Tonight, I learned a valuable lesson. If you kill yourself in class, you won’t get killed in the street…because you’ll already be dead anyway! I tried to exert myself too much to move my partner’s body while practicing a technique, and ended up getting a crick in my neck. My partner didn’t need to do anything. I defeated myself. Electric heating pad to the rescue. Unlike the way I practiced in the past, physical exertion while working with a partner is not necessarily the point. It’s not about “winning” against your training partner in order to prove how good you are (were). Staying relaxed and alert is more important than being overly aggressive. Applying the technique softly and slowly, in order to develop muscle memory, appears to be the secret sauce. At my age and size, I’m never going to be able to out-muscle anyone. The idea is to stay healthy and injury-free as long as possible. That’s the only way I’ll be able to stay on the mats long enough to master the techniques. The heating pad is working…

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