View Full Version : New to aikido question

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G Reeves
04-15-2002, 09:34 AM
I have become interested in studying aikido, and I was wondering what should I look for in classes so that I end up attending a good class. Any information will be greatly appriciated. Thank you.

04-15-2002, 10:02 AM
I trust a lot of other people can tell you better what to look for from a technical or legal point of view.

My contribution is: Look for fun and respect.

Bruce Baker
04-15-2002, 05:17 PM
You should call up the dojo's in New Jersey on the Dojo search, then see what is near you.

I don't see Cedarville on the NJ map? Where is it near?

Most of the South Jersey Aikido dojo's came to see Y. Yamada of USAF at LBI last month. Go watch a class and try one to see if it suits you?

You will find some very nice patient people who will instruct at you level learning and fitness to help you learn

I know that sometimes hamlets are grouped into different named towns and districts, help me find who is near you and I can tell you about some of the sensei's in your area?

G Reeves
04-16-2002, 06:46 AM
Cedarville is near Millville, Vineland and Bridgeton. That is probably the best way to dscribe where it is.

Gopher Boy
04-18-2002, 10:26 PM
Hi George!

I am a recent beginner (2 months under my pristine white belt!) and have to say that the most important thing for me is the friendliness of the other students.

A good teacher is important too. We have a Shihan at my dojo and he is a fantastic guy who is genuinly interested in the progression of every student. That said, I don't attend his classes. I choose to go instead to the beginners' classes. The teacher for that (a recently promoted Nidan,) is fabulous. I could not hope for a better introduction and start to Aikido. I have heard of some teachers that simply demonstrate to the class and then walk around watching. Our teacher comes over and helps each pair and welcomes all questions.

In terms of the beginners' class, we are really like a family. There is no animosity or competition and this makes every lesson the subject of much anticipation for me.

The students who attend the general classes are great as well and often tell me to "come as often as I can" - welcoming a newbie like me in.

"A good class" ? IMHO, the best class is one where you feel welcome and eager to attend. For a beginner like me it is important to get a good grounding in an environment like this. I wonder how many potentially great Martial Artists have never realised their dream because they got a bad introduction and didn't want to go on.

In short, the most important thing (for me) is that the dojo encompasses the loving spirit of Aikido. I feel that I would get something out of the classes even if we didn't even get onto the mats. Infact, I have forgotten my gear and still turned up to watch anyway! Starting any MA can be a very daunting task but with people who are friendly and genuinely welcoming, it is a foregone conclussion that you will love it!

Gopher Boy
04-18-2002, 10:34 PM
Sorry about this - it seems as if I am replying to my own post!

I just wanted to add a bit of a plug for Iwama ryu. This is the style I train in and I love it.

I was actually going to start a thread the other day on this subject but didn't get around to it. It is about the "penny dropping".

For me it has happened with bokken work. I find that performing different cuts with the ken opens my mind to new things that I hadn't seen before. Things that hadn't made sense have instantly become so very much clearer. If your body is somewhat stubborn and has it's own unassailable views on how it should move then bokken work can go a long way to fixing that. At least for me!

I have now had 4 cents worth. Hope it was good value!


04-21-2002, 03:02 PM
As with most other classes, academic and martial arts-related, the smaller the number of pupils, the more attention given to the individual. Something to consider, perhaps.