Patience. Such a key element in fighting, in any aspect of martial arts. Without patience there is no calmness to the technique. If you move too soon, the technique is wasted. There is that perfect moment where it all comes together, but you have to wait for it. You have to stand there and focus, but not too hard. I find that by looking at the tori's throat you're able to see the entire body, to see those subtle movements just before they attack.
There is an Ni Kyu in my class that is very challenging on many levels. When I'm teaching class, he completely disregards rank and speaks out of line. At first I just let him, but then I had a talk with Sensei and asked him if it was okay to have him do push-ups for speaking out of line while I'm teaching. "Of course!" , he said. This young man is also a challenge for Sensei. Today this Ni Kyu and I did kata together and he did not follow my lead, so I had a talk with him about feeling what the other person beside him was doing, how important it is to have the patience to move as one. There is a lot of anger to his movements, a lot of aggression, and it wears on one's nerves. This is the best thing for him to be doing. Respect and honor are so important in our "outside" lives. I'm sure that eventually he'll grow into that, and if not, so be it.
Class was a sweaty one today, but I felt so much better and not at all sloppy. When the weather is hot and humid we work extra hard. It's good for the spirit!