Tonight, as we started warm-ups, we did so with a purpose. Starting with misogi breathing, we used that moment to visualize an uke falling. Then we started to picture kote gaeshi. Leading uke's balance to the point at which they fell without any effort from us as nage.
As we continued on with stretches and ki exercises we kept that visualization going. Which leg stretches felt more comfortable, which less? Which of those feelings could be capitalized on during a technique? As we did fune kogi undo, we pictured moving uke's balance back with it. We pictured the beginning movements of tsuki kote gaeshi as we practiced tenkan (turning about the point of connection) and tekubi kosa joho undo. We felt how the connection with uke should feel as we did the kote gaeshi ki exercise. And then, as we did standing ukemi, we took notice of how fast we fell to the ground without any assistance from a nage.
Finally, we practiced tsuki kote gaeshi. Though we really had already been practicing for it 15 minutes.
Warm ups can be very useful. It's not just a time to make a perfect shomen uchi movement, but a time to reflect on how that movement is used in a given technique.