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statisticool
04-23-2006, 03:51 PM
Hi,

I'm planning on starting to take aikido. I've already sat in on a few classes, and talked to the sensei about what it is I'd be learning in the first month of class.

I was curious, what did some of you learn in the first month of class, and what did you feel as a beginner? In other words, was it difficult, frustrating, easy, and so on.


Justin

dps
04-23-2006, 04:35 PM
I learned how to stand, then I learned how to sit down, then I learned how to roll backwards. It was fun, frustrating and life changing.

samuraisam
04-23-2006, 04:56 PM
Hey Justin,

Good deal!!! Aikido isn't just a "martial art", so you can't go into it with that mind set. I don't know if you ever studied anything else but you need to go into the Aikido school with a mindset kind of like your learning a new language. (If that makes sense?)

I'll tell ya in a nutshell what happened to me and you can get an idea...I come from a background of "hard style karate" since I was a kid, never knew anything but the idea of overpowering an aggressor with strength. I'm not that big, bout 5'08", 185 lbs. and a cop. Back in 1991 I made a traffic stop, no biggie, some guy was weaving around and I figured I had a D.U.I. The driver got out of the car so I could evaluate him and he was bout 6'02", 250 lbs, solid....Found out later he had just gotten out of prison. (And, as I would soon find out he had no intention on going back) To cut to the chase.....I went to handcuff him, he spun around on me and popped me in the face. Fight was on! I did everything I knew. EVERYTHING!!!! and all it did was piss him off. He was bleeding profusely from the face etc...but steady fighting. I don't like to say (for pride's sake) that I got beat. Because he did finally get handcuffed and went to jail. But, I got my ass kicked! Best thing that ever happened to me in my career.

I had to learn some easier way of helpin me on the street. This wasn't too long after I first saw Above the Law and like many said what the hell is this guy doing...I went to the Aikido School of Atlanta and met George Kennedy Sensei. Most wonderful man I have ever learned from...I went in thinking I was going to learn to kick ass. I was wrong! Aikido compliments everything else that you have ever or will ever learn. If you let it! But, just like learning a language it takes time and patience. The first most important thing to start learning is to relax....Move with an opponent not against them. Yes it can get frustrating, but if you have a good teacher then it'll be fun. Just don't give up in a month or two. If you can make it past the start you get hooked. Also, get some books on O'sensei and read his philosophy. And start learning some of the greats, there are many out there, if you read you will quickly learn that it is not at all just about learning how to fight. It's about life!
Anyway, I got off on a soap box....sorry!!!! Good luck bro and stick with it. Sam

P.S. If your in Alexandria Va. you should stop by Satomi Sensei's school just outside of D.C. I had the chance to visit when I was at Quantico a few years ago. It was some damn good training.

Lucy Smith
04-23-2006, 06:10 PM
You will probably find that the more advanced students will help you a lot, since it is not a competitive but a helpful atmosphere. You may feel a little frustrated with ukemi (falls) at first, but we all have problems learning them, and when you finally do, you will love it soooo much that you will be desperate to fall all day long.
I learned the basic techniques, always pairing with an advanced student who helped me. Everyone is patient and trying to help. You'll be surprised of how much you will improve in just a month.
I started weapons training during the first month, which was great.
So don't worry if you get a little frustrated and don't you leave until you have compleated at least 3 months of practice!

:D
Lucy

mathewjgano
04-23-2006, 08:04 PM
Hi there!
For me those first few months were spent trying to familiarize myself with training. I remember focusing a lot on learning how to roll, though it was always from a seated position at first and I couldn't wait until I could fly across the mat. Training was frustrating at times and I often felt completely clueless about what I was doing (still a common feeling :D ). Learning the new names and basic forms of a few techniques and then forgetting them was a common thing for me too, but one thing I particularly like about Aikido, at least as I've eperienced it, is that the attitude of those who do it tends to be very friendly and understanding. In some ways I had to learn how to move all over again, particularly when it came to having my balance broken, but over time it will become second nature...and has saved me from some injuries off the mat too.
Have fun!
Matthew

SeiserL
04-23-2006, 09:33 PM
Welcome.

First month I learned to bow and fall down. Really frustrating.

Glad I stuck it out for the next 11.5 years.

Richard Langridge
04-24-2006, 04:42 AM
Justin, good luck with your training! I started in December, and I've been hooked ever since. It all seems very strange to start with, but once you begin to get the basics of falling you can relax and enjoy learning the techniques. The only advice I can give (from my limited experience) is that you'll pick things up a lot faster if you stay attentive whilst receiving a technique; you're not just a practice dummy.
Anyway, enjoy!

Mark Freeman
04-24-2006, 06:17 AM
I was curious, what did some of you learn in the first month of class, and what did you feel as a beginner? In other words, was it difficult, frustrating, easy, and so on.

It was difficult, frustrating, easy, and so on. It was also the best thing I ever did.
Keep an open mind, relax, enjoy it, and you will be like many of us here 'hooked'.

regards,

Mark

Arike van de Water
04-24-2006, 02:50 PM
Good luck in your first month!

I think that the two major feelings I had when I started back in October where the huge thrill of having discovered such a wonderful sport, the first I ever came across that I liked everything about, from the philosophy to the way to is taught to the techniques themselves, and really, really sore muscles. I started together with a couple of other people, and the ones that didn't like it were gone after the first two lessons.

The best things to have during the first month are, I think, enthusiasm and some patience. After the sore muscles go away, and you figure out some of the basics, the real fun starts!

statisticool
04-24-2006, 05:27 PM
Thanks all for the recollections! Maybe I'll post mine after doing it for a month. :)

I've checked out some dojos in DC, as well as one in Arlington that I think I am going to go with.

The tough part was choosing because all were so nice!


Justin

Saw Y. C. Naw
04-24-2006, 05:47 PM
It depends on the teaching speed of your sensei, the learning speed of the other students and your own speed. Here are my experiences with a "very fast" sensei and a "very slow" one.

My first Aikido classes were at the university club, with a very friendly instructor. He was a great guy, but I think he went a little too fast. During the first class, we were taught how to do kneeling rolls. The next class was about forward standing rolls, then forward standing rolls from tenchinage and introduction to ikkyo. The 3rd class got us paired up with 2nd and 1st kyu students, and we were asked to do breakfalls and backward rolls from their colorful assorted variety of throws!

On top of this, we had to be nage for them and do their techniques as well. They were all very nice people and helped us newcomers as much as they could, but as you can see, the rate at which we were forced to take in information was unbelievably fast. So by the 2nd month, I had been exposed to a variety of techniques, plus counters, plus counters to counters... not to mention a 15-step bokken kata. :confused:

Of course, it's virtually impossible to absorb all those techniques within such a short time. But when I transferred to another university (due to external circumstances not related with Aikido) I found myself in the beginner class with a sensei who went really slowly -- it took one whole month before she taught the standing forward roll. All the rush of techniques I learned previously definitely had some benefit, as I was already familiar with some of the basic principles that were being gently introduced in this class. And of course, having taken ukemi from more varieties of throws than you can remember helps a bit ^_^

I guess it's unusual to have initially gone through the techniques at warp speed, and then come back to square one and stroll through. It's not the most ideal way of training, but it was definitely great fun :D


It's more than likely that you'll have a great first-time experience in the dojo, since Aikido seems to attract the best of people, although I may be biased in this opinion. Don't be discouraged if you get off to a rough start though -- my sensei's sensei would say, "During the first month of training, you are taking in more information than the most advanced black belt."

Shannon Frye
04-24-2006, 11:44 PM
My first month or two were the hardest for me so far. You're the new guy, you're not sure what you're doing, and not sure who is "who" (as far as knowledge and rank is concerned). I encountered uke that seemed to take pleasure in screwing up my very slow technique-- feeling like I had 3 left feet (only 2 right ones!)--and constantly had to resist the urge to break into other styles that I had previously studied. (Ex: I had just trained judo, so it was hard to tenkan to the outside, and not turn inside to go for a throw). And because YOU are new, you can never tell if someone is new, clumsy, or just mentally not with it that day, cause everyone is wearing white belts (cept the yudansha, of course).

On the good foot (or feet), you learn the stop using strength to power thru techniques. You learn that it is a BIG benefit to snag a yudansha for a partner on difficult techniques. You get to work with everyone, and make new friends. AND -- when the NEW new guy rolls in, he has no idea how long YOU'VE been doing AIkido!

crbateman
04-25-2006, 02:54 AM
My very first month was spent UNlearning many of the things that I had learned in TKD that I thought were universal and absolute, but soon came to know were not... It was awkward and a large dose of culture shock, but strangely stimulating at the same time.

xuzen
04-25-2006, 03:17 AM
Hi,
I'm planning on starting to take aikido. I've already sat in on a few classes, and talked to the sensei about what it is I'd be learning in the first month of class.
I was curious, what did some of you learn in the first month of class, and what did you feel as a beginner? In other words, was it difficult, frustrating, easy, and so on.
Justin

All I ever learned in mys first month of aikido lesson were the first two kata of the Tomiki 17 randori katas, and lots of breakfalls. Learning breakfalls is the most difficult and frustrating aspect of aikido IMO.

Now that I am a judo noob; I find again learning the ukemi is still the most difficult and frustrating aspect of the art.

Boon.

dps
04-25-2006, 03:40 AM
IMHO what you learn in the beginning is your foundation for your continual practice of Aikido and no matter how long you practice Aikido , you should maintaining your foundation by continually practicing what you learn in the beginning no matter what rank you are.

Steve Mullen
04-25-2006, 06:14 AM
hmm what i learned in the first few months? how to write an essay when you can barely move your shouder was one, the other one was that breakfalling badly can really hurt your soulder :)

Luc X Saroufim
04-25-2006, 07:20 AM
i learned forward rolls and your basic ukemi. It was so frustrating that for the first 2 weeks I would be nervous going to class. I'm glad I stuck it out, though, and you will be too!

Grant Generaux
04-25-2006, 09:49 AM
I just want to thank everyone for their responses, including Justin for starting the thread. I'll also be starting aikido in May, so the insights have been great to read. Also like Justin, I'm finding the difficult part is to choose a school where to begin, since there are quite a few good schools in the Triangle, NC area (OpenSky, Raleigh Aikikai, Choshinkan, among others). I guess it's a good problem to have! :)

heyoka
04-25-2006, 12:38 PM
The first two or three months were an exercise in patience (with myself). Learning to roll properly, which in some cases is still a challenge almost two years later, dealing with my own cumbersome body mechanics, and etiquette (very 'traditional' atmosphere). Mostly I just had to repeat the same mantra to myself, "I knew it would suck for me in the beginning, just keep training. I knew it would suck for me in the beginning, just keep training. etc etc". Now I keep repeating that phrase but the context evolves. "Everything I'm doing is bad, just keep training, everything I'm doing is bad, just keep training"...so it goes. :)

Mathew Cartwright
05-09-2006, 10:25 AM
i will be going along to my first aikido class tonight. i am starting to get nervous now.

i feel like this is going to be the right martial art for me (i have no previous experience in martial arts at all).

curious what to expect but glad to have found this forum with a lot of helpfull information.

dps
05-09-2006, 10:34 AM
Good luck Mathew and have fun.

Eric Webber
05-09-2006, 10:51 AM
I learned it was a long road, but a worthwhile one.
Ten years later I have the same opinion.
Enjoy your journey. :)

Takumi
05-09-2006, 11:43 AM
Hello,

I am still a beginner. I am only on my second or third month. (you lose count after so much fun).

I found the first month to be anything EXCEPT frustrating. I had soo much fun and was excited to go every class. I learned back rolls, front rolls, and a few techniques and so far it has been the best thing I have ever done and it keeps getting better..

The first month was life changing (with the principles and everything) and VERY fun and exciting.

Good luck in your training and I hope you have the same fun and luck as I have.. :ai: :ki: :do:

heyoka
05-09-2006, 11:48 AM
Have fun, Matthew! Don't worry if you're really sore in the morning. :D

Mark Freeman
05-09-2006, 11:49 AM
i will be going along to my first aikido class tonight. i am starting to get nervous now.

i feel like this is going to be the right martial art for me (i have no previous experience in martial arts at all).

curious what to expect but glad to have found this forum with a lot of helpfull information.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step ;)

Let us know how you got on.
You may not know whether it is the right art for you for quite some time. Give the art and yourself a decent amount of time before deciding.

regards,
Mark

dps
05-09-2006, 12:08 PM
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step ;)



A journey of a thousand miles start with a single waza.

krammer
05-09-2006, 10:54 PM
I learned it was a long road, but a worthwhile one.
Ten years later I have the same opinion.
Enjoy your journey. :)

West Reading bring back the years. I am fairly new to Aikido but sorry to say West Reading is where I have set records for swimmimng as BLue Falls, North West Pool and of course Reading y which burned down many years ago. I welcome you all to aikido becuase it is an excellent ride to and around our planet.

Tom Johnson
05-10-2006, 12:31 AM
Hey all,
Had my second Aikido lesson today (first was yesterday). I'm loving it so far! I tried out the Aikido classes through my university (Old Dominion), but when i got there the instructor (Mr. Hamada) was on a loudspeaker and everything was far too boot-campish for me. Tried out a local dojo and it has a great atmosphere and I'm already hooked!

Only downside thus far is that i can't walk up or down stairs anymore, nor do anything else involving muscles....I'm so sore!

:)

Mathew Cartwright
05-10-2006, 02:23 AM
thanks for the responses everyone i appreciate it.

so i went along and it was amazing. i really enjoyed myself, i felt like i had two left legs and 2 right arms, but every partner i had was extrememly patient and helpfull. i learned how to fall properly (still need a lot of practice) along with walking from your center and a couple of techniques. later we practiced walking and cutting movements with a Bokken? which i had not expected.

there was an incredible amount of stuff to take in, my head is still trying to assimilate all the info.

thankfully i am not sore because i am quite active at the gym anyway, plus the relaxation massages we did at the end of class were well done.

thanks again, next tuesday cant come quick enough.

Suwariwazaman
05-13-2006, 06:40 AM
Hello, I just want to say my first experience was great. The people are very friendly and helpful. I enjoy every class. Yes sometimes it is fustrating, and sore, but after a while you start to really learn.I started out rolling, sitting, and some basic techniques. I was not subjected to breakfalls right away. They would be very patient, and understanding. I have been back for a few weeks after a small break. Not any bones, I mean I had to leave for a while. I wish I had never left. I agree this is not just a sport, I t is a way of life. Best regards and Have fun! Welcome! :D

Jamie

stuarttheobald
05-13-2006, 12:12 PM
this might help...doesnt actually talk about techniques but it is a diary one of our guys kept when he first started....

http://www.shoshinkai.co.uk/diary/index.html

Stu

Mathew Cartwright
05-15-2006, 03:47 AM
thanks stuart, i have read upto diary 9, its pretty interesting.

Lyle Bogin
05-15-2006, 08:15 AM
It was very hard for me. My sensei would just walk over to me and move my body like an action figure to get me to do anything remotely resembling aikido.

ksy
05-31-2006, 02:42 AM
It was very hard for me. My sensei would just walk over to me and move my body like an action figure to get me to do anything remotely resembling aikido.

sorry to hear that, lyle. i'm starting soon(in 2 days) actually after a lot of thought and reading. decided to join this school (seishinkai aikikai aikido) near my place as the instructor just "seemed more right" compared to some of the others that i visited. The others were cool 2 but i just felt more on the wavelength with this instructor than with the others as he took the time to address my concerns (slowing the class down), told me what to expect in terms of intensity of training, requested that i join in for a lesson first before i decided, etc. even tho this school that i'm joining has a more "worn down" dojo than the others, i just feel it's a righter choice, maybe i'm hoping that the humble surroundings will lower my hostile/bossy attitude.

thx also to all who encouraged us newbies to stay for at least a month! my first time at a dojo was a confusing time cause it seems real easy in movies that i've seen (marked for death, above the law, under siege etc) but when i was doing it, whew.... :)

Lyle Bogin
05-31-2006, 07:04 AM
I have slightly improved since then, thank the kami :)

batemanb
05-31-2006, 08:17 AM
thanks for the responses everyone i appreciate it.

so i went along and it was amazing. i really enjoyed myself, i felt like i had two left legs and 2 right arms, but every partner i had was extrememly patient and helpfull. i learned how to fall properly (still need a lot of practice) along with walking from your center and a couple of techniques. later we practiced walking and cutting movements with a Bokken? which i had not expected.

there was an incredible amount of stuff to take in, my head is still trying to assimilate all the info.

thankfully i am not sore because i am quite active at the gym anyway, plus the relaxation massages we did at the end of class were well done.

thanks again, next tuesday cant come quick enough.

Hi Matthew,

Anyone from St Helens dragging you down to Milton Keynes on Sunday?

Bryan

Leslie Leoni
05-31-2006, 08:32 AM
I had no previous MA training when I started Aikido in April of this year. At first I learned to FALL - very important to learn correctly! (trust me, if you fall wrong - it hurts!) Then rolls and onto footwork. It's sorta slow at first.. but you have to learn the basics before you can start learning techniques. Once you get the falls, rolls and footwork down - the techniques start to make sense when you are observing more experienced members of your class. Eventually it all starts to make sense. Listen carefully to the instructors directions and observe closely - most of all enjoy your experience!

Mathew Cartwright
06-07-2006, 05:50 AM
hi bryan

sorry i did not reply, i have not been on this forum for about a week so i missed your post.

unfortunately the milton keynes course was a little bit too far away for me, i will be attending the one in altrincham come september though.

i am now through my first month of aikido, i signed in last night and realised it was 5weeks ago i started!

i cant believe how much i love aikido, it is wonderful to be able to focus my mind on it and nothing else for 3 hours(even if i do have trouble sleeping afterwards). much of the stuff is a lot easier now, like tenkan and eremi tenkan etc. some of the techniques seem to sink in once i have applied them, though i sometimes watch sensei and then when it is our turn to do it, my mind goes a liitle blank :blush: one of the sensei paid me a complement when he said, that he could not feel the strenght in my arm as i was applying the techniques, he said this was good as most newcomers, over grip or twist or tighten far too much. i was pleased he told me that, it means a lot.

today i am pretty sore, we were practising sankyo? and my arm would have made a pretty good corkscrew ! :uch:

we also did some basic rolling, i struggled a bit getting my head out of the way whilst throwing the right leg over the left shoulder and vice versa when rolling backwards, but i got the front rolls down, since i have been practising those.
it was also ridiculously hot in the dojo last night so we were all pretty sweaty.

i am so looking forward to next tuesday, we will be applying techniques following on from the things we learned last night.

dps
06-07-2006, 06:00 AM
though i sometimes watch sensei and then when it is our turn to do it, my mind goes a liitle blank :blush:


This is a very common occurence. I am glad you are enjoying it.

crbateman
06-07-2006, 07:17 AM
Good for you, Mathew! Keep it up. Looks like you have a bright future. :)