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kenshi07
07-23-2007, 12:32 PM
It's been a long time since I've posted on here. I had this thought that since I was unable to train in a dojo for a period of time, that I shouldn't try to post yet and just pick up stuff from reading posts. But know I am joining an aikido club at my university (Fort Hays State) and chomping at the bit to get started. So for a fledging Aikido-ist is there any advice or tips that might help down the road. I'm all ears, well eyes but you get it. Thank you very much.

Budd
07-23-2007, 12:38 PM
Once you start don't ever stop.

sinead
07-23-2007, 01:31 PM
I'm not training long but I have learned to have patience with myself on the mat, aikido is a lifelong journey and your progress may manifest in unexpected ways and judging it too quickly on technical progress can lead to frustration. Enjoy!

justin
07-23-2007, 01:39 PM
just enjoy it when you stop enjoying it then worry,

SeiserL
07-23-2007, 04:11 PM
Welcome to origami with people.
Relax, breathe, and enjoy.

Mark Uttech
07-23-2007, 04:43 PM
Keep an aikido journal/notebook. Don't fill it with myriad and tiring explanations; just jot down a few notes, and as you go, and as you look back, you will treasure those notes. I have been keeping an aikido notebook for 23 years! I have a boxful of them! And still it is fun to look back.

In gassho,

Mark

Janet Rosen
07-23-2007, 05:56 PM
Be prepared to feel like an idiot and to think you must look like an idiot! ... but hopefully, a HAPPY idiot! :-)

lbb
07-23-2007, 07:44 PM
Don't overanalyze. Don't start off by reading a bunch of books. Don't look for shortcuts, legs-up, or magic bullets. Don't project any expectations you may have, from some other source, onto your training. Just go in, train with an open mind, and accept what it is.

dalen7
07-24-2007, 12:41 AM
I like Marks idea of keeping a notebook of your practice.
It may prove to be of encouragement at times -

also, you have a distinct advantage...you speak the language (unlike what I have gone through in Hungary) so you can listen to the explanations and variations that are being shown, pick up on terms etc. to help on memorization...and ask questions. :)

In my circumstance, I have found it also quite useful to go in with purpose.
That is be proactive to find out what the testing requirements are - to familiarize yourself with the japanese terms so that when they cry out shomenuchi, etc your not translating in your head "ok. this is strike to the head' or even worse, "wow what is this new term" - but when they say shomenuchi you will picture a bokken going to the top of your head (real way to learn language as constant translating in head will slow you down and drive you nuts... ;)

also, coming to this forum has been both fun and quite informative...and the key to it all is...
...just have fun!

peace

Dalen

dalen7
07-24-2007, 12:52 AM
Be prepared to feel like an idiot and to think you must look like an idiot! ... but hopefully, a HAPPY idiot! :-)

That was me my first couple of lessons for sure - didnt think I would stick past a month. - but around a month things started coming together - well, I finally could tell my right foot from my left...a bit. ;)

If your totally new at it, you may feel you can never get it...but know that it just gets easier, as you become more familiar with the concepts of the movements themselves. At first the movements are foreign and look similar, and its quite difficult to go about executing a movement...but patience, and 'relax' and all will work out fine. ;)

Peace

Dalen

Drew Mailman
07-24-2007, 02:29 AM
Once you start don't ever stop.

^^ That's the most important thing about training : don't stop. If you ever want to get anywhere, don't stop.

Don't blow off training so you can hang out with friends (but make sure you keep your friends). Don't skip training because you're "kind of tired" or you feel "kind of cruddy" or it's "too hot". Training always fixes those "ailments", plus learning to focus through mild discomfort will help with your focus overall. And it's always satisfying to peel off a gi that has five pounds of sweat soaked into it.

If you're going to miss one class, don't miss the next class. If you're going to miss a week of class, don't miss the next week. If you're going to miss a month of class, don't miss the next month. If you're going to miss ANY class, make sure you do your basic stretches/warmups, rolls (if you have the space), footwork exercises, bokken exercises, or even walk though your techniques without a partner. The last thing you ever, ever want is to miss a week, or a month, or longer, because it's hard to get back into it when you're just starting.

Stay consistent, and all of your sweat and pain will be well worth it. Inconsistency results in frustration and possible injury.

Oh, and where in Kansas are you originally from? I live in Wichita.

kenshi07
07-24-2007, 04:03 PM
Elkhart, if you know where Liberal is I'm an hour west of there. about 6 hours from Witchita.

^^ That's the most important thing
about training : don't stop. If you ever want to get anywhere, don't stop.

Don't blow off training so you can hang out with friends (but make sure you keep your friends). Don't skip training because you're "kind of tired" or you feel "kind of cruddy" or it's "too hot". Training always fixes those "ailments", plus learning to focus through mild discomfort will help with your focus overall. And it's always satisfying to peel off a gi that has five pounds of sweat soaked into it.

If you're going to miss one class, don't miss the next class. If you're going to miss a week of class, don't miss the next week. If you're going to miss a month of class, don't miss the next month. If you're going to miss ANY class, make sure you do your basic stretches/warmups, rolls (if you have the space), footwork exercises, bokken exercises, or even walk though your techniques without a partner. The last thing you ever, ever want is to miss a week, or a month, or longer, because it's hard to get back into it when you're just starting.

Stay consistent, and all of your sweat and pain will be well worth it. Inconsistency results in frustration and possible injury.

Oh, and where in Kansas are you originally from? I live in Wichita.

nikau
07-25-2007, 06:28 PM
good luck tannan and enjoy.
having only started around 10 months ago myself i'm still teething myself on aikido.

BUT one of the more important things i think that helped me was learning the foot work. When i learned tenkan, tenshin etc, the technique starts to take care of itself once the body is moving in the right direction.

THEN one day ...... the FOG lifts and ray of sunshine comes through and i know how to do kote geshi, irimi nage etc ....... then some days the FOG is back ..... and i'm back to square 1. BUT the foot work is still there.

Just my 5cents worth. Stick at it, enjoy it and remember those days when the FOG lifts makes the rest of the days worth while :)

Yann Golanski
07-26-2007, 02:04 AM
Best advise I was ever given:
Do not quit.
Do not die.
You will get there.

booyaa
07-29-2007, 03:28 PM
best advice.. dont dislocate your shoulder, then go to a seminar and have it pop out 4 times.. it sets you back.

Oh wait, that only happened to me.. best advice (real this time)...

1) Listen, Listen then listen more
2) Watch, watch then watch more
3) Do (different than try)
4) Do over and over and over till you cant stand it anymore, then do it some more.
5) Enjoy!

I have been doing aikido since march.. im still very new, a little off balance (RIGHT SHARON!!).. i am just now starting to understand why we do those boring tenkan excersises all the time!

Joseph Madden
07-29-2007, 04:41 PM
Be yourself. The worst thing you could do is become something you're not.

statisticool
08-03-2007, 05:47 PM
Don't let any huckster try and convince you that you need to learn something outside of aikido in order to master aikido.

paw
08-03-2007, 07:34 PM
Protect yourself at all times

Protect your training partners at all times

Have fun

dongaleb
08-04-2007, 07:22 AM
Practical advise:

1. Don't wear any jewelries during the session. (nipple ring's a bi@#h when someone is pinning you down with an ikkyo)
2. Don't shout " ouch my nipple ring!". Just tap harder.
3. Buy a sturdy "gi", one thats not gonna rip from behind during stretching and expose your crack because your only wearing a crotch supporter and no underwear.
4. Wear underwear.
5. Bring a hand towel because once you start enjoying you'll be sweating like a pig.
6. Dont fart during a back roll coz your stomach will compress and you'll probably let out a loud one.
7. If you see someone who did, try not to loose your composure and burst out laughing coz its contagious and you'll cause the whole dojo to laugh.
8. Just enjoy yourself out there.

heathererandolph
08-04-2007, 07:32 AM
Aikido is really fun and just gets more fun the more you do it.

tarik
08-06-2007, 09:35 AM
My personal motto since I was about 12 or so.

"Never give up."

Larry Cuvin
08-06-2007, 12:46 PM
Just relax and don't get frustrated with the names of the techniques, they will come to you after the hours and hours and hours and hours of practice.

Ron Tisdale
08-06-2007, 02:21 PM
Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Best,
Ron

ChrisHein
08-06-2007, 03:05 PM
Listen to everything your teacher says. Do whatever he says. On your own question everything you do. Why you do it. Does it help. You don't ever have to come to a complete answer, just as long as you ask.

Matthew White
08-06-2007, 07:45 PM
Okay, I could have sworn I posted this, but I may just be insane or something...
my advice:

Fail. fail a lot. allow yourself to be a beginner, don't try to be perfect. We don't learn much from doing things right, we learn from doing things wrong. try to find out how many ways any given technique won't work. in the process you'll find a lot of ways that the technique does work.

kenshi07
08-07-2007, 10:39 AM
Thanks to everyone for all the advice I'll keep them in mind when I start in about a week!

kenshi07
08-22-2007, 12:40 PM
woot!!! Had my first class yesterday, just sat and watched but loved it! I can't wait for Thursday, and actually practice!

dps
08-22-2007, 08:10 PM
My first sensei told me " You ask too many questions, shut up pay attention."

David

Avery Jenkins
08-22-2007, 08:32 PM
Avery's rules of dojo survival:

1. Don't throw up on the mat. If you must throw up, bow off the mat and throw up. If you cannot make it off the mat, throw up in your gi and bow off the mat.

2. Never take the class immediately following your sensei's return from a seminar. Give him/her a class or two to cool down first.

3. Make sure your bokken is lighter than your sensei's. This prevents many bruised wrists.

4. Don't bleed on the mat. If you must bleed, bow off the mat, and then go bleed. If you must bleed before you bow off the mat, bleed into your gi and bow off the mat.

5. Do not give your sempai a hard time by resisting throws, saying "but what if I did this," etc. You are only inviting injury and bleeding on the mat.

6. Keep your gi clean. In the summer, wash it between every class. Do not eat spicy foods, onions, or garlic before class. Do not smoke cigars before class.

7. After your 3rd class, do not slam into a bar, announce in a loud voice that all the patrons are Clinton-lovin' liberal faggots and challenge any one of them to prove you are wrong.

8. Do exactly what your sensei does for about 20 years. You'll be surprised at your improvement by the end of that time.

Avery Jenkins
08-22-2007, 08:53 PM
7. After your 3rd class, do not slam into a bar, announce in a loud voice that all the patrons are Clinton-lovin' liberal faggots and challenge any one of them to prove you are wrong.


My choice of words here may have been ill-considered. The only group of persons which I am attempting to denigrate here is the group that would use such language...apparently of which I am one...:yuck:

Angela Dunn
08-23-2007, 07:32 AM
Ah Advice from a fellow begainer (I say begainer I have been training for about 5 months and ....actually yes still a begainer.)

1. Bow when everyone else does. Do NOT go on the mat with shoes and socks on. Do not kick the mats. Always call the person taking the class Sensei untill and if you get told otherwise. At least whilst whilst they are taking the class.
2. Make sure your gi pants are tighed up tight. They will come undone at the most embaressing of moments. Likewise for your belt.Advice for females make sure you make it visually clear your wearing something under the jacket of your suit. :blush:
3. If it hurts tap out immediatly. If a move does not effect you do not get too cocky about it because there will always be a variation that will have you tapping out. Some people will make it their purpose to find that variation.
4. When doing breakfalls make sure you slap the mat before you land. It will save you from looking like a sack of bricks landing and more importantly a rather painful landing, complete with a bruise to add as a further reminder. Ouchies.
5. The higher grades are there to help. If your not sure of something then find a good time to ask them.
6. Keep out of the path of where people are rolling/falling/getting thrown unless you like getting used as an alternative for a mat. Again this will probably hurt.
7. If paired up with your Sensei or Sempi then try and keep them on the mat. DOH!
8.. If you can remember only one thing when doing a new move it is use your centre. Its your strongest point and where all the energy cames from. If you need to move out the way its normally a step to the side, a tenkan or a tai sabaki.
9. Most importantly smile, have fun, enjoy yourself and have a lot of patience. It may not make a lot of sence at first but believe me the names will become familiar after a while and with enough practice the moves will become more natural to you.

Jon Shickel
08-23-2007, 08:01 AM
Although I'm very much a "freshman" to Aikido I'd suggest:

Pratice taking falls/rolls/Ukemi under supervision so you can receive techniques without being hurt.

Attend routinely

Think how you would teach/demo to a technique you've worked on to a friend. Not really do that because they could be injured, but think which hand you would tell them to put out to attack you, what hand you would respond with, etc. That helps set it in the mind.

Less profound:
I recently got a pair of uniform pants that were zippered, velco waist, and most importantly, a plastic clamp on the waist band belt. That absolutely prevents it from slipping loose and having to stop training several times a class to retighten the knot. I really like them. Bujindesign has them and I'm sure others do too. But your mileage may vary.

Bronson
08-23-2007, 03:16 PM
Always ask your sempai or sensei for answers to your questions before asking them on an internet discussion board.

Bronson

p.s. And pay your dues on time.

Daniel Ranger-Holt
08-26-2007, 01:06 PM
Hi Tannan, ive been going to aikido class for about a year and a half, three times a week. And havent looked back, everyone else has posted the essentials you'd need to know when starting. I must say ive lost count of the amount of people that turn up for a peek and never come back, or for a few months. Aikido takes a long time to become competent with it. The "Fog" is just lifting but it does take a long time compared to some other Martial Arts striking ones, where the improvement is visible in a shorter time. Be patient! oh yeah, and make sure you like the Dojo and people there, if not, find somewhere else!

kenshi07
09-04-2007, 10:36 PM
I've only been in aikido for two weeks and I love it. And now were hosting Toyoda Sensei for a seminar, yay!