Training is about epiphanies. Always there is the caution, that an insight might actually take one off-course. What student of Japanese budo, hasn't been told endless times about hips (koshii)?!!! Often, we build a construct about sinking the center of gravity, hip rotation and sometimes the teacher, perhaps with some frustration, places hands on our hips to help us understand.
Imagine my surprise, when after so many years of trying to assist my own students, that the epiphany, which to me, seemed quite obvious, was communicated with a new variation on the theme and light bulbs flashed on, all over the mat!
I was asking folks to think about the ball joints in their hips and when to compress and roll like the coiling and uncoiling of a spring - and this was news! Oh, my incompetencies aside, until this point, everyone kept thinking about their "hips" as if the gluteus maximus needed to rotate around the body.
Well, my dojo mates might've thought this was mana from heaven but I remain mystified. With Shinnenkai, I'll be looking to see if anything really revolutionary jumps out at me, when we get on the mat.
Learning ancient traditions, born of foreign cultures, communicated thru the prism of the Japanese language, and what we take for granted with translation is all part of the fun I guess.
Let's see what more time on the mat reveals...