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sammywhip
08-15-2009, 05:13 PM
I'm just about to start aikido, I've learned like, 3 grabs from being in American Karate, but I only know English names for them. Any tips on what to prepare for, and how to prepare for it?

Thanks,

Sammy

David Maidment
08-15-2009, 06:21 PM
Prepare to take things slowly and to trust that sensei knows what he/she's talking about. I see a lot of newbies who seem to think that they know better than the person teaching them (not saying that you're like that, but you may be grouped with other beginners who have this attitude). Everything has a place and reason, even if it takes years to understand why :)

Also be prepared for the etiquette. Your new dojo should have a list on their website or maybe pinned up somewhere. If all else fails, have a chat with someone before class about what's expected.

Above all else, have fun!

Jorge Garcia
08-15-2009, 06:33 PM
I'm just about to start aikido, I've learned like, 3 grabs from being in American Karate, but I only know English names for them. Any tips on what to prepare for, and how to prepare for it?

Thanks,

Sammy

This is an activity that feels different than it looks.

Prepare to:
1) Feel awkward for months
2) Be frustrated over and over again
3) Believe that you are slowing the class down
4) Feel that you will never be able to learn this
5) Have all kinds of new pains
6) Constantly battle the desire to quit.
7) Meet a lot of nice people but a few that you really won't like.
8) Constantly be told that you are doing your techniques incorrectly

These are not the universal feelings of all but they are a compilation of the feeling of all those who did in fact quit. Prepare for these feelings and thoughts and you might have a chance to make it long term.
best wishes,
Jorge

sammywhip
08-15-2009, 06:41 PM
Prepare to take things slowly and to trust that sensei knows what he/she's talking about. I see a lot of newbies who seem to think that they know better than the person teaching them (not saying that you're like that, but you may be grouped with other beginners who have this attitude). Everything has a place and reason, even if it takes years to understand why :)

Also be prepared for the etiquette. Your new dojo should have a list on their website or maybe pinned up somewhere. If all else fails, have a chat with someone before class about what's expected.

Above all else, have fun!

Awesome! Thanks!

This is an activity that feels different than it looks.

Prepare to:
1) Feel awkward for months
2) Be frustrated over and over again
3) Believe that you are slowing the class down
4) Feel that you will never be able to learn this
5) Have all kinds of new pains
6) Constantly battle the desire to quit.
7) Meet a lot of nice people but a few that you really won't like.
8) Constantly be told that you are doing your techniques incorrectly

These are not the universal feelings of all but they are a compilation of the feeling of all those who did in fact quit. Prepare for these feelings and thoughts and you might have a chance to make it long term.
best wishes,
Jorge

Thanks a lot, I appreciate being prepared.

Darryl Cowens
08-15-2009, 09:57 PM
I'm also a complete newbie... I now have 5 sessions under my belt... :D

So if you ever need someone to chat to in the same situation, who know what you are going through at the same time you are... just holler..

ninjaqutie
08-15-2009, 10:09 PM
I'm new too if you ever want to chat. I've only been training for 5 months or so.

sammywhip
08-16-2009, 03:20 PM
I'm also a complete newbie... I now have 5 sessions under my belt... :D

So if you ever need someone to chat to in the same situation, who know what you are going through at the same time you are... just holler..

I'm new too if you ever want to chat. I've only been training for 5 months or so.

Awesome! Thanks guys!

Kevin Leavitt
08-16-2009, 03:33 PM
It is cool to see guys new to the art kinda hook up here. It is good I think to talk amongst each other as folks that have been doing this for a while kinda forget what it is like to be new sometimes!

Problem is "new" is realitive...it can be 5 months, 5 years, or even 10 years! LOL!

sammywhip
08-16-2009, 04:07 PM
It is cool to see guys new to the art kinda hook up here. It is good I think to talk amongst each other as folks that have been doing this for a while kinda forget what it is like to be new sometimes!

Problem is "new" is realitive...it can be 5 months, 5 years, or even 10 years! LOL!

It's exciting to meet people that are really into the art. It seems so cool, and at times it looks beautiful. I also like the fact that people seem focused on learning, and not so much about a black belt, which is a huge problem in other arts. The reason I desire a black belt is simply to wear hakama haha. But, I'm in no rush. :)

Suru
08-16-2009, 04:53 PM
It's exciting to meet people that are really into the art. It seems so cool, and at times it looks beautiful. I also like the fact that people seem focused on learning, and not so much about a black belt, which is a huge problem in other arts. The reason I desire a black belt is simply to wear hakama haha. But, I'm in no rush. :)

The hakama upon 6th kyu (your first test) is great to feel and wear. Waiting until black belt, which seems the case in your dojo, actually has its benefits too. It is easier for your sensei to see your leg action with dogi pants and no hakama. This can be helpful, especially early on. Otherwise the sensei must look at your feet to understand your leg stance, which can be more difficult. You've got to size up your fellow Aikidoka, and find one or two who seem generous and genuine. Odds are, that will not be the case with every single one of your sempai. The guys or girls you pick out should be more than happy to, even gain enjoyment from, helping you out. Each of your sempai will probably help you out, actually, but there might be one of them you want to sort of keep at bay and not become good friends with off the bat. If you happen to become friends later, that's great, but I recommend sticking with your intuition at first.

Drew

ninjaqutie
08-16-2009, 05:50 PM
No hakama here until shodan, but sensei said he does make exceptions for a select few who are 1st kyu to wear a hakama :)

sammywhip
08-16-2009, 08:03 PM
I actually haven't started training at the dojo I'll be training in haha. I checked out about it when I was at orientation earlier in the summer, and I'll be starting after I move in for college on the 24th. :D

Shadowfax
08-16-2009, 09:29 PM
Sammy Ive been training at our dojo since just the beginning of June. Will be testing for Rokyu shortly. I'm told that after Rokyu we can wear a hakima but I figure to wait a bit longer, LOL I have enough issues with foot work without fighting with that one. I'll be happy to wear one when I can make it look as good as my sempi and senseis do. ;)

We have a great group of people who are all very generous in helping new people to learn. I'm sure you will fit right in and enjoy our classes as much as I do.

The website does indeed have a listing of etiquette and such for the dojo.

sammywhip
08-16-2009, 09:32 PM
Sammy Ive been training at our dojo since just the beginning of June. Will be testing for Rokyu shortly. I'm told that after Rokyu we can wear a hakima but I figure to wait a bit longer, LOL I have enough issues with foot work without fighting with that one. I'll be happy to wear one when I can make it look as good as my sempi and senseis do. ;)

We have a great group of people who are all very generous in helping new people to learn. I'm sure you will fit right in and enjoy our classes as much as I do.

The website does indeed have a listing of etiquette and such for the dojo.

Awesome! I can't wait to get there. I'm chomping at the bit! Sorry, my mom has a horse, my girlfriend rides, and I saw you are a horse trainer, I couldn't resist...

Shadowfax
08-16-2009, 09:49 PM
LOL Horses actually led me to Aikido in a kind of weird sort of round about way.

Yeah we will be happy to have you with us I'm sure. :)

sammywhip
08-16-2009, 09:50 PM
LOL Horses actually led me to Aikido in a kind of weird sort of round about way.

Yeah we will be happy to have you with us I'm sure. :)

Victory! :D

ninjaqutie
08-16-2009, 10:06 PM
Sammy Ive been training at our dojo since just the beginning of June. Will be testing for Rokyu shortly.

Good for you testing so soon! I started in March and I haven't tested yet. Not sure if I will test for 5h kyu or if I will test for a higher level later... sensei is still debating about it. Good luck and keep us updated. :D

Shadowfax
08-17-2009, 07:33 AM
Good for you testing so soon! I started in March and I haven't tested yet. Not sure if I will test for 5h kyu or if I will test for a higher level later... sensei is still debating about it. Good luck and keep us updated. :D

Thanks. I've put a whole lot of hours in at the dojo lately due to the seminar and having Heiney Sensei at the dojo for almost two weeks, we shall see if it pays off. I think my riding background gave me a slight edge on learning but I still have a lot to iron out before I actually test. Probably wont be for at least another month.;) If I could I'd train 3-4 days a week. Not because I'm in any hurry to attain rank but simply because I enjoy it so much.

John Matsushima
08-17-2009, 07:56 AM
Be ready for pain....and lots of it.

Shadowfax
08-17-2009, 08:06 AM
Be ready for pain....and lots of it.

Oh so very true. :D Good thing I kinda like pain. It reminds me I'm still breathing.:p My first month in Aikido I seriously wondered, some days, if it would ever stop hurting.

SmilingNage
08-17-2009, 08:32 AM
Expect alot of mild scrapes on your toes and the tops of your feet as you learn the mat is your friend. Those areas tend to be softer and not used to alot of contact with course materials

Expect your backside and gluts to ache as you will be using them alot.

You arent holding anyone back, so seek your senior students. Aikido practice is a learning experience for both partners regardless of rank differences.

Lyle Bogin
08-17-2009, 08:44 AM
Be ready to accept what seems counter intuitive.

Linda Eskin
08-17-2009, 09:50 AM
Hi Sammy, & welcome!
Another horsey Aikido newbie here. :) I've been riding (not particularly well) for years, and doing Aikido since May. It was Mark Rashid's book "Horsemanship Through Life" that brought me to the dojo. You might want to read it. It has a lot of insightful observations on what it feels like to be a complete beginner in Aikido.
Cheers,
Linda

lbb
08-17-2009, 10:24 AM
Expect alot of mild scrapes on your toes and the tops of your feet as you learn the mat is your friend. Those areas tend to be softer and not used to alot of contact with course materials

While the tops of your feet do come into contact with the mat during seiza, they're not supposed to be moving across it so as to create scrapes. If they are, that's a sign that something isn't right.

To OP, I would say:

- Forget the "grabs" you learned in karate. This is a different style. Don't try to use karate techniques in your aikido class, and don't talk about how you have such-and-such rank in karate. Be a beginner.

- Be patient. The basic techniques of aikido take more practice to be able to execute effectively than the basic techniques of karate. Do what you're taught, don't try to modify techniques, just keep trying to do it the way you've been shown. It will come eventually, but you need to be patient.

- Be prepared to be sore as hell after your first class. Karate, properly practiced, strengthens the core, but it doesn't challenge core strength on day one the way that aikido does.

Have fun,

Shadowfax
08-17-2009, 10:33 AM
I have callous build ups on my toe knuckles. Had one minor case of mat burn on one foot a while back that I'm pretty sure occurred while doing a seated Kokyu ho. No biggie.

We have one fellow in class who started when I did and who has a pretty solid karate background. From what I've observed it hinders a lot more than helps him in his learning aikido... although I must confess I really admire how well he can take Ukemi. I must say I have a blast training with him, he is as much a beginner as I am and he carries that attitude.

ninjaqutie
08-17-2009, 10:38 AM
While the tops of your feet do come into contact with the mat during seiza, they're not supposed to be moving across it so as to create scrapes. If they are, that's a sign that something isn't right.

I think what they were trying to get at is that while you are learning, more then likely you are going to get matburn and such because you aren't used to moving in that manner. I know that when I first started, I got matburns on the top of my feet. Once I learned and remembered to stay on my toes, things got better. :)

sammywhip
08-17-2009, 11:15 AM
Well, thanks for all the advice guys! I'm really excited, and I love being a beginner, so that part will be fun! I can't wait to get up there and start. :)

Reuben
08-17-2009, 11:35 AM
Well, thanks for all the advice guys! I'm really excited, and I love being a beginner, so that part will be fun! I can't wait to get up there and start. :)

All the best :D

By the way, Aikido takes some time to appreciate so give it a few months at least before deciding whether it's for you.

The techniques might seem ineffective and alien at first but when you do get them, it's kinda like a mini enlightenment.

Concentrate on the process rather than the end goal. It's going to be very different than karate.

If your body is not used to it, your first lesson might give your muscles a feeling that they've been wringed out but this quickly disappears after a few classes.

sammywhip
08-17-2009, 11:40 AM
All the best :D

By the way, Aikido takes some time to appreciate so give it a few months at least before deciding whether it's for you.

The techniques might seem ineffective and alien at first but when you do get them, it's kinda like a mini enlightenment.

Concentrate on the process rather than the end goal.

Focusing on process is a strong point of mine. I'm a philosophy major! Haha.

SmilingNage
08-17-2009, 12:43 PM
Not to make an issue of this Mary, But there are times when the tops of your feet come in contact with the mat, albeit most of them are instances where ukemi and or shikko has gone wrong. Depending to which school of thought you subscribe to, when executing back rolls, either you will be using live toes to step back with, or you will be tucking your foot exposing the top of the foot to the mat. Since he is new, and the thread is about what to expect, sore tops of feet are what to expect; Unless you started on mat that doesnt use tatami, simulated tatami or canvas

The mat will certainly let you know when you have fallen incorrectly, and when you have let your tops of your feet come in contact with the mat. The mat is your best teacher as well as your friend, if you listen to what it is telling you.

Phil Van Treese
08-17-2009, 03:39 PM
Be ready to work and sweat, to learn and to be humble, and to say thank you at all times for all those who help you learn.

Suru
08-17-2009, 07:25 PM
Be ready for pain....and lots of it.

There will me discomfort and/or mild pain. I agree with "lots of it," but I have to clarify and say small levels of pain, many times. If you are receiving excruciating pain, find a better dojo. That said, when I'm on live toes in hanmi handachi or suwari waza, the pain can get severe. If I had done this every class, I believe I would have gotten used to it.

Drew

Shadowfax
08-20-2009, 02:31 PM
Most of the pain I've experienced so far has been off the mat the next day as I discovered muscles I had never used quite that way before and at times that was indeed excruciating pain. We don't do a ton of Suwari waza and Sensei is kind enough to not keep us in seiza for long periods of time. Something my knees are eternally grateful for. I agree that most times on the mat the discomfort we experience is mild and quite tolerable.

Suru
08-20-2009, 06:53 PM
Most of the pain I've experienced so far has been off the mat the next day as I discovered muscles I had never used quite that way before and at times that was indeed excruciating pain. We don't do a ton of Suwari waza and Sensei is kind enough to not keep us in seiza for long periods of time. Something my knees are eternally grateful for. I agree that most times on the mat the discomfort we experience is mild and quite tolerable.

What Cherie says here, I certainly hold true. Being thrown, even after you have learned safe falls (ukemi), means getting back up. Now, I probably have one of the largest leg-to-torso ratios. Every time I get up, I use possibly the longest quadriceps and hamstrings of anyone who isn't super-tall. I remember how painful stretching those muscles would be, and I would actually shake during the warm-ups. The worst part was that I thought I was the only one in agony, the stretches being no big deal at all for everyone else.

Each person, or at lest many Aikidoka, might have his or her own hot-spots where the pain seems specific.

Drew