View Full Version : Joing my first Dojo

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12-21-2002, 09:38 PM
Yes its true. I always wanted to but never had a way to get to the dojo. but now I do however! in the start of the new year I will go every day. I am so Exicted, I can't wait. But I am a little afraid, because I wont know anyone there, and I wont know if I am doing somthing right or wrong. I mean I do have afew years of karate, but that was a long time ago. Any one have any advice so I can feel more confortable when I go?

12-21-2002, 09:58 PM
Relax completely.

Now you're ready :)

12-21-2002, 10:10 PM
It is hard to relax in a place you have never gone to. Maybe I should go watch a few days before I join. It would be somthing to do afterall.

12-22-2002, 01:49 AM
I like to remember that EVERY SINGLE MASTER started with one first class, and they all felt the way I do...

12-22-2002, 12:19 PM
Your reaction sounds normal and natural. Go anyway. The better feeling come after you train, not before. You can ease it some by getting out of your head trying to anticipate. Make it like the excitement you feel about that wrapped present under the tree. You don't know what it is, but your look forward to unwrapping it. Just relax, breath, and enjoy yourself.

Until again,


12-22-2002, 01:36 PM
Hi Adrian,

If it makes you feel better, we have 3 karatekas at our dojo and they seem to love Aikido, and, according to them, their karate background is a major plus for their Aikido training, so I guess you have nothing to worry about.

Happy training and welcome to our world! :D

Brad McMillan
12-22-2002, 01:48 PM
Congratulations. I think you will enjoy aikido - I do. Take it one day at a time. People want to help you, and they will, but it always takes longer than you think. When I started, it took months to really start to feel comfortable. Give it time, be gentle on yourself, and enjoy the learning process.

Best of luck.

12-22-2002, 02:04 PM
thank you all. you all made some good points. Thanks alot! I wish there would be more people in the world like you all.

Michael Brown
12-22-2002, 09:33 PM
Adrian--you'll be fine if you...bring with you a sense of humor, patience, and a desire for peace. See you on the mat someday!


12-22-2002, 09:37 PM
well tommorrow I am going to go watch a class I am very excited.

12-23-2002, 07:59 PM
I went to watch a class today. And other then getting lost on my way back, my adventure was a very fun one. Everyone there was REALLY nice. Not a mean one there. It had a nice small class, and from my prior experiance in martial arts, it is always training with another person. No silly drills where you line up and kick the air. Im gonna go sunday to start, no way I can wait untill the new year. But Im gonna need to scrounge up $145. Ohh and there was this one girl there who I like fell in love with. But shes too old and shs married, and I am just a teenager. She was kinda attractive but was very kind. If every girl was like her I would be inlove with alot of people.

From the moment I walked in people were talking to me, trying to make me feel confortable, I guess. I am happy now because now I have other people to talk to then my mean old friends.

I have never in my entire life seen such respect between people. It made me have hope again in society.

Durring it I thought so many of the things that they were doing were so great that it made me laugh a little. I noticed I was smiling the whole time.

My biggest fear of all was, if I were to join I would accedently dislocate someones elbo or sholder or somthing. when I saw them practicing the techiques on one another it made me think if they put too much pressure or somthin it would break the limb. But as of now that is my only fear. Thank you all for the support, I guess.

And in comparison between how I felt when I walked in and how I felt when I walked out was

very drastic. On my way out I felt so good, so gifted.

Im happy. thanks again!

12-23-2002, 08:29 PM
Ohh and there was this one girl there who I like fell in love with. But shes too old and shs married, and I am just a teenager. She was kinda attractive but was very kind. If every girl was like her I would be inlove with alot of people.
Yeah... I know what you mean... ;)

There is always that one...


ehemmm.. anyway...

Good luck in your training. I hope Aikido will interest you as it has had interse me.

12-23-2002, 08:44 PM
hahahaha, Thank you for your simpathy! :)

12-23-2002, 10:12 PM
Actually... I empathize with you...

I know how you feel... :p

Ah, well... that's life...

Not to get off topic here... Keep us informed on your progress in aikido.

Jeff Tibbetts
12-24-2002, 02:32 AM
This is a fun thread to read© Anyway, don't know if I can give you any advice but I know how you feel because I just started a few months ago© I actually went to watch class four times to watch before getting on the mat© I had been reading about Aikido ¥and a lot of other MA's¤ for some time, and I had a lot of preconceived notions© Luckily, they were all dispelled on the first day, and it was torture to not jump on the mat and try it out© I was showing other people that I knew what it was all about in the hopes that one of them would join with me to make it more "social" for me© I brought my wife, brother-in-law and a co-worker, none of whom joined© I'm kindof glad they didn't© Not that I don't like them, but from what I've expierienced it's a very personal thing and I don't know that I could share that with someone else who knew me too well outside the dojo yet© Well, I can honestly say that I felt ¥and still do¤ like a moron for a while, as I have NO other martial arts or even sports expierience to refer to© I'm pretty clumsy, but I can already see that turning around a little©

Let us know how it's coming along, it's fun to hear a sort of "diary" of a beginner thread©

12-24-2002, 09:01 AM
Well, if it's going to be a diary beginner thread type thing... I'm a beginner ;p. I've been training for about 2 months and a bit. No prior martial arts experience whatsoever. About a month down the line I was beginning to wonder whether I'd chosen the right art out of the lot or not (call me impatient ;)), and was getting a bit uncertain.

The next few classes pretty much resparked my interest, and... well, here I am now, with a gi for when classes start next year.

12-24-2002, 10:13 AM
Jeff Tibbetts wroteI was showing other people that I knew what it was all about in the hopes that one of them would join with me to make it more "social" for me© I brought my wife, brother-in-law and a co-worker, none of whom joined© I'm kindof glad they didn't© Not that I don't like them, but from what I've expierienced it's a very personal thing and I don't know that I could share that with someone else who knew me too well outside the dojo yet

hahah yep, I was goig to bring one of my frends to watch with me, but when I left I was sorta glad I didnt. and my reasons were alot like yours. Maybe in a few years as I start to get some experiance I will bring someone. Because by then I would understand it better.

and I know aikido is the art for me because I researched everything from brizillian jinjitsu to TKD to fencing to silat, everything.(see how much time us kids got on our hands when we dont drive) I have read so much about its philosophy and when I walked in to the class it was wonders to see people practicing it(the philosophy) yea, I have decided to go and watch friday and watch sunday and join sunday after watching.

Thank you all for making this a fun post! ;)

Ill be sure to postup what happens friday and sunday! :)

12-24-2002, 05:42 PM
Don't worry about "learning" anything for the first month. Just show up, do what the class is doing to the best of your ability and have fun. If you put pressure on yourself to remember everything that's being shown you'll suck all the joy out of the classes. Also, give yourself permission to look like a fool and make mistakes. It happens to everybody so if you go in knowing that and accepting it you won't get as embarrased when you fall funny or whatever. We've all gone through it and are still going through it so most people will be understanding and helpful.


12-25-2002, 02:14 PM
The people are so nice there, they are so kind and understanding that Even if I do make a fool of myself I wont feel embarased.

Alex Cox
12-25-2002, 06:15 PM
Hi Adrian!

I recently went through the same thing you did, and walked into my local Aikido dojo with no prior experience and not knowing anyone. I've been there for about 6 weeks now, and I absolutely love it. Everyone treated my like one of the group from day one, and they take things slow for the newbies.

Glad you are enjoying it, and welcome to Aikido!

12-30-2002, 11:37 PM
Well Sorry I took so long for my Aikido 'diary' update.(some how, I find this ammusing)Well I missed the class friday evening because the class was not in the evening, it was in the morning. So I missed my day of watching the class. But I still had my 'private' lesson with my(at the time) soon to be teacher, on sunday at 12:30. So I came early watched the class anyway. Very Nice people, it makes me so happy, I feel that my happieness is turning to joy.

Let me talk about what I did yesturday with my teacher.(By the way I would like to remember the names of everything I do, so If you could give some advice on the names of things and techniques that would be great). Well the purpose of this "quick" private lesson is to introduce me to the 'basics of Aikido'. Well I lucked out, another young man(about 9/10 years older then me) was getting this quick private lesson too, and i feel his presance make me more relaxed because I had someone to share simpathy with. And as our teacher taught us i could watch him and the teacher so I could see it before I do it, and the same for him. First thing we learned was streches and stuff, We learned thies painfull streches for the wrists, twisting and pulling them, very painfull. Then we learned the proper way to sit. We sat on our feet, it ws somewhat painfull but it dose not hurt as much as them rolls he taught us right after. We had to roll down our arm and then flip our selves back up (very confusing) and i first did it and did it on my left side just fine, but when it came to doing it on my right. It hurt, I landed right on my upper back. Ohh I forgot before we learned the roll we learned how to fall back, and how to 'tuck' in the correct leg and stuff. Then we started with an actual technique. It is where the attacker grabs the wrist of the defender, and then the defender steps forward and turns around standing behind him (the footing is the footing where you turn around on one foot staying in the right stance)to him and then 'lifts his knife blades' and then turns around and throws him forward.(its very very hard to describe) well we learned that. And the bowing on the way out, a little bit of ki breathing. And then it came to the money. 45$ for the uniform, 25 to get started in aikido, then 75$ a month so all in all it cost me 145$ and my teacher owes me a dollar. But I dont think I am going to ask him back for it. His kindness is well worth its giving.

well I went home waiting like a madman until today where I went to my first class. But this time not to watch. class was great and this time unusually big, And i feared because of that my teacher would not be able to help me as much as he intends to.(im so greedy, i feel ashamed) But everyone else helped me out anyway, Everyone was real nice. I got lots of compliments in my sloppy rolls. they say I do it like a natural, but I dont feel I do. My little pinky toe slaps against the ground every time and it hurts. and I also like landed on my head, and lost my glassess. but hey, I am getting contacts anyway, and I really dont need them too bad, I can still see just fine. We went over many techniques today. I dont want to describe them all. Way too much effort untill I learn the names.

Class was great, I had fun. After class I practiced My rolls.

After the class I felt a certain level of peace within myself. I felt less spitefull of things I normaly feel spitefull about.

To talk more about the people. They were all very kind and wonderfull, Some quiet, but I knew they were in concord. I feel that I can judge people less after the class today. Everyone was very caring and such, Two people who I met at my first visit, I have not caught the names yet, but they are this women I was telling you about, and this very kind guy. THey were probably the best two to train with. Both very carefull not to let me get hurt, and every time I did my sloppy fall they always asked "are you ok? Did you tuck in your leg alright? How are you feeling?"(everyone dose this, but not at the level of carring they did with me, they cared for my safetly Like i was made out of glass) they seemed very kind to me. That women i spoke of before I still find attractive, but she seems so happy with her husband, and I feel that she would betterto me as a friend. but I think I have become less greedy simpy from her presance. the thing that amazed me the most with the class was when you are done with a partner training session, that that person you were training with, whispers you a 'thank you'. How kind! To Say 'thank you' to me, at my frist day, for training with them, where I would probably be doing nothing but slowin them down. I felt so respected. and everyone said this! I am glad.

(please forgive me. I wrote alot of sentences badly because I do not remember, or know of, the proper names of many of the things I wrote.)

And what lesson I understood the most today is that You learn from every little thing. You learn from someones pressance, you learn from the simplest of actions, you learn from everything, and durring our lives we will forever learn, and earth is our place to learn. remember as Morihei Ueshiba said, "Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, and take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything - even mountains, rivers, plants and trees --- should be your teacher."

12-31-2002, 12:55 AM
All I can say is...

Welcome to Aikido...

It won't be a smooth journey, but it's quite a wonderful path.

12-31-2002, 01:08 AM
To have a Journey is to have a destination, and I feel that at the moment I have nothing to aimfor in aikido but doing my best, and learning what I can. I read today in a magazine before class that aikido is 90% mental 10% phisical, So I will remember such, and try to "visualise" the technique, and understand it, because phisicly, the techniques 'look' very easy, but are not easy at all without proper understanding. Thank you very much Iriawan, your a good person. And when I find a destination(or goal) if there is one to attain, then I will begin my journey. And remember "no journey is smooth". A better way to saying this is that I am in an 'expedition', I dont know what is coming, It is not easy, but it will lead to my discovering more about myself, others, and the art of peace.

(By the way I am so sore, my back, and pinky toe is killing me, any advice? maybe some streching thing?)

12-31-2002, 01:54 AM
For the sore...

Well, it will pass. But if one is still new to the art, it is recommended to do a bit more extensive stretching before class time. Now, I recommend this to my fellow students.

For the problem you have written, I usually do the following:

Toes - before training, I losen up all the toes. Like by sitting and just take my toes and shake them a little. Rotate my ankles. Pound my foot to let the blood flow. Then I grab my foot sword and let it extend straight, then I pound my hamstring and calve to let the blood flow.

Back - I do quite some extensive stretching for this. I usually do a "bridge" from standing position and get back up to the standing position. Before I do it I usually reach down and touch the ground / my toes first. It could also be done from lying down. But this needs quite some flexibility to do in the first place.

When I can't do a bridge, I usually do the following:

Get into the seiza position, that is sitting when my knees, shin, and foot is underside. Stretch my arms out in front of me and touch the ground (like trying to reach the far point). I will now be in a bowing like position. I pull myself forward, leaving my lower legs where it is.

Lying on my belly, I push the upper torso up, while leaving the lower body on the ground, and then look up (straight up, up-left, and up-right). I keep this position for a few seconds.

Then I pull my lower legs up front or put my upper torso back, back into the seiza position. Keeping the lower legs in position, I then lie on my back, and my butt is lying on my foot. I keep this position for a few seconds, then if possible get back into the seiza position. If not, then I just roll to the side then get back to the seiza position.

This is actually one of the standard stretch in the dojo I train in. But, when I'm upfront in leading the warm-up, I would ask my fellow students to stretch out before practice. Because stretching plus warm-up (aiki-taiso + shiko + ukemi) could take 1/4, about 30 minutes, of the class time.

I had sores for the first month or two of training... after that, I just got used to it. My body had adapted to the changes.

And please, call me Kamal or Thalib. Nobody calls me Iriawan, even though that is my first name given by my grandmother from my mother's side, I'm not actually fond of it. But it is my name, and I honor my family by always writing it down. Except, I'm not very fond of it being used. :p

Will be expecting to hear more of your experience...

12-31-2002, 09:23 AM
hahah I sorry about that Thalib. I Understand. And thank you for the information. I just have one question, I did not understand you to well when you described the bridge. Is it where you stand up and bend your back out ward and then touch the ground with your hands so that your belly is facing up and your back down, or is it the other way, like the bridge like 'look' when you do a pushup?

12-31-2002, 09:49 AM
To have a Journey is to have a destination
IMHO, the best way to learn is to accept that the jouney is the destination.

Welcome to origami with people, learning to blend and become one with the mat.

Until again,