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09-25-2001, 11:59 PM
I've been practicing Aikido for about 4 - 5 years now. Primary my teacher has been the same from the beginning. Now, just a week ago he ask me how would I feel about teaching the beginner's class. I wasn't sure what he meant until he pointed out simply that he was gonna leave the country for a week or two and wanted me to organize and teach a new beginner's class => "sure..."

I've been teaching the junior class for a year or two now. But lately my thoughts say that adults are a different matter. Children come to the dojo to play, get rid of some steam, and have fun. But adults actually expect you to teach them.

What does a average beginner want when he signs up to a Aikido class? He is after all paying to be taught so I think he expects to learn.

I'm kinda nerves that I can't give them that. See, I'm 20, and there might come people who are thrice my age. Would they actually take me searious?

Any similar thoughts from other people?

09-26-2001, 02:21 AM

I had a similar problem a couple of years back, when I started working as a 'student-teacher' in the university. I was supposed to teach a class that I had just recently passed myself. I was a bid worried but my teacher told me to take it easy. No matter what would happen - I would have the benefit of having done the whole course including the final bit where all the little things would come together and form a whole. I believe the same thing would happen in Aikido. No matter how old these people are or how experienced they might be in other MA's you will allways be the one there having the most experience in excactly what you teach.

As long as you don't try to pass yourself as a 'Master' they will probably respect you for your five years of practice and learn as much as possible from you. Be humble and do your best. No one should expect anything else.

Good luck!

09-26-2001, 04:21 AM
I started teaching about a year ago and have learnt many many things since that time. It is a good opportunity for you, and you are right to take the responsibility seriously because people will do what you tell them and will learn bad habits if you teach them. However, this should also make you question your own aikido and delve more deeply into what you do and why.

Here are the main things I learnt:

1. don't teach what you are thinking about at the time (unless they are advanced students). Beginners really just need to know and practise the basics - don't rush into complicated things, just take it slowly with plenty of repetitive practise.

2. Don't try to cover too much in a lesson. Beginners find even one technique novel, and it is often difficult for beginners to get used to using hands, legs and body at the same time.

3. develop into the techniques slowly i.e. start off with excercises which train the body into a certain movement, then build this up until gradually a technique appears (this stops them having to think of a million things at once).

4. beginners will generally have a lot more respect for your teaching than you do (whatever the age) because you can feel/see your errors far more (again, beginners usually look at hands and feet).

Hope this helps, and good luck - it is worth all the effort.


09-26-2001, 04:23 AM
P.S. I think the average beinners either wants to learn self-defence, to bash somebody over the head, or has previous experience of martial arts and is attracted to the blending aspect/philosophy of aikido. People in the second category generally leave, which is a good thing and not to be considered a loss!


09-26-2001, 06:31 AM
In my experience, and this is certainly what kept my early interest going, some people will want to learn to roll and this will be enough to keep them interested.
Little talking- much doing. Let them get the impression they've learned or achieved something significant every class. ("It was called tenchi something and I was doing it and then later I rolled over and stood up again" or whatever.)

09-26-2001, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by Datamike
What does a average beginner want when he signs up to a Aikido class?
Why not ask at your first class?

-- Jun

09-27-2001, 10:39 PM
Well, I just had my first class today, so I'll try to give my perspective. All I want is an extremely detailed explanation on how to do a technique. In the class today, we only practiced 2 techniques, I might have the names wrong but bear with me, katatedori and kosodori ikkyo and katatedori nikkyo. I practiced them for a good 15 min. each, both uke and nage, and thanks to a good teacher (and a very patient partner), I almost think I know the littlest bit about them ;)

Just my .02c

09-28-2001, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by akiy
Why not ask at your first class?
That's actually a very clever point.

09-28-2001, 12:20 AM
I wanted to thank you guys for you perspectives and advices. I've made some notes and I now have pretty good idea what I'll be doing.

Thank you once again :)

:ai: :ki: :do: