I particularly like what was taught on balance. Sensei Tony's style of movement seems very much solid, 'feet on floor', always keeping balance and appropriate distance. Infuriatingly, the more I concentrated on copying Sensei Tony, the worse my balance seem to get.
I found improvement when I worried Uke's balance than my own. After initial avoidance, the first part of techniques was really emphasising breaking of balance (reminding me of old judo days). I suppose to break Uke's balance, your own balance, posture and movement must be good. An excellent point I picked up, and have been trying to improve since, is during techniques, waiting for Uke's reactions, as you feign an atemi, wait until Uke's head moves backward in reaction before say drawing the movement back toward him. Using Uke's reactions has been shown in every style of aikido I have seen, but was really 'sank in' here, and combining this with the balance breaking I have found a few shortfalls in my techniques.
And to wrap up the session, what I guess we all like best, randori. Open practise at clubs different to your usual, and different styles too, is a great test of your Aikido. You are practising against those you have no pre-conceived notions, or experience. Particularly in different styles, Uke does not have that expectation of what your defence will be, resists in different ways, and may have unexpected counters.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Rotherhide Dojo, a very active session, plenty of randori, and a very relaxed atmosphere. Many thanks to Sensei Tony Evangelou, and look forward to training with him again.
Meridian Aikido Club - http://www.meridianaikido.org.uk