Last night me and Andy went over Nijusan a bit and I realized I was getting a really good off balance. The problem lies in that as we analyzed it a correlation was discovered between Judo and Aikido as we noticed the off balance I was getting so well, was due to foot placement and I was either spinning Andy right on his feet on that first step, or getting the off balance so that he wasn't leaning forward or backwards, but just sort of stuck in limbo. I could hardly perform and of the moves because right after the off balance Andy wouldn't be able to regain his posture before falling. I know that in a real life situation this is the spot we aim for...but I couldn't stop doing it to actually practice kata without consciously forcing myself to take an awkward step but then I couldn't get out of my own head and just flow with things. It seems it's either one or the other. The highlight of the evening was definitely doing Honasu though. We stopped on the 2nd release as Andy noticed his initial step was a bit off so we looked at mine and I discovered that I was doing it completely different than what I was taught by Pat...and maybe different from what Bryce showed me too. Normally we step out of the way, same hand-same foot. That's what Andy was attempting. What we noticed I was doing was turning my opposite foot inward and giving uke my arm and wherever that non-turned foot stepped, I did a slight hip-switch to go back to same hand, same foot. They both work, I just noticed turning the opposite foot felt more natural to me. Pat, I'd love your thoughts on this...and anyone else's for that matter (assuming I've written this so that it's understandable.
UPDATE-just got off the phone with Bryce and I learned 2 things. The hip switch thing from Honasu Bryce apparently does too, so I picked it up from him (and I thought I'd done something original). 2. During Nijusan, I was apparently doing something more akin to Junana (the 17 techniques that used to be taught before Nijusan replaced them). I was (as best as Bryce can explain) off balancing Andy by pushing him on his back foot instead of redirecting him in a more outwardly circle. Basically I was applying force that were this a real life situation would be great, but for kata and practice makes doing a specific movement difficult. I'll play with this more and see what happens.