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Lari Hammarberg
12-21-2010, 07:03 PM
Hello everybody.

I'm a new comer here and new to Aikido, you can read my introduction here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19089

I'm heading to my first Aikido class tomorrow night, and i have load of questions and things to talk about.

First i want to ask about dojo, i'm heading to this local one, rather small, approximately 30 people usually. Is it good for newbie like i to practice in small dojo? I know it depends a lot about the instructors and sensei there, but which one is better, small, thigh knit group or lot of people?

Then i have a question about exercise and practice times, these guys have practice for adults five days a week, twice in my town and three days at their home town, which is loated an hour drive away.. How many days i should pratice with them in a week? I though about at least three days/week.. I have to concider that i dont have friends here to practice with outside the dojo, selfpratice helps, but its not worth the real thing. I also have other time consuming things to do, mainly my music, im a drummer and a musician, our band is rehearsing for our third full length abum at the time and it needs lot of work. (I have my personal technical preparation going on, few months of active training before recordings)

And then about other exercise, besides of my drumming and taking walks few times a week, i've been sitting on my ass for a long time. I do some freestyle swordfighting at summers if i find partners for it, go fishing, hike in nature and stuff like that, but it's long since i've done any "real" exercise... What would you recommend? Weight training is out of question, because it has a major hit on my drumming speeds.(drumming requires so small and fast motorics and reflexes, that even small amount of training slows me down, i know this from experience.)

When i should buy myself a Gi and hakama? I think i'll do this as soon as i decide if i stay in the dojo i'm going to check out.. Just want to know more experienced opinion about this.

As i've mentioned, i love sword practice, i've practiced the most with this type of things some LARP people use, you know, soft enough to make full contact all the time without any fear of injuries. (I've made my own, even went so far i made them with authentic measurements and balaning.) I've also praticed with wooden swords of various sizes and even done some simple one hand sword fighting with live blades. (slow and careful ofcourse.)

I know some Aikidokas dont like to give much emphasis on weapons training, i want to know what do you think about it, is it ok for my Aikido training if i do sword practice beside it? I hope i havent caught many bad habits.. I know how hard it is to "unlearn" things... I've had to do that with my drumming, more than ten years of bad grip, it was horrible to unlearn that, took me almost two years. I know this can happen with any MA's too...

Oh, and then theres this, i'm in decent shape, reagardless of my laziness, drumming, cycling and walks keep me in a ok shape, so i dont think that's going to be a problem, but, my problem is i have never been very flexible(also because of lack of training but anyway.) and flexibility plays a big role with any form of Budo. And when i can kid, i injured my left hip once, it healed, but my left leg flexes even less than my right.. I hope i can overcome this.. I have been stretching like crazy for last few days, and it hurts like hell. :D

I read a lot of talk about when should newbies be introduced to weapons traning, i called one of the instrutors and asked if they do it or not, he said yes, not all the time, but yes. With bokken and bo usually.. I know weapons training is normally not the main thing in Aikido, but i wish my previous experience with it will give me a nice start. Too bad i didnt ask the instructor when i'm allowed to practice with bokken. :straightf Some have said that there's nothing more dangerous than un experienced Aikidoka with a weapon.. I agree, i've seen this with my friends etc. As i mentioned in my introdution, my older brother is Aikidoka too, and has a long experience with sports fencing, he was the one originally introduced me to Aikido and taught me some basics.. He also taught me a lot about sword techniques, thanks to him, my swordwork is not only random bashing. With him i also noticed how good it feels to pratice with a experienced partner. Even when getting beaten up more or less.

Yea, i think thats it for now, i'll ask more about things later. Yea, i'll be heading to my first class tomorrow, wish me luck. ;)

Arigatou gozaimashita, in advance for your advice.

Lari

RED
12-21-2010, 08:20 PM
Hi,

In my opinion:

Nothing is wrong with a small dojo. Teacher and quality instruction is important. However, consider branching out, going to seminars, see your Shihan and experience as much high level Aikido as possible. When training, IMO, seek out the highest ranked people you can as partners. There is a lot to be said about training with newbies, you can learn a lot from them, but starting out, IMO you need to learn as much quality as possible.

As far as how often as you should train...as often as humanly possible. Three days is a good start. Again in my opinion.

Buy a gi and hakama whenever your Sensei tells you to. Every teacher's preference is different.

As for self at home practice. This is my opinion, and some people disagree, but I'm against kyu ranks doing a lot of at home practice. My reasoning, a newbie doesn't know the "correct" form, only under the eyes of a seasoned instructor can they acquire the skills of good form. It takes years sometimes under the watchful instruction of your teacher to have good form at all. So doing repetitive kata or foot work with bad form will only ingrain bad form. Basically I believe it causes a lot of bad habits that your Sensei only has to correct later. Don't make their job harder. IMO, again.

Do whatever weapon's training your Sensei recommends. Some federations put a bokken in their student's hand on day one to help reinforce form. Some federations believe that weapons work is for black belts only, thus it is for refining what you already know. Ask your Sensei what he wants from you.

Also in my opinion the best exercise you can do to help your Aikido...is more Aikido.

Peace man!

Dave de Vos
12-21-2010, 08:31 PM
Hi Lari,

I'm a newbie too (about 30 hours of training), so I can only tell you a bit about the weapons training in my dojo. I have different teachers on different training days. One lets us train about 5% to 10% of the time on weapons training. The other teacher really likes weapons training. He lets us train about 15% of the time with weapons.

Training with bokken or jo is usually solo or paired training of kata-like move sequences. The teacher shows us a move or sequence of moves and then we practice it for a few minutes. The teacher walks around to correct us here and there. Then he shows the next move. I've never seen a free style weapons fight in our dojo (I think that would be quite dangerous, especially with newbies).

The first teacher lets us practise regularly with tanto to enhance or illustrate empty hand techniques.

Beginners train the same moves as experiences students. But when more experienced students (wearing hakama) happen to train together I see them improvising more and practicing variations of the technique demonstrated by the teacher.

I bought my gi after 2 lessons, but some other newbies have not bought one after training for 10 lessons. I also bought a bokken, jo and tanto with my gi, but the teacher has spare weapons for newbies too, so we don't have to buy them so soon. I just wanted to have my own.

Lari Hammarberg
12-21-2010, 08:35 PM
Hei Maggie.

Thanks for your input. Some good advice you gave...

The instructors in my local dojo seem to be quite experienced by rank, dont know anmything else yet. Well, i'll find out tomorrow and then return here with ton of new questions. :D

How did the old saying about fool asking more quiestions than ten masters can answer? ;)

Lari Hammarberg
12-21-2010, 08:41 PM
Hello Dave.

Your experiences seem to strengthen my vision about weapon training. And this type of 5% - 15% time for weapons, rest bare handed seems to be the case in the dojo i'm heading to...

At least that was the impression i got after calling one of their instructors. :)

I asked about the equipment, because i think it's proper to have decent clothing as soon as i decide if i stay. And it's part of the tradition + a decent gi can take a lot of beating, unlike usual clothes..

Amassus
12-21-2010, 10:23 PM
Not to discourage you...but...hold off on buying anything, gi or weapons until you give aikido a fair go.

I have seen people arrive at the dojo, become fanatical about practice, they buy the gear and then one month later disappear.

Don't be one of these guys. Take your time, continue to ask questions of your dojo and yourself. I didn't buy a gi until I was asked to test for my first rank, so there ya go.

My opinion.
Dean.

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 04:56 AM
Not to discourage you...but...hold off on buying anything, gi or weapons until you give aikido a fair go.

I have seen people arrive at the dojo, become fanatical about practice, they buy the gear and then one month later disappear.

Don't be one of these guys. Take your time, continue to ask questions of your dojo and yourself. I didn't buy a gi until I was asked to test for my first rank, so there ya go.

My opinion.
Dean.

Hello there Dean.

I see, after borwsing this forum and few others for last couple of days it seems apparent that in many dojo's there's quie a few quitters.. Doesnt surprise considering the nature of Aikido.

But i think i'll love it, as i said before i am more and less familiar to Aikido, thanks to my brother, bless that guy. :)

I think i'll hold my horses and look around/talk with sensei first. It would be terrible waste to buy gear and all that and then just walk out. Which i dont believe im going to do. I love this art, and i'm ready to dedicate a lot of time for learning it.

Hmm, i wonder if some of the quitters go because it takes so long to learn? Todays western culture is so saturated with "i want it all here now!" I think it's hard for many people to start practicing skills which take a lifetime to master. It's funny, the learning curve and dedication it takes reminds me muh of drumming. Micromanaging the tehnique, countless training hours and infinite possibilities to get better with something. This is why i think i'll stick to it easily than most, i know what it takes to "learn to walk again."

Michael Varin
12-22-2010, 05:18 AM
Hello Lari,

I remember when I started aikido. Man, those were the days.

If your dojo has 30 people in class, that is not a small dojo!

Train as much as you possibly can. If you don't mind the drive, definitely train five days per week.

Weapons, especially the Japanese sword, are crucial to understanding aikido. Every aikidoist should train weapons from day one, beginning with suburi (solo practice movements). If your dojo doesn't train them, I highly recommend studying Iwama weapons. It is the only truly integrated weapons style. Buy these videos from Aikido Journal (http://www.aikidojournal.com/catalog/productdetails?code=dvd02#productsets).

If you can't wait to get your aikido fix, check out my good friend's website. It's loaded with info.

http://aikidostudent.com

Get a gi right away. Wait on the hakama; some schools don't allow them until black belt.

You are intelligent to ask about additional conditioning. For something that fits your needs get Amped Warm-Up (http://www.ampedwarmup.com). These guys know what they are talking about. Doing a program like this five days per week is probably going to generate more benefits than anything but a well structured strength training program.

And be careful over doing it with stretching… You're going to hurt yourself!

Oh. And keep us up to date on your training and progress.

grondahl
12-22-2010, 06:09 AM
Nishio seems even more integrated in my view, even though I´m an Iwama stylist. And since there is almost no Iwama-style aikido in Finland (I´m aware of one or maybe two clubs) I think it´s better to learn the style of aikiken that the local dojo does (it´s probably Kobayashi, Nishio or Yamaguchi-line aikido).

I highly recommend studying Iwama weapons. It is the only truly integrated weapons style.

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 06:14 AM
Hello Lari,

I remember when I started aikido. Man, those were the days.

If your dojo has 30 people in class, that is not a small dojo!

Train as much as you possibly can. If you don't mind the drive, definitely train five days per week.

Hei there Michael. :)

Not even a small one? Then what is a small dojo? ;) Master and apprentice? ;)

I'd really like to practice many times/week, at start i think i'm not able to do more than three days/week. I need to get regional ticket thingy to use buses cheap, most of their training goes on in next town, only two times a week in here.

And at start it's damn important to get the basics to the backbone and practice as much as possible. Some experienced sensei here said that tougher the start, better the student learns. And also somebody mentioned that tough starters often get over the magical 1 - 3 months time. :D

Weapons, especially the Japanese sword, are crucial to understanding aikido. Every aikidoist should train weapons from day one, beginning with suburi (solo practice movements). If your dojo doesn't train them, I highly recommend studying Iwama weapons. It is the only truly integrated weapons style. Buy these videos from Aikido Journal (http://www.aikidojournal.com/catalog/productdetails?code=dvd02#productsets).

This! Am i right that the very basic stance/posture is exactly the same as with say a bokken, but just without the weapon? Suburi? Those seven very very basic movements?
Thanks for the link, i'll check it out. :)


If you can't wait to get your aikido fix, check out my good friend's website. It's loaded with info.

http://aikidostudent.com

I'll heck this one too.... Damn, my bookmark list just keeps growing. :)


Get a gi right away. Wait on the hakama; some schools don't allow them until black belt.

You say right away? I thought so too... Normal clothes are just not made for budo training. I thought that i just might buy the hakama right away and then wear it when sensei agrees. This is rather strange that some dojos use it only when black belt is earned. Gives hakam artificial status symbol value. I read the story about O Sensei, that he got really mad if a student showed up without hakama. I dunno, i wish i could wear it as soon as possible, i like that kind of clothing.

You are intelligent to ask about additional conditioning. For something that fits your needs get Amped Warm-Up (http://www.ampedwarmup.com). These guys know what they are talking about. Doing a program like this five days per week is probably going to generate more benefits than anything but a well structured strength training program.

Arigatou, even more to bookmark. :) Yea, i thought i will adopt some kind of general exercise to back up Aikido, my drumming & walks/yling keep me in deent shape but better stamina/endurance and strength is never bad, specially when there's a good use for it.


And be careful over doing it with stretching… You're going to hurt yourself!

Oh. And keep us up to date on your training and progress.

I will, much is good, too much is too much.

Prepare to hear me ramble non-stop. :D

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 06:19 AM
Nishio seems even more integrated in my view, even though I´m an Iwama stylist. And since there is almost no Iwama-style aikido in Finland (I´m aware of one or maybe two clubs) I think it´s better to learn the style of aikiken that the local dojo does (it´s probably Kobayashi, Nishio or Yamaguchi-line aikido).

Hmm, ok. I think those schools are probably in south, too far for me to participate at the moment...

Asahi's Aikido is based on Hikitsuchi sensei's style.. Says so in their website.

grondahl
12-22-2010, 06:23 AM
But the stance varies between styles. Some styles do not use hanmi.


This! Am i right that the very basic stance/posture is exactly the same as with say a bokken.

In Scandinavia most dojos let people wear hakama around third kyu.


You say right away? I thought so too... Normal clothes are just not made for budo training. I thought that i just might buy the hakama right away and then wear it when sensei agrees. This is rather strange that some dojos use it only when black belt is earned. Gives hakam artificial status symbol value. I read the story about O Sensei, that he got really mad if a student showed up without hakama. I dunno, i wish i could wear it as soon as possible, i like that kind of clothing.

grondahl
12-22-2010, 06:29 AM
The bukiwaza of Shingu-style aikido does differ from Iwama-style from what I have seen. I would stay of suburi until you get instruction in the correct form from your local dojo.

Hmm, ok. I think those schools are probably in south, too far for me to participate at the moment...

Asahi's Aikido is based on Hikitsuchi sensei's style.. Says so in their website.

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 06:54 AM
The bukiwaza of Shingu-style aikido does differ from Iwama-style from what I have seen. I would stay of suburi until you get instruction in the correct form from your local dojo.

Will do! I'll talk with sensei about all of it. :) I think its great there is so much diversity with different styles, stuff to learn for next ~1000 years. :D

lbb
12-22-2010, 09:45 AM
My thoughts:

1. The size of the dojo doesn't really matter, unless you have so few people that it can't be sustained. 30 people isn't really a small dojo if those 30 people are training regularly.

2. The question of how many times to train isn't really worth considering before you've even taken your first class. Start training and see how you like it, how your body reacts, and what your schedule can accommodate.

3. Improving your fitness with supplemental activities is a good idea, but do it systematically. If you are also training in aikido, you won't have unlimited time for fitness. I made a general recommendation in another thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=270480#post270480) for what I think is a good approach for a sedentary person to become fit. The most important thing for optimal results is to exercise consistently and systematically.

4. Don't worry about buying a gi or hakama yet. Buy a gi if and when you are sure you will continue practicing, and buy a hakama when your sensei tells you to. Gis are expensive, hakama more so, and in many dojos beginners do not wear hakama, so if you just show up in one it could be embarrassing.

5. If you train with weapons in aikido, it's probably safest to simply forget whatever you know about LARP swordplay or anything you've done previously with wooden swords. Weapons training is not a game and the weapons you use, while wooden, are not toys. Failure to practice properly can result in serious or even fatal injury. This means no improvising, no freelancing, no Star Wars lightsaber moves, and no "winging it". If you are allowed to train with weapons in aikido, you will need to do exactly as instructed.

6. Everyone who trains in aikido has physical limitations. "Stretching like crazy" will not help you to overcome yours, and if it "hurts like hell", it's almost certainly causing more problems than it's solving. Begin your training, learn your body's limitations, and seek long-term solutions or effective workaround for them -- NOT short-term crash programs to try and fix them fast.

Best of luck, and tell us how you liked your first class!

Walter Martindale
12-22-2010, 10:05 AM
I'll second a lot of what Mary said.
30 people is not that small a dojo - two of the last three dojo I've been at consider it a good day if more than three people show up.

My first (judo) gi was second hand. You may be able to find a used gi somewhere (ask your sensei if someone has joined, bought all the stuff and then quit shortly after) and maybe the sensei can put you in touch with them to see if you can buy their (lightly used) equipment. If you can do that you'll save a bunch of money. If you then find that Aikido isn't for you after a few months, clean the stuff really well and consign it to the dojo for someone else to buy (or put a notice up at the dojo offering it for sale).

Stretching and aerobic/basic endurance exercise can supplement aikido training. Swimming encourages upper body flexibility, but as in all things, work into all new exercise programs gradually. If you're inflexible now, you're not going to do the splits tomorrow. Stretching is a gradual thing...
HTH
Walter

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 10:45 AM
Thanks Mary and Walter. :)

I think i'm well set now for a start with your advice in mind.

And about the weapons, i know they are WEAPONS which can be destructive if used by untrained hands. And i also understand how important the teaching from an experienced sensei is.

Arigatou. :)

Just a short hour to wait...
I'll come back to you later tonight.

ninjaqutie
12-22-2010, 10:58 AM
Hi! Good luck at your first class. :) I consider myself a beginner (only 2 years on the mat) in aikido, but I did train 8 years in a previous style. Some things I have learned over the years:

1.) Just show up and train. Everything else will take care of itself given enough time.

2.) Listen to your body. It often knows more then your brain.

3.) Don't push yourself too hard in the beginning. A lot of things are going to be new to you and you may end up sore. If you over do it, you may get injured... and then have to take time off of class.

4.) I see nothing wrong with getting a gi. Our dojo gives out loners for the new people, but they are more then welcome to come in with their own gi if it is plain white. Ask your teacher if they sell gi's, as they may want you to purchase from them. You may get a cheaper rate and you are supporting your dojo! My previous dojo wouldn't let anyone buy a gi till they trained at least a month.

5.) Don't worry about a hakama. The subject will be brought up by your teacher I am sure. If you walk into the dojo and everyone seems to be wearing a hakama, that may be an indicator that everyone in that dojo wears one. OR, it may mean you happen to be training with advanced students that day. :D

6.) Don't worry about buying weapons right away, unless instructed to do so. Most dojo's have loners and you are still testing things out. No need to drop $100 bucks or more on everything to find out that you didn't need to or find out you aren't as intrigued with aikido as you thought. I just bought my own bokken after two years of training and it was $67 bucks (there are cheaper ones and there are ones that cost several hundreds depending on what you want and how much you want to spend). Also, chances are what you are going to be asked to do in a weapons class is going to contradict how you were using a sword before. This even changes from dojo to dojo in aikido.

7.) 30 people is actually a decent sized dojo. Is that the average class size or the total number of students? That makes a difference. Our dojo has a decent membership, but we don't have too many people on the mats at a time. Our average class size is anywhere from 5 to 8 people.

8.) Large student populations are great as far as being able to train with different people. Each person has their own aikido. It is nice to get this type of exposure. Small numbers mean you may get more attention from the instructor though. ;)

9.) If you feel hopelessly lost and move your left foot when someone says to move your right, that is normal. You are asking your body to do "strange things" that it doesn't yet know how to do. Give it time and try to be patient. Too many people expect to pick up aikido in a few classes and this isn't the case. In my opinion, it is one of the hardest martial arts to learn because it is so simplistic in its intricate movements. Everything moves in a three dimensional plane instead of punching on a straight line for example.

10.) Don't be shy! After a technique is demonstrated, run over to a high ranker and ask to train with them. More often then not, they are the safest people to train with. They should be looking out for your best interests and if you throw them too hard, they will be able to take it. :) A beginner working with another beginner should be avoided.

11.) Figure out what you need to get your body through the day or week. By this I mean, you may have to up the amount of food you eat, how much water you need to drink to stay hydrated and you may have to increase your sleep time.

12.) I could go on and on about things such as heating pads, hot showers, icy hot and tiger balm becomming your best friend, etc, etc. The most important thing for you to do is go in there with an open mind, give everything you have and just have fun. For several months, you are being asked to drink water out of a fire hose. Even if you get a drop or two of that water with each class, that is enough for now. Being soaked to the bones and overwhelmed by the water pressure is just part of the game.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 11:14 AM
Heii thanks.

I'll take it easy at start. =)

They have about 30 regular members at the moment.. Not everybody comes to my town to practise as far as i know. But plenty people anyway.

I'm a bit nervous, i think i'll have to sit and meditate for a moment. Half an hour to go. :D

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 03:17 PM
Hello everybody, i just came back from my first class.

I can say im totally hooked, i love it, this is simply most amazing and fun thing i've done for a long time. You got yourselves an inexpreiened but very enthusiastic Aikidoka now. I definitely will stay and pratice more.

Two hours went like five minutes, i would have been ready for anothier two hours right away!

Too bad only three guys + me showed up. They said it's because many have their holidaystuff going on etc. And it seems, that those who practice in my town, dont always go to the dojo's main place/practice. And it also seems, that the higher ranking/more experienced sensei's dont always come here.. I got an impression that normally in my town there's these guys + some others and at least one more experienced person. The highest ranking sensei is present at main trainings every time.

So my plan with practice times is this, i go to all pratice hours at my town and at least twice/week to main practice. I need to get a local buslicence thing to travel i guess..

About weapons practice, starts after students reach 4th - 2nd kyu, they didnt mention the exact kyu after weapon stuff starts. But i dont mind, i have plenty of things to learn before even touching a bokken.

These gyus taught me some of the very basic things, posture, few things about basic movement, sitting in seiza, then we went on to do some falling techniques, for me just your usual front and back rolls(i didnt quite get the mae kaiten ukemi yet never have been good rolling bakways..), Sankyo, Ikkyo, and two other things, names escape my memory atm.

As i said, there were only four of us this time, two guys who have been in for last two months and a older guy who have been in dojo for last couple of years, it was fun and the older guy seemed to know what he was talking about

I'll have next practice at next tuesday in the bigger place, sensei + few experienced instructors are going to show up there too.

Bad thing was, i was stiff as a board and i really dont have an idea about anything, its so new and theres endless amount of stuff to learn. I guess it's like that for every newbie. But i love this art, even when this was just a little sneak peek, im eager for more!

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 03:33 PM
Come on guys, share with me your knowledge and experience, any hints and tips are welcome. I see you guys and gals have read my thread 269 times, come and talk. :)

I have to say i'm very peasantly surprised about warm welcome here and dojo, really nice and friendly attitude and everybody seems to be eager to help. I guess it has to do with un-competitive phiosophy at work. ;)

Michael Varin
12-22-2010, 04:58 PM
Bad thing was, i was stiff as a board and i really dont have an idea about anything, its so new and theres endless amount of stuff to learn. I guess it's like that for every newbie. But i love this art, even when this was just a little sneak peek, im eager for more!

The stiffness obviously isn't desirable, but it is not uncommon. Try to move in a relaxed and fluid manner, and just keep gently reminding yourself of this every time you feel stiff.

As far as not having an idea about anything, that's really not bad. I continuously felt confused for most of my first two years, but I was making steady progress. As long as you are absorbing the teachings, I think being confused can be sort of beneficial.

You wanted tips, so here you go. Keep a journal of what you did in class… techniques, experiences, thoughts, insights, that sort of thing. This is the one thing I regret not doing from the beginning.

Lari Hammarberg
12-22-2010, 05:12 PM
The stiffness obviously isn't desirable, but it is not uncommon. Try to move in a relaxed and fluid manner, and just keep gently reminding yourself of this every time you feel stiff.

Hello there Michael. :)

I think it's just because i was a bit nervous, this kind of thing seems to go hand in hand with all new and exciting stuff i do. (just like playing gigs. :D) At the end of the class i was way more relaxed and warmed up.

Mainly my problem is that my back seems to freeze every time i do ukemi... (or try to, my back roll doesn't yet exist. :o )

About the fluid movement by the way, it seems that most of Aikido has to do with "natural" and "flowing" movements without un necessary force used by nage and so on.. When i was a kid, i used to do lot of running in forests, lake shores'(only on the stones, without touhing ground or water) and dodging trees etc. while jumping and running at full speed at the time. Then i was able to do that any time really relaxed and never hurt myself. I think it's that sort of fluid and naturally flowing movement which should be implemented when doing tehniques. Not the running itself, but all the legmovements and such.. I dont know if this is right, but all seems to be about natural flow of movement.

As far as not having an idea about anything, that's really not bad. I continuously felt confused for most of my first two years, but I was making steady progress. As long as you are absorbing the teachings, I think being confused can be sort of beneficial.


Yea, i guess it's all normal. Guys at dojo said it was just like that to them too. And well, i'm eager to ask for help and guidance as you can notice. ;) I think it's ok to not know a damn thing about anything, that's what senior student and sensei are for, these guys at least seem to be very helpful with just anything i want to know. :) Just like most people here.

You wanted tips, so here you go. Keep a journal of what you did in class… techniques, experiences, thoughts, insights, that sort of thing. This is the one thing I regret not doing from the beginning.

Keep 'em coming, i dont know how to absorb all this info, but i'm hungry for more. And that's great idea about starting to keep journal. I'll do it.... I've never had journal about muh anything before.

Arigatou, Michael sensei and all the others. It feels nice to have this many teahers. ;)

ninjaqutie
12-23-2010, 01:00 AM
Glad you enjoyed your first class. :)

Walter Martindale
12-23-2010, 01:38 AM
Stiff, jerky movements are characteristic of someone learning something brand new. It is difficult to relax and you are thinking about each movement rather than "doing" each movement because it is different from what you have done before.

That goes for almost all of the movements you will do in Aikido - at the start. As you gain some months and then years of practice, everything will be smoother and easier to do and you won't feel as stiff. You'll be able to respond to your partner's movements without bringing the response to the level of "move my arm here and my leg there" it will be "Hmm, that was an ikkyo (ikkajo)" instead of "here comes his hand what do I do, you want my left hand here and my left foot... " well, you get the picture.

Or - that's the theory and what generally happens, anyway.

Patience, deliberate practice (as defined in motor learning) and time... Stick with it and remember how clumsy you felt when you started so that you can be patient with beginners when you are a "senior"..

With respect to feeling confused? Well... I'm about a year into being a "Nidan" (2nd deg. black belt) in the "aikikai" style, and I still get confused, almost every practice - I think when that goes away, I've either stopped learning or am about to attend my funeral.
Cheers,
Walter

Amassus
12-23-2010, 02:09 AM
Confused? Yes I felt very confused, and often, in my first few years of training. I felt that the martial art challenged me more mentally than physically in those early years.
Be patient with yourself and just enjoy it moment to moment.

Yours in training.
Dean.

Lari Hammarberg
12-23-2010, 06:30 AM
Thank you for your replies. :)

Yea, i'm confused... It's normal.

Haha, it's so cool, i have to totally re-wire my brain about body movement, learning to sit, walk, turn, jump, roll and everything again in a different manner. I love it. And yesterdays class really did a lot, i have burning in muscles still, mainly legs, lover back and shoulders. I should do little stretching.

It's not actual pain, but burning, it means development. :D I think Aikido will work wonders on my health, it reminds me of swimming, movent comes from whole body, not just limbs and stuff..

Am i right that in Aikido movements are way more "whole" than in some other budo styles?

Hmm, next class will be at Tuesday, i think i'll practice posture and movement today/tomorrow... I'd like to do some ukemi too, but theres not muh space here... Hehe, maybe i go outside and do it the snow. :D That would be some exercise, almost half a meter snow, could give nice resistance.

lbb
12-23-2010, 07:20 AM
Am i right that in Aikido movements are way more "whole" than in some other budo styles?

No.

You're enthusiastic about your new activity after one class, and that's great. Just don't go completely overboard in thinking it's the fount of all knowledge, the one true way, the holy Grail, etc. Experience aikido as it is, with all its imperfections and drawbacks as well as its strengths and benefits -- don't seek to make it into "the best". Enthusiastic newcomers who fervently believe that aikido is the answer to everything usually quit soon when they find out that it isn't.

Lari Hammarberg
12-23-2010, 09:40 AM
No.

You're enthusiastic about your new activity after one class, and that's great. Just don't go completely overboard in thinking it's the fount of all knowledge, the one true way, the holy Grail, etc. Experience aikido as it is, with all its imperfections and drawbacks as well as its strengths and benefits -- don't seek to make it into "the best". Enthusiastic newcomers who fervently believe that aikido is the answer to everything usually quit soon when they find out that it isn't.

I never i said i know anything yet.. =) That was just my impression at the moment.

Lari Hammarberg
12-23-2010, 10:32 PM
Oh, about me going completely overboard, sorry for that, i'm like that when i pick something new. Love at first sight so to speak.

Mary, you sound little bitter?Seen too many enthusiastic beginners quit before anything really even starts?

tim evans
12-23-2010, 11:14 PM
Oh, about me going completely overboard, sorry for that, i'm like that when i pick something new. Love at first sight so to speak.

Mary, you sound little bitter?Seen too many enthusiastic beginners quit before anything really even starts?

lari post whatever aikido question you want theres knoledgeable people on this site who understand beginners questions. :)

Shadowfax
12-24-2010, 06:47 AM
As my sensei has often said to me...

Relax. :)

Oh and he also always says to beginners, "it's your job to be confused"

Just train.

Mary might come of a little bitter but she has a point. Even in my short aikido career Ive seen a number of people come in with the same high excitement who vanished within a few weeks or months. Try to relax and just approach your classes with a totally empty cup. Don't over think it.

Ugh rolling took me forever to get the hang of. I kept hurting myself doing back rolls for the first couple of months. Lots and lots of very painful mornings after a class....but it was all worth it.

Lari Hammarberg
12-24-2010, 07:54 AM
I'll take it easy. ;)

I've noticed, many really know what they are talking about. And it seems there's many with several decades of experecience. I'm honoured to be in company of such people.

Yea, the rolling, hurts like hell... I noticed it's my shoulders which seem to hit the floor/gound too much. I did some forward rolling yeaterday outside, there's snow, so i was easily able to do it from fully standing position. Few steps of running and then roll. (We have noce flat backyard and snow made it soft enough.) And it worked quite well. But my shoulders are little bit hurt now. I guess it's the "stiff as a board" start which is doing this. Well, practice, practice and some more practice.

I dont want to even try to back side rolls my self, i want sensei to show me in detail how it should be done.

About enthusiasm, well it depends on person how it goes. I usually DO what i start. I've been drumming/playing in bands now for 16 years, that's one thing i'm really serious with, i love it and had put some extensive work on my technique and feel. I would say that less than 30% of all drummers ever play on a published demo, 5% from those play on actual full lenght album... And me & band are just starting to make our 3rd CD.

I've been interested in Aikido for some time and now it's time to actually start doing stuff and practicing. I'm very serious about this. It might not show behing my burning enthusiasm though. ;)

lbb
12-25-2010, 08:21 PM
Mary, you sound little bitter?Seen too many enthusiastic beginners quit before anything really even starts?

"Bitter" isn't the right word for it; why would I feel bitter about something that really doesn't affect me? The majority of people who try aikido (or any other martial art) just don't last that long, that's all. I don't have the numbers to back it up, but it seems to me like this is especially true of the most enthusiastic beginners. I think the truth is that aikido can do all kinds of wonderful things for people, but the experience of training in aikido doesn't feel wonderful all the time -- in fact, if we're being honest, I think most of us would say that the wonderful moments are occasional rather than common (and for the rest, well, they may be using a pretty relaxed standard of "wonderful"...but that's the subject of another discussion). That feeling of epiphany is wonderful, and people are motivated to chase it, but aikido training isn't a constant sequence of peak experiences. A lot of people who loved aikido at first quit because of this. It's too bad, and there's probably no point in pulling these people's coats, but I assure you, it's not "bitterness" that makes me do it. But you think that if you like. And, you're welcome.

I don't think there is any harm in setting moderate expectations for yourself and your aikido experiences. If your experience in the art exceeds them, great -- I don't know anyone who's disappointed if an experience exceeds their expectations. It's when people go the other way that they end up being disappointed. Aikido is fine as it is. It doesn't have to be the grand ultimate martial art, or a path to enlightenment, or the world's best form of exercise, or the one true way to cosmic harmony. It's got plenty of imperfections, plenty of flaws and drama. That's okay. It doesn't have to be perfect -- I don't need it to be. I guess for me it's just one of many tools that, when used properly, bring me a little closer to where I want to be, bit by bit, day by day. I have no expectations of arrival. Bit by bit and day by day is quite enough.

RED
12-25-2010, 09:09 PM
Oh, about me going completely overboard, sorry for that, i'm like that when i pick something new. Love at first sight so to speak.

Mary, you sound little bitter?Seen too many enthusiastic beginners quit before anything really even starts?

I've seen enthusiastic beginners quit. I've seen not-so enthusiastic beginners quit too. They are on par with each other actually in my personal experience.
However, I've never seen some one who's been in the art 10-20+ years who wasn't in love with Aikido. Every high ranked Aikidoka I've had the pleasure to talk to and know has told me insane stories of sneaking off to train, or what not. Even my own teacher told me about them quitting their career to go to New York Aikikai, absolutely alone, to become a student while still in the low kyu ranks.

Enthusiastic beginners do some times burn out. But not-so enthusiastic hobbyists tend to quit, or stagnate in the community.
So be as enthusiastic as you want, not hurting anyone.

Lari Hammarberg
12-25-2010, 10:30 PM
Well, Mary, i can guess where you are coming from.. It's ok to have somebody try to hold my enthusiasm back. Some times a small reality check is in order. Your post actually reminds me of a long term bandmate. ;) He's the ne holding my enthusiasm back and i'm the one kicking his ass if he get's stuck to something for too long. ;) So it's beneficial symbiosis of different kinds of minds. Maybe something like that will form in here too or in my dojo to be.

Do you guys and girls here know one thing about Finnish psyche?(sort of a clishee but still, mostly true.)

This ties with Japanese culture in a way... When Finns promise something, and want to accomplish something, they WILL do it, no matter what it takes. Sort of do, or die trying kind of thing. And i have been talking here about just anything that has came to my mind, with overflowing enthusiasm and excitement.

That enthusiasm and all my talk is a promise! A promise specially to myself and to everybody who reads this. I'm not going to talk the talk and then silently back away! No way. My future with seriously training myself into the art of Aikido is a done deal. I have my back against a wall within my mind and i'm going to be a man of my word.

Onegaishimasu! I'm ready, teach me! :D

(Don't mind typos, i'm using a sort of crappy laptop here...)

lbb
12-26-2010, 11:28 AM
Well, Mary, i can guess where you are coming from.. It's ok to have somebody try to hold my enthusiasm back.

I'm not trying to hold your enthusiasm back. You asked, "Am i right that in Aikido movements are way more "whole" than in some other budo styles?". I answered your question. The answer is no. I then made the point that it's fine to be enthusiastic, but not so fine to be unrealistic. And, really, now that I think about it, the two really have nothing to do with one another. In order to be enthusiastic, you don't need to abandon all practical considerations, or make grand declarations. I don't think that's what enthusiasm really means.

That enthusiasm and all my talk is a promise! A promise specially to myself and to everybody who reads this. I'm not going to talk the talk and then silently back away! No way. My future with seriously training myself into the art of Aikido is a done deal. I have my back against a wall within my mind and i'm going to be a man of my word.

But no one here has asked you for a promise, and no one here has a relationship with you where it makes sense for you to promise us anything.

I'm going to tell you a story about my own training. I have rheumatoid arthritis. When I have an attack of rheumatoid arthritis (called a flare-up), it attacks a joint: knee, shoulder, hip, wrist, elbow, finger. These attacks bring extreme pain (about as bad as a fracture or a dislocation...yes, I have experience to compare), extreme stiffness (where I can barely move a joint at all), pain to the touch, and sometimes very bad swelling. At the same time, it is critically important to keep moving, to force the joints through their full range of motion, because this helps to minimize permanent damage.

At the end of 2008, my arthritis was getting worse, attacks were more frequent, and I didn't know where it was all leading. I was still training, but so many days I had a significant challenge to deal with, a hand that couldn't close on its own, a knee that couldn't bend fully, you name it. At around the same time, someone (I forget who) started a thread on aikiweb titled something like "What are your New Year's resolutions?" People posted all kinds of goals, that they would test for this rank or master this technique. Well, when you don't know from one day to the next if you'll be able to walk, or to grip with a hand, or raise your arm above the shoulder, you learn very quickly not to make statements about what you will do. Your own body will make a liar out of you.

So I posted, not a resolution, but my goal for the coming year -- what I hoped to accomplish, and would do my best to accomplish. It was just this: to keep training. Just to keep training.

By the end of that next year, I came to understand that while "To keep training" doesn't look very impressive alongside promises to achieve a certain rank or spend so many hours per week training or master a technique, it is the most powerful and most ambitious goal that I can imagine for myself -- and it may be the biggest goal out there, period. And there is no wall at my back, or at yours, and that's important. There is nothing to stop either one of us from backing out, from quitting at any moment. Grand promises are the work of a moment; keeping a promise is something that happens from moment to moment, when no one is watching and offering praise and encouragement. We are not bound by any promise: every day, in every moment, we have to choose again. That's what makes it hard. That's what makes it worthwhile.

Lari Hammarberg
12-26-2010, 12:15 PM
It was just an assumption, which i was wondering about. Thank you for correcting me. :)

And as i said, promise mainly for myself.. back against a wall, that was a metaphor. Hehe, rhymes nicely.

Hmm, interesting read, that must be really tough condition to live with.

Lari Hammarberg
12-26-2010, 06:28 PM
How often do you guys and girls practice by the way? I asked about how much is ok and said i'm planning to practice three times/week for a start. I also read about a research, cant remember who did it but, the result was that three days/week is the most productive schedual. Four times or more make a little difference and it said 5 - 7 days/week ma be too much if the training is tough.. Not enough time for muscles to recover or something among those lines.

I'm just thinking how to manage my band practice, Aikido and all other activities so they dont interfere with each other too much... Luckily i have all the time in the world to put to anything i like. Something good about being unemployed...

I just though that 3 - 4 times/week would probably be good enough. i try to manage to always have one in between practice. Some kind of recovery time would be good to maintain.

Dieter Haffner
12-26-2010, 06:33 PM
There was a poll in the year 2000 about the amount of training days.
You can find the results here: The Poll (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=2).
I guess this result will still be valid.

RED
12-26-2010, 06:54 PM
How often do you guys and girls practice by the way? I asked about how much is ok and said i'm planning to practice three times/week for a start. I also read about a research, cant remember who did it but, the result was that three days/week is the most productive schedual. Four times or more make a little difference and it said 5 - 7 days/week ma be too much if the training is tough.. Not enough time for muscles to recover or something among those lines.

I'm just thinking how to manage my band practice, Aikido and all other activities so they dont interfere with each other too much... Luckily i have all the time in the world to put to anything i like. Something good about being unemployed...

I just though that 3 - 4 times/week would probably be good enough. i try to manage to always have one in between practice. Some kind of recovery time would be good to maintain.

My opinion: train as often as you can, as much as you can,as long as you can, under the highest instruction you can find. (health permitting)
3-4 times a week sounds pretty steady for a beginner. As you progress, I'd suggest more often. I personally believe in training almost every day in some capacity, along side the "as often, as much as you can, for as long as you can" philosophy. Health permitting of course.
I understand how hard it is to ballance time. Since I started Aikido, I've had to ballance jobs, school schedules, socialization, family issues, a marriage, and health problems. What has worked for me is I put my mind to what hours in the day are non-negotiable, and devoted to Aikido, then I make the rest work around that. You'd be surprised how much time you can find in a day when you stop wasting time. lol

Lari Hammarberg
12-26-2010, 07:21 PM
Thanks Dieter an Maggie.

Hmm, pin this dojo i'll be practicing with it's possible to have practice 5 times/week.. Well, i dunno, if i get the buslicence thing, it costs about 50€/month and then it's possible to travel for that month as many times as one wants. So that problem can be solved with not too much money put on it.

My timing is sort of bad because our band starts to album recordings soon and that is really time consuming job. Good thing is we have no real deadlines and nothing to horry about.

RED
12-26-2010, 07:29 PM
Thanks Dieter an Maggie.

Hmm, pin this dojo i'll be practicing with it's possible to have practice 5 times/week.. Well, i dunno, if i get the buslicence thing, it costs about 50€/month and then it's possible to travel for that month as many times as one wants. So that problem can be solved with not too much money put on it.

My timing is sort of bad because our band starts to album recordings soon and that is really time consuming job. Good thing is we have no real deadlines and nothing to horry about.

You just started Aikido man. Be happy with your 3-4 days a week, it is steady for some one starting out. Let life work it self out in the mean time. Don't burn yourself out.

Lari Hammarberg
12-26-2010, 07:40 PM
Hai. :)

I just like to think though things... 3 to 4 four times is realistic, easy to arrange and more than surely tough enough.

Andrew Macdonald
12-26-2010, 08:45 PM
hi Lari

Can i just ask what did you mean by the aikido techniques are more 'whole' than other budo styles

Lari Hammarberg
12-26-2010, 09:06 PM
hi Lari

Can i just ask what did you mean by the aikido techniques are more 'whole' than other budo styles

Hello Andrew.

To avoid any arguing and giving false impressions i have to say this is just how i see things now, i'm a beginner, thus i dont hold a position to claim i'm right with this, so forgive me if my impression is someway wrong or biased, it's just my perception. :)

It was sort of a bad selection of words... And i meant the overall movement and how it looks like.

I find the movement, and execution of techniques in aikido to be very fluent, flowing and natural looking. And the difference between aikido and other styles of budo seems to be that in aikido this type of movement is learned from the day one and in other styles it seems to develop by time... and looking at masters of aikido and other arts, the difference between how it looks like gets narrower depending on how experienced or talented a person is. What i mean is moslty the footwork.

Its hard to explain what i mean, i dont yet have the knowledge and vocabulary to express this matter as it should be done...

I know that talking about matters like this as a total newbie might get some people pissed off big time. I hope it will not be the case. So if anybody feels offended, i apologise in advance.

Andrew Macdonald
12-27-2010, 01:46 AM
Hi Lari

No not pissed off at all, I am interested in all perception of aikido i just wanted a little clarification on what you meant. In martial circles whole could have a number of dofferent meanings

- whole body movement
- effective for combat
- covering combat and sirtual disciplines

and i am sure there are many other

yes aikido can look very natural and flowing (not so much when i am doing it) and there is a different in this to many other styles.

Lari Hammarberg
12-27-2010, 06:23 AM
Hi Lari

No not pissed off at all, I am interested in all perception of aikido i just wanted a little clarification on what you meant. In martial circles whole could have a number of dofferent meanings

- whole body movement
- effective for combat
- covering combat and sirtual disciplines

and i am sure there are many other

yes aikido can look very natural and flowing (not so much when i am doing it) and there is a different in this to many other styles.

Yea, i just wanted to make it clear to all that forum arguments about different perceptions of the same thing are purposeless.. :)

I've noticed that this differenmce how it looks like gets narrower when watching real masters do their art.. With the exception of different techniques.

Shadowfax
12-27-2010, 07:10 AM
My dojo offers classes 3 nights a week. two of those nights there are two one hour classes and the third is a single 90 minute class. The second hour on the two hour nights is for more advanced students and students are invited to those classes once sensei decides their ukemi is up to the more rigorous training. One of those hours is specifically set aside for weapons.

Anyway when I first started I could barely manage 1-2 days a week. Usually Sunday and Thursday. Partly due to my job and a lot due to the fact that I was in a LOT of pain for several days after each class.:uch:

After about two months I got in better shape, rearranged my work schedule and started being able to do the three days of beginner/open classes. And I think it was around 6 months when I started up in all 5 classes. I have not missed a class in almost a year now. Even attended them all when I had to sit out and watch due to a knee injury.

More recently I have been occasionally getting together with other dojo members for an extra night of open mat training. I would like to be able to train more but I have a horse that needs to be ridden once in a while too. :)

Lari Hammarberg
12-27-2010, 08:05 AM
Hello again Cherie and thanks for your reply.

Wish me luck, i happen to have practice in two consecutive days... Tomorrow with all the experienced guys + sensei, and wednesday in my town with smaller group.. (I think the sempai i've been in touch with is going to show up in both too.)

It's gonna be tough, after my first class, i had two days of quite severe pains in my legs and lower back. Good pain though, muscles burning and compaining sudden use.

So this is going to be my Aikido baptism big time, two days in a row. I don't know how to make it, but i will. Oh, did i mention tomorrows class is two hour thing. 1hour 30minutes of actual class and then 30 minutes of free time to use what ever useful way.

Lari Hammarberg
12-28-2010, 02:28 PM
Onegaishimasu.

I just came back home from my secon class. And damn, i LOVE this stuff! Aikido is already the best thing i've done for a long time.

Just few people again, our sensei did not show up for some unknown reason, three sempai's, me, and two others. I had good time and did some new techniques..

The opening ceremony was a bit different than i expected, some breathing exercises and some Japanese phrase which was totally unknown to me.

We did some movement and posture practice with bo in hand, then some strikes and two different katas. Our sempai didn't mention the names of the movements... After bo practice we did some irimi nage, kaiten nage and some other techniques i dont remember at the moment. We also did some variation of Ikkyo.

I did some more ukemi, all kind of basic stuff. It was really fun and surprisingly not so tough as my first class was.

The sempai who was leading the class actually was surprised how good i did and said it coupe of times. :eek: He said my ukemi looks very good for a beginner.

Wheew... my lower back and my shoulders are killing me.

Is the lower back pain because lot of movement comes from hips/waist area? And other question, could somebody give me some advice or a lonf perhaps for some efficient stretches for legs and shoulders?

Funny thing, our kind sempais answered many of my questions but now i have more things i dont know... haha, that usual when one starts to learn new things.

At least some rules are now clear to me, on our dojo people start to wear hakama when reaching 3rd kyu. The sempai said it's good for me to get gi when beginners class starts at january... (damn good actually, i have a nice head start when new beginners come and we will go through all the basics more deeper then.) Yea, and i have to pay my dues when the next beginners class starts, so i dont have to horry with that either.

You know what, all talk here about positive effects of Aikido seem to be true this far. People are nice, behave well, are eager to help, this is extremely effiecient training for overall healt, very enjoyable and quite safe. Our senior students take good care when i'm uke and dont reject training with me because i'm a beginner. I also liked how one of the sempais really used some speed and power when throwing me around, i really got the feel of the technique.

tim evans
12-28-2010, 02:53 PM
Lari one bit of advice since you do play in a band eventually you will learn nikkyo and sankyo wrist locks tap early if you want to preserve your wrists.

Lari Hammarberg
12-28-2010, 03:20 PM
Lari one bit of advice since you do play in a band eventually you will learn nikkyo and sankyo wrist locks tap early if you want to preserve your wrists.

Yea, we did those at the forst class... I have to remember this one. Although i have rather strong wrists, 16 years of drumming works wonders on them, but i have to be careful. Thanks for the tip.

Lari Hammarberg
12-30-2010, 10:58 AM
:)

Three classes behind now, next one at monday 3. January... And i havent lost my enthusiasm. It seems to get more and more fun every time.

And i've started to learn and remember things. Seiza is now little bit easier, now i can sit for few minutes, not only 45 seconds in one go. :D Movement is getting easier, i dont have to think so much where my legs are. I can even remember some little technique wihtout much thinking about it.

It was a tough one to have two classes in consecutive days, my neck, legs and back are really telling me i've done something. I wanted to go to todays class too, but i need some time to recover...

Which brings in another question, what would you recommend for recovery days? Some easy streching? Lot of water? Sleep?

My muscles always get really stuck big time after tough practise and recovery takes time... I'd be pleased if you guys would give me some good tips on how to mae recovery days easier.. How long it takes to recovery to become shorter? I know it should get easier, but does it take few months? A year?

Is it usual to Aikido clubs to practice with bo? Jo seems to be the usual "stick" variant in use for weapontraining... In our club they use bo and bokken and AFAIK not much other weapons.

lbb
12-30-2010, 12:04 PM
I don't think bo is typical in aikido. Bo is an Okinawan weapon, whereas jo originated in Japan with shindo muso ryu.

RED
12-30-2010, 01:51 PM
Bo is very atypical. Jo, bokken and tonto is typically what you find in most traditional Aikido dojo.

I once heard of an Aikido college club that allowed their black belts to practice with nun-chucks and throwing stars..... but they were F#$%ing crazy!!

Lari Hammarberg
12-30-2010, 02:33 PM
Yea, i thought so too... I have searched the net and this forum and nowhere else run into Aikido dojo which is practicing bo techniques.

It seemed that movements and technique is usual Aikido. At least for my inexpecienced eyes.. In those techniques we had some almost karate like thrusts and strikes with Aikido movement/posture and blocking moves. It's hard to say anything more specific, as we only did three different techniques.

I'll keep you guys updated as soon as we have more weapon practice.

Nunchucks? Throwing stars? In Aikido club? :eek: Wow, that's really strange... How can one use nunchucks in Aikido? I would like to see that.

Garth Jones
12-30-2010, 02:48 PM
Tom Reed Sensei has developed some very involved kata for the bo staff as well as the jo. Beyond that I don't know of anybody doing much with the bo in aikido.

Back pain - well, that can be caused by all sorts of things. For me, the key has been a steady program of core strengthening exercises - back extensions and various types of crunches. The muscles get stronger and hold the spine in alignment better.

Since you are in the first stages of learning ukemi, I would suggest starting off with some gentle rocking backwards from the floor (the first bit of a back roll). Make sure you lower back stays round and that you go backwards smoothly. Keep your abs tight and this is a good crunch.

Cheers,
Garth

RED
12-30-2010, 03:30 PM
Nunchucks? Throwing stars? In Aikido club? :eek: Wow, that's really strange... How can one use nunchucks in Aikido? I would like to see that.

They had personal problems.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-30-2010, 03:34 PM
I don't think bo is typical in aikido. Bo is an Okinawan weapon, whereas jo originated in Japan with shindo muso ryu.

Bo is the name Shingu lineage people give to the staff they use. Is not a jo nor a rokushakubo.

Lari Hammarberg
12-30-2010, 04:23 PM
Tom Reed Sensei has developed some very involved kata for the bo staff as well as the jo. Beyond that I don't know of anybody doing much with the bo in aikido.

Back pain - well, that can be caused by all sorts of things. For me, the key has been a steady program of core strengthening exercises - back extensions and various types of crunches. The muscles get stronger and hold the spine in alignment better.

Since you are in the first stages of learning ukemi, I would suggest starting off with some gentle rocking backwards from the floor (the first bit of a back roll). Make sure you lower back stays round and that you go backwards smoothly. Keep your abs tight and this is a good crunch.

Cheers,
Garth

Thanks, i'll keep this in mind..

I think i need a lot of practice to learn the back roll. To front i can already roll quite easily, even with some speed and from standing position. Although i have got my shoulders to hit the mat few times bit too hard. Nothing major, just a bit sore shoulders afterwards..

The back pain doesnt really surprise me, due to my hobbies/musicianship i tend to sit a lot and not use my back/abms much and i really notice this when doing Aikido. More practice will help i guess. The back pains are actually more burning than actually hurting, that should be a good sign?

The bo is an interesting weapon... I watched one of my sempais do some katas before class at his full speed and it looked amazing. This guy has really clean looking technique and he's amazingly fast. I wish i will reach that kind of tehcnique too.

Lari Hammarberg
01-08-2011, 05:31 AM
Hello again. :)

My sixth class is behind now and this was the best class so far. I finally met my Sensei. :D Tough class, constant training with not much breaks. Only ikkyo stuff this time... We went through maybe six to eight different techniques which somehow include ikkyo. Damn i love this! I'm in fire! :)

This is so much fun and i've started to learn something. Our sensei seems to really know what he is doing. Best teaching so far. Our sempais seem to be technically as good as our sensei but they aren't so developed about teaching yet.

I love it. And our Sensei seems to be really nice guy, tough but friendly and knows his stuff very well.

Only negative thing was that there was this one guy, he's been on maybe ten classes now, as newbie as i am.. Nice bloke, but i think he uses too much force and too much hands. Well, i told him to take it easy with my wrists. And so he did.

Pauliina Lievonen
01-08-2011, 06:17 AM
Just came across this thread. It's nice to see someone who is as enthusiastic as I was in the beginning!

I think being a musician is going to be an advantage in some ways, you're already familiar with the idea that it can take years to learn something very well.

Only negative thing was that there was this one guy, he's been on maybe ten classes now, as newbie as i am.. Nice bloke, but i think he uses too much force and too much hands. Well, i told him to take it easy with my wrists. And so he did.This is one thing that it's really useful to learn from the start. If someone is too rough on a body part of yours, don't be shy to ask them to take it easy. So you did exactly the right thing. And as you see, it usually works too. Most people aren't actually trying to hurt each other, but it's quite natural to use too much force in the beginning.

As to the bo, btw, that comes from the Hikitsuchi lineage, I used to sometimes train at the dojo in Oulu in the holidays and they do bo work as well. Other styles of aikido don't really use bo so it's a bit unusual, but I think very cool that the tradition is carried on.

The day after training - it's good to move a little even though you're sore, I think gentle movement helps more than stretching actually. Try to think of movements where you use the whole range of movement of a joint, for example the warming up exercise where you make circles with your arms like a windmill.

There was a column about what to do to keep yourself healthy before and after classes just this past month: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19063

Maybe that will give you some ideas!

kvaak
Pauliina

Lari Hammarberg
01-08-2011, 10:22 AM
Kiitti Pauliina, kiva että täällä on Suomalaistakin seuraa. :)
Thanks Pauliina, it's nice to have Other Finns here too.

Thanks for your advice and nice post.

Yea, i guess this other kohai doesnt know his limits with using power yet. No either do i, i tend to take it too gently or too quickly. The other students are eager to give advice, which is very positive.

Aye, i noticed that taking a walk or plowing some snow etc. the day after practice works wonders. I've done it a couple of times...

Then i have something that just popped into my mind from somewhere i feel urge to write down before it disappears... It's not too relevamnt in this topic though.

I find Aikido to be a way to explore the right and wrong, positive and negative, violence and non-voilence, ying and yang. I find it a way for me to widen my knowledge and wisdom about the polarities of our world, our right to choose, our free will. In normal setting, the Uke is the one with negative polarity, he or she is the attacker, ready to hurt nage in a "real" situation, which we simulate in our learning. Uke has made the decission to attack, and possibly, hurt the Nage. And the Nage on the other hand is in position of choise. Both polarities are present and in front of him/her to decide which align with... Uke then commits the attack, nage recieves it, blends with it and then aplies the decided technique.. If the technique is succesful, then uke has lost his or her balance and is at mercy of nage. And Nage has the power over Uke and can then decide the course of action. Which could be to hurt or kill the Uke, let him go and back off, or to detain Uke. I find this very interesting point. It's about freedom of choise and point of using either malevolent or benevolent course of action. As Osensei has guided us, as a nage we should always choose not to hurt the Uke and even make sure the Uke doesnt get hurt. In this i see a true philosophy of love towards your fellow man. Even when he/she(uke) is aggressive and ready and willing to hurt nage, nage has the freedom to choose. I find Aikido to be a physical manifestation of this philosophy and perfect tool to explore the nature of our human existance, and therefore i love this art from the bottom of my heart. :)

lbb
01-08-2011, 06:32 PM
Yea, i guess this other kohai doesnt know his limits with using power yet. No either do i, i tend to take it too gently or too quickly.

No one expects beginners like you or your fellow student to have even rudimentary control, so I wouldn't be concerned about that. More importantly, however, you need to let your partner know if you have concerns about injury. Even a very advanced practitioner stands a good chance of causing you injury if you have an existing injury or physical problem and don't make them aware of it, or if their technique is too forceful for your ukemi.

Also, if you find that someone is throwing you or applying techniques with more force than you are comfortable with, make sure that your attacks are not too fast or strong. Someone (I wish I could remember who) once pointed out on this forum that the force and speed and intensity of your attack is going to come back at you. If your strike is very hard, the response will have a lot of force. If your punch is very fast, your partner will be forced to respond with equal speed. When you are training with a higher ranked person and you give them a fast and strong attack, they often have the skill to absorb a lot of it and give you back something slower and gentler, at a speed and intensity that a newbie can handle. But a less experienced person won't be able to do that, and the response they give you is likely to overwhelm your ukemi skills. My sensei sometimes says, "Don't dish it out until you can take it," It's very good advice.

As Osensei has guided us, as a nage we should always choose not to hurt the Uke and even make sure the Uke doesnt get hurt. In this i see a true philosophy of love towards your fellow man. Even when he/she(uke) is aggressive and ready and willing to hurt nage, nage has the freedom to choose.

Nage has the freedom to choose within the limits of his or her skillset. Without the necessary skills, there is no choice. A very advanced practitioner may be able to stop a determined and skilled attacker and do the attacker no harm, but most of us by far will never get to this level. It's an ideal, but except for a few, it is not a reality.

Lari Hammarberg
01-10-2011, 04:35 PM
Yea, you're right Mary. I'm keeping eye on this. :) And i have informed my partners if there's something wrong... We have this one guy who uses A LOT of power doing his techniques, well i told him to take it easier and that's what he did. I'll be careful.

Oh, about the last thing you quoted, those things were just my thoughts about the philosophy and the nature of Aikido. =) Thanks pointing that last bit about anyway.