to a point where we could start refining again.
One portion of this "dance" routine is that I, as the Uke, get trapped and catch a shot to the chest while getting foot-swept. I take a fall where I then get a kick to the chest. I am then supposed to roll out backwards to leap to my feet to block a shot and then start attacking again.
This is all very action-packed but there is an issue. I'm on a hardwood floor. Even though Mark drops me gently as he can I have to take the slap. If I don't fall correctly elbows, hips and back take enormous abuse.
And then there's the roll afterwards. There is an approved method of doing the roll which I haven't learned, so I do the best I can muster based on a few Aikido classes and our modest curriculum in Tang Soo Do. I end up slapping the ground with both hands while throwing my legs over my head. One leg tucks in and I whip my hands around to push myself up. But one foot stops the rotation. This one hits the floor on it's top.
After about ten of these, my left foot had a blossoming red mark and some missing skin around the big toe knuckle.
I should get video of this. I'm sure I look like a walrus exiting the pool. Or a drunk guy getting out of a car.