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Tim Gerrard
12-24-2005, 05:51 PM
I join the Army in a little over 2 weeks. During the training they encourage you to participate in sport, and if a particular sport isn't practiced then you can arrange for a club to be started.

If there isn't an Aikido club then I have aspirations of starting one, and I am then faced with the daunting challenge of teaching Aikido from square one. How does one go about taking an entire class who maybe have never done a martial art before, and everything is an alien concept to them, and train them?

I'm looking forward to the challenge, but I'm throwing this open to the floor in hope of getting some interesting answers.


Devon Natario
12-24-2005, 09:53 PM
I am a little confused about the Army club thing, but that is irrelevant anyways.

To teach from scratch is what I did. Only one of my students has had prior training in any martial arts.

This is what I did. Mind you this is going to be a long post, so bear with me.

I decided to teach, but I wanted it to be official as possible.

I first came up with my syllabus, or what a student would have to do to earn belt rank. This syllabus could be added to, but not taken away from.

Once I had a syllabus I made sure it was exactly the way I wanted it. I made sure the more difficult techniques were at the end, and the easier ones were in the lower level. This allows the student to be introduced to a harder technique sooner in their journey, which allows them to have it down pat before the belt test comes.

Then I made minimum requirements for time in grade etc etc. I fealt with rank as a whole in the beginning. I wanted to make sure I would be supported by my instructor as far as certificates. This way, not only I sign the certificates, my instructor does as well. Now, I had issues with time at first with this and support, so I chose to be under two organizations so that I could definitely support my students. I chose the PCMA as my support. For Shin Shin Jujitsu, these are the two best organizations to be in. PCMA are members with tenth dan rank, and my instructor is under George Dillman.

Then I made sure I had the things necessary to conduct classes. I bought enough Bokken to support the students I would be teaching, and I bought mats that I could train on. I bought a few pieces of sparring gear, etc etc. I decided later to make my students buy their own gear if they wanted to spar. I also made them buy their own uniforms from the same company I buy my things from. I am kind of a neat freak, so I made sure they all purchased the same color uniforms.

Now I made a syllabus for my classes as well. I teach the basics in breakfalls/rolls, footwork, kicks, punches, blocks, throws, joint manipulations and groundfighting. I cover all breakfalls/rolls, footwork practice, and a designated number of throws every class. By the time three months has passed each person can do the basics well enough that it is more of the warm up before class starts.

I try to do things in succession. I will explain the best I can and give an example with groundfighting

I take the guard and I show people how to get into it. I go over methodically where hands are placed, where feet are placed, and which position is best. Then I teach which position the person in the guard wants to be in. I will show them an exercise to get to both and then I let them work it back and forth. Then I go over a submission from the guard and I will let them go over this over and over until they feel comfortable. Then I teach the person in the guard how to reverse it or get out of it and I let them practice it over and over. Then I let them go "live" from this position, but I want them only to work the things I have taught. I let them drill back and forth trying this move at full speed. Then I let them go live and I let them do anything they want from this position. Now the next day I quickly review and then go over another submission/reversal and do the same drills, etc etc. Once I am done with the guard in weeks to come, I go to butterfly guard, then spider guard, then half guard, etc etc. Once I cover every position, I start over and add new things.

Now, the way you teach is the way you teach. I just try not to lose or confuse my students. I try to review a lot just in case people miss a class as well. I do not spend forever in review though.

If you have any questions about this, or if I did not help, Im sorry I tried. :)
Take care and good luck.

Tim Gerrard
12-25-2005, 04:58 AM
Thanks Devon, definatly going to take that on board. Loads of ideas, I've got a lot of planning to do!
The Army thing is just a bit of background as I know there are many Aikidoka who have started clubs in this scenario.

Happy Christmas!

Edwin Neal
01-11-2006, 02:29 AM
Devon ... puuulease no dillman ....

while his kicking and punching are fine and he is in good shape and flexibility... his is resoundingly BULLSHIDO... trying to be some kind of super ninja martial arts master with hidden secret super death techniques ... IMNSHO after standing before the man and offering to accept Any shinke waza no touch waza knockout ... he nearly talked me into unconsciousness ... but had nothing real to show. pure bullshido...

sorry... but if anyone mentions dillman they get told the same... hes a huckster con artist taking kids money and promising to shoot fireballs out his ass... irresponsible and dishonest...

rant over ... i'm breathing again now... :o

Edwin Neal
01-11-2006, 02:36 AM
Devon great posting i agree prepare a detailed syllabus and bring your students along with a firm grounding in the fundamentals ie footwork, ukemi, atemi, and groundwork. I do think that it is somewhat strange to group techniques as basic or advanced... in my experience the are all taught equally from the beginning... as we say advanced techniques are just the basics done better...

who was that guy flaming on dillman...? :D

Nick Simpson
01-11-2006, 07:13 PM
I'll come down and uke for you, fool. Aint gettin me on no damn plane though, foo.

01-12-2006, 10:05 AM
I did 22 years in the British Army and retired Jan 2002. Aikido is more organized in the Army now so ask the PT staff to help you find contacts. The PT staff may have completed the “Arrest and Restraint” course which is based on Aikido.
In my trade I moved from unit to unit, Training Centre to Infantry Regiment to Training Centre to NATO … I trained with any Aikido clubs in the area whatever the style or association. My advice is to teach basics, teach that you know but if you want to try something more adventurous make sure your students know that. Teach the syllabus of your home dojo which you are familiar with and visit all Aikido clubs near your Army station. When visiting dojos look for the differences in their technique and try to do the techniques as shown. My last piece of advice, do not lose touch with your home dojo and visit when you can.

Good luck with your Army career and your Aikido,

Tim Gerrard
01-21-2006, 09:20 AM
Hey guy's, got some slack time, and I thought I'd keep you posted. No news as yet on a club but I'm speaking to the PT WO2 on Thur, so I'll post results as I have them!!

Wish me luck, he scares me!

01-21-2006, 04:34 PM
He's a Warrant - he's supposed to scare you! :D

01-21-2006, 06:38 PM
He's a Warrant - he's supposed to scare you! :D
Be afraid, very afraid ;)

Nick Simpson
01-30-2006, 06:33 AM
Well, how'd it go then?

Peter Seth
01-31-2006, 05:46 AM
Hi Tim.
Just found you, Hope you are settlin in ok.
You can use my 'first steps' book if it would help - I dont mind you photocopying a few for 'the troops'. If I can be of any assistance - no probs - just call, email or go on zanshin (Uni) site.
Regards to all and please be gentle with them.
The Uni class is really picking up - 5 dan grades on the mat last thurs - that'l teach them!. My gentle reputation must be getting around and they are coming along for the rest?
Anyway, stay cool and 'fill ya boots'.
Peter :)

01-31-2006, 07:24 PM
Well, how'd it go then?

He's in basic training. For the next 6 weeks he's not going to have a moment to himself. Probably looks like this:

week 1 :eek:

week 3 :crazy:

week 6 :grr:

Hang in there Tim

Nick Simpson
02-01-2006, 05:37 AM
Haha. Good.

02-26-2006, 07:43 AM
my sensei welcomes all and anyone wether they have no martial arts training to those whom have come from karate, tai quon do, my friend has done judo, but i think you should keep an open mind and teach all who want to learn