View Full Version : Hey there!
I'll be starting my first class in a week at the Seattle Ki Society and am really excited! I was wondering if there are any other people here who have had dance training before starting aikido. We (wife) used to be swing dance instructors and were hoping years of dancing will give us a good platform to start with (balance, timing, etc). We sat in on a beginner class recently and it was surprising how similar the instruction method was compared to how we used to teach dance patterns and steps!
Anyway, we're really psyched.:)
10-25-2002, 11:39 PM
Woohoo! Welcome to the world of aikido and all the fun and frustrations it brings :D
You'll have a blast and the dance thing will probably help quite a bit. The hardest thing for me to get people to do is to pay attention to their center and move from it, dance should help quite a bit with that.
I have a friend, Paul, in Seattle who's started teaching seidokan aikido. If your interested in getting in touch with him send me a private message and I'll put you in touch with him.
Good luck and have fun,
11-07-2002, 05:58 AM
As I first entered the dojo I now train at - visited to see what was going on there - my first impression after seeing the demonstration was: "wow, this is just like dancing! Swift, relaxed, cosy movement around the tatami....mmhhmmmmmm..."
I dance at a folklore group - folk dances and stuff - and I used to dance classical and some latino dances in dance-schools too. Anyway, now, after, say, 10 trainings I realised my dancing history helps me, because I'm already aware of my body & bodyparts (unlike most other Aikidoka at our dojo) so that helps a lot.
11-07-2002, 08:41 AM
I find a huge amount of correspondence between partner-based dancing (ballroom/latin/swing) and a martial art like Aikido or Jiu Jitsu. Part of it is the individual's balance, centering and awareness of where their limbs are, as the replies so far have mentioned. But also, I found martial arts helped me a lot in learning how to follow well on the dance floor, as I was used to sensing where a partner's balance was & where it was going. Doubtless the same idea holds true for a dancer starting Aikido. (I'm sure it can't be a coincidence that my favourite dance partner where I started in the UK was also my favourite Jiu Jitsu training partner!). Have fun!
11-07-2002, 09:00 AM
Ken Ota is a ballroom dancing champion and aikidoist. You can read more about him here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=11881#post11881).
You might also be interested in joining the ki-info list. This is an email list that dispenses information, disseminate teachings and distribute invitations to seminars and other events, related to Ki Society (Ki No Kenkyukai), Ki training, Aikido, Kiatsu and the teachings of Koichi Tohei Sensei. Anyone can join. You can find it here (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ki-info/).
I've never had a chance to go to Seattle, but maybe someday we can practice together. :)
Thanks for the feedback everybody! :D
11-07-2002, 12:14 PM
Severe warning.. about 13 years ago I found by accident that the tango had certain steps that were a lot in common with certain breath throws - my then dancing partner was not impressed by the result of my not realising which one I was doing.
If you've practiced at any type of dance you will have one main advantage, you're used to watching someone else move and learning from their movements rather than just what they're saying (as certain aikido intructors follow the "show do" school of teaching, this can be crucial).
I just wanted to say HELLO to everyone. I look forward to meeting lots of new friends and having wonderful discussions.
11-24-2002, 11:16 PM
I, too live in Seattle where we like to pretend it rains all the time when in fact it's gorgeous and sunny!
I was a ballet dancer for my whole life before discovering aikido and being enlightened. That would be 10 years dancing in New York, Philadelphia, overseas and in North Carolina. Then, I taught at Pacific NW Ballet for 10 years. I am a 2nd kyu here at Tenzan aikido dojo, part of Seattle Holistic Center (www.tenzanaikido.com) with Bruce Bookman sensei. Some other readers may recognize that name from NY Aikikai, Yamada sensei. This is not Ki society, but ,of course, one doesn't study aikido w/o studying Ki.
But, the dancing thing. Aikido is so much more fun and there are way fewer injuries! The community spirit that I have found at every dojo I've been in is wonderful. People here tell me I have some sort of edge because of my dance background but I have no sense of perspective on that.I guess I'm used to learning choreograghy or something. But, the connection to partner and the energy flow are so much more important. I adore the ukemi (that's when the other guy is leading)and am almost too fearless for my own good. I love it when sensei flings me clear across the mat, it's like flying!
I hope you enjoy your 1st class. Be forewarned, however, aikido is totally addictive!
All the dojos here in Seattle are friendly.come on by sometime and ask for Melissa.
I agree with you totally. Dancing is great and everything, but it was purely social for us. Aikido is much more universal, and I am finding it seeping in to my daily life the longer we train. It's great!
Sigh. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop now. ;)
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