The key to slow-flow is continuous movement without hard strikes. One person throws a soft strike and the other follows with a block and counter-strike. Ulitmately it should look like a self-defense "dance" without the power of full-on Ju-Kumite. It's an excellent way to practice target aquisition and focus in your strikes and blocks. The hardest thing for me in this flow is not to escalate into hard sparring and to remain relaxed. It's amazing and any martial artis should utilize it in their practice. I'll have to get a video of it, that is if my brain can remember! We use slow-flow alot, especially with those students new to sparring. It's also a great way to gain control over the adrenaline dump ("fight or flight") that occurs in highly stressful situations.
Well, it's been a great weekend. I took a break from training (at least physically. I'm always mentally training) since the cold I got last week kicked my ass on Friday when I did a Kabox class. I had to stop after half an hour because my body just quit on me. It was very frustrating. All last week I worked through the cold and pushed, but I think I pushed a little too far. It will happen and you just have to accept it and move on.
I also spent time this weekend designing the tattoo I will be getting after the Shodan Shiai. A few years ago I got four of the Five Rings (from the "Book of Five Rings" by Miyamoto Musashi. A great read!), earth, water, fire and wind, tattooed onto the outer sides of my ankles and inner wrists. I waited on the kanji for the emptiness, which is the final chapter, for when I received my black belt. I've decided to put it on the back of my neck and have a traditional oriental dragon and tiger on either side. I already have a dragon covering my left shoulder, along with some other tattoes. You can't just have one...Anyway, right of passage and all of that.
I'm looking forward to more sparring this week along with bunkai. There are still some upper bunkai that I do not know, and I'm getting a little nervous....