One of the many things that I have been reluctant to do in Judo is teach. Maybe its due to my lack of confidence in my technique (or at least in my ability to teach technique), but I think, somehow, that I am getting better at it.
On Monday night, we had two teenagers in class. I was working with one of them, and I noticed that her O-Uchi-Gari needed a little help. So I offered up some advice to her about how to make body contact and 'drive' to effect Kuzushi, and make her throw much more powerful and effective. I then told her to throw me ten times with her throw. Of course heads were turning to see me getting thrown by this young girl who was half my age, 8 inches shorter and at least 85 or 90 lbs. lighter. But her throws were much better, and I was proud.
Later that night, in a round of ne-waza Randori, I was going with one of our black belts and I kept winding up turtled or prone. Even though he managed to tap me out a couple of times, I managed to take him on his back from the turtle. Sensei reminded me that although I shouldn't get down on my back in the first place, that my agility and use of momentum was very good for getting me out of sticky situations. This led to a short discussion about how to feel out your opponents weight and balance to reverse being in the turtle.
I love practices like these, because they make me feel as if I am, in fact, progressing, and that at least some of what I've learned is accurate enough that I can teach it to others.