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-   -   What should I be prepared for when starting? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16633)

sammywhip 08-15-2009 04:13 PM

What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
I'm just about to start aikido, I've learned like, 3 grabs from being in American Karate, but I only know English names for them. Any tips on what to prepare for, and how to prepare for it?

Thanks,

Sammy

David Maidment 08-15-2009 05:21 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Prepare to take things slowly and to trust that sensei knows what he/she's talking about. I see a lot of newbies who seem to think that they know better than the person teaching them (not saying that you're like that, but you may be grouped with other beginners who have this attitude). Everything has a place and reason, even if it takes years to understand why :)

Also be prepared for the etiquette. Your new dojo should have a list on their website or maybe pinned up somewhere. If all else fails, have a chat with someone before class about what's expected.

Above all else, have fun!

Jorge Garcia 08-15-2009 05:33 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Sammy Gray wrote: (Post 237716)
I'm just about to start aikido, I've learned like, 3 grabs from being in American Karate, but I only know English names for them. Any tips on what to prepare for, and how to prepare for it?

Thanks,

Sammy

This is an activity that feels different than it looks.

Prepare to:
1) Feel awkward for months
2) Be frustrated over and over again
3) Believe that you are slowing the class down
4) Feel that you will never be able to learn this
5) Have all kinds of new pains
6) Constantly battle the desire to quit.
7) Meet a lot of nice people but a few that you really won't like.
8) Constantly be told that you are doing your techniques incorrectly

These are not the universal feelings of all but they are a compilation of the feeling of all those who did in fact quit. Prepare for these feelings and thoughts and you might have a chance to make it long term.
best wishes,
Jorge

sammywhip 08-15-2009 05:41 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

David Maidment wrote: (Post 237722)
Prepare to take things slowly and to trust that sensei knows what he/she's talking about. I see a lot of newbies who seem to think that they know better than the person teaching them (not saying that you're like that, but you may be grouped with other beginners who have this attitude). Everything has a place and reason, even if it takes years to understand why :)

Also be prepared for the etiquette. Your new dojo should have a list on their website or maybe pinned up somewhere. If all else fails, have a chat with someone before class about what's expected.

Above all else, have fun!

Awesome! Thanks!

Quote:

Jorge Garcia wrote: (Post 237726)
This is an activity that feels different than it looks.

Prepare to:
1) Feel awkward for months
2) Be frustrated over and over again
3) Believe that you are slowing the class down
4) Feel that you will never be able to learn this
5) Have all kinds of new pains
6) Constantly battle the desire to quit.
7) Meet a lot of nice people but a few that you really won't like.
8) Constantly be told that you are doing your techniques incorrectly

These are not the universal feelings of all but they are a compilation of the feeling of all those who did in fact quit. Prepare for these feelings and thoughts and you might have a chance to make it long term.
best wishes,
Jorge

Thanks a lot, I appreciate being prepared.

Darryl Cowens 08-15-2009 08:57 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
I'm also a complete newbie... I now have 5 sessions under my belt... :D

So if you ever need someone to chat to in the same situation, who know what you are going through at the same time you are... just holler..

ninjaqutie 08-15-2009 09:09 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
I'm new too if you ever want to chat. I've only been training for 5 months or so.

sammywhip 08-16-2009 02:20 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Darryl Cowens wrote: (Post 237745)
I'm also a complete newbie... I now have 5 sessions under my belt... :D

So if you ever need someone to chat to in the same situation, who know what you are going through at the same time you are... just holler..

Quote:

Ashley Carter wrote: (Post 237749)
I'm new too if you ever want to chat. I've only been training for 5 months or so.

Awesome! Thanks guys!

Kevin Leavitt 08-16-2009 02:33 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
It is cool to see guys new to the art kinda hook up here. It is good I think to talk amongst each other as folks that have been doing this for a while kinda forget what it is like to be new sometimes!

Problem is "new" is realitive...it can be 5 months, 5 years, or even 10 years! LOL!

sammywhip 08-16-2009 03:07 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 237775)
It is cool to see guys new to the art kinda hook up here. It is good I think to talk amongst each other as folks that have been doing this for a while kinda forget what it is like to be new sometimes!

Problem is "new" is realitive...it can be 5 months, 5 years, or even 10 years! LOL!

It's exciting to meet people that are really into the art. It seems so cool, and at times it looks beautiful. I also like the fact that people seem focused on learning, and not so much about a black belt, which is a huge problem in other arts. The reason I desire a black belt is simply to wear hakama haha. But, I'm in no rush. :)

Suru 08-16-2009 03:53 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Sammy Gray wrote: (Post 237776)
It's exciting to meet people that are really into the art. It seems so cool, and at times it looks beautiful. I also like the fact that people seem focused on learning, and not so much about a black belt, which is a huge problem in other arts. The reason I desire a black belt is simply to wear hakama haha. But, I'm in no rush. :)

The hakama upon 6th kyu (your first test) is great to feel and wear. Waiting until black belt, which seems the case in your dojo, actually has its benefits too. It is easier for your sensei to see your leg action with dogi pants and no hakama. This can be helpful, especially early on. Otherwise the sensei must look at your feet to understand your leg stance, which can be more difficult. You've got to size up your fellow Aikidoka, and find one or two who seem generous and genuine. Odds are, that will not be the case with every single one of your sempai. The guys or girls you pick out should be more than happy to, even gain enjoyment from, helping you out. Each of your sempai will probably help you out, actually, but there might be one of them you want to sort of keep at bay and not become good friends with off the bat. If you happen to become friends later, that's great, but I recommend sticking with your intuition at first.

Drew

ninjaqutie 08-16-2009 04:50 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
No hakama here until shodan, but sensei said he does make exceptions for a select few who are 1st kyu to wear a hakama :)

sammywhip 08-16-2009 07:03 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
I actually haven't started training at the dojo I'll be training in haha. I checked out about it when I was at orientation earlier in the summer, and I'll be starting after I move in for college on the 24th. :D

Shadowfax 08-16-2009 08:29 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Sammy Ive been training at our dojo since just the beginning of June. Will be testing for Rokyu shortly. I'm told that after Rokyu we can wear a hakima but I figure to wait a bit longer, LOL I have enough issues with foot work without fighting with that one. I'll be happy to wear one when I can make it look as good as my sempi and senseis do. ;)

We have a great group of people who are all very generous in helping new people to learn. I'm sure you will fit right in and enjoy our classes as much as I do.

The website does indeed have a listing of etiquette and such for the dojo.

sammywhip 08-16-2009 08:32 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Cherie Cornmesser wrote: (Post 237795)
Sammy Ive been training at our dojo since just the beginning of June. Will be testing for Rokyu shortly. I'm told that after Rokyu we can wear a hakima but I figure to wait a bit longer, LOL I have enough issues with foot work without fighting with that one. I'll be happy to wear one when I can make it look as good as my sempi and senseis do. ;)

We have a great group of people who are all very generous in helping new people to learn. I'm sure you will fit right in and enjoy our classes as much as I do.

The website does indeed have a listing of etiquette and such for the dojo.

Awesome! I can't wait to get there. I'm chomping at the bit! Sorry, my mom has a horse, my girlfriend rides, and I saw you are a horse trainer, I couldn't resist...

Shadowfax 08-16-2009 08:49 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
LOL Horses actually led me to Aikido in a kind of weird sort of round about way.

Yeah we will be happy to have you with us I'm sure. :)

sammywhip 08-16-2009 08:50 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Cherie Cornmesser wrote: (Post 237798)
LOL Horses actually led me to Aikido in a kind of weird sort of round about way.

Yeah we will be happy to have you with us I'm sure. :)

Victory! :D

ninjaqutie 08-16-2009 09:06 PM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Cherie Cornmesser wrote: (Post 237795)
Sammy Ive been training at our dojo since just the beginning of June. Will be testing for Rokyu shortly.

Good for you testing so soon! I started in March and I haven't tested yet. Not sure if I will test for 5h kyu or if I will test for a higher level later... sensei is still debating about it. Good luck and keep us updated. :D

Shadowfax 08-17-2009 06:33 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

Ashley Carter wrote: (Post 237800)
Good for you testing so soon! I started in March and I haven't tested yet. Not sure if I will test for 5h kyu or if I will test for a higher level later... sensei is still debating about it. Good luck and keep us updated. :D

Thanks. I've put a whole lot of hours in at the dojo lately due to the seminar and having Heiney Sensei at the dojo for almost two weeks, we shall see if it pays off. I think my riding background gave me a slight edge on learning but I still have a lot to iron out before I actually test. Probably wont be for at least another month.;) If I could I'd train 3-4 days a week. Not because I'm in any hurry to attain rank but simply because I enjoy it so much.

John Matsushima 08-17-2009 06:56 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Be ready for pain....and lots of it.

Shadowfax 08-17-2009 07:06 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

John Matsushima wrote: (Post 237837)
Be ready for pain....and lots of it.

Oh so very true. :D Good thing I kinda like pain. It reminds me I'm still breathing.:p My first month in Aikido I seriously wondered, some days, if it would ever stop hurting.

SmilingNage 08-17-2009 07:32 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Expect alot of mild scrapes on your toes and the tops of your feet as you learn the mat is your friend. Those areas tend to be softer and not used to alot of contact with course materials

Expect your backside and gluts to ache as you will be using them alot.

You arent holding anyone back, so seek your senior students. Aikido practice is a learning experience for both partners regardless of rank differences.

Lyle Bogin 08-17-2009 07:44 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Be ready to accept what seems counter intuitive.

Linda Eskin 08-17-2009 08:50 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Hi Sammy, & welcome!
Another horsey Aikido newbie here. :) I've been riding (not particularly well) for years, and doing Aikido since May. It was Mark Rashid's book "Horsemanship Through Life" that brought me to the dojo. You might want to read it. It has a lot of insightful observations on what it feels like to be a complete beginner in Aikido.
Cheers,
Linda

lbb 08-17-2009 09:24 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
Quote:

William Oakes wrote: (Post 237845)
Expect alot of mild scrapes on your toes and the tops of your feet as you learn the mat is your friend. Those areas tend to be softer and not used to alot of contact with course materials

While the tops of your feet do come into contact with the mat during seiza, they're not supposed to be moving across it so as to create scrapes. If they are, that's a sign that something isn't right.

To OP, I would say:

- Forget the "grabs" you learned in karate. This is a different style. Don't try to use karate techniques in your aikido class, and don't talk about how you have such-and-such rank in karate. Be a beginner.

- Be patient. The basic techniques of aikido take more practice to be able to execute effectively than the basic techniques of karate. Do what you're taught, don't try to modify techniques, just keep trying to do it the way you've been shown. It will come eventually, but you need to be patient.

- Be prepared to be sore as hell after your first class. Karate, properly practiced, strengthens the core, but it doesn't challenge core strength on day one the way that aikido does.

Have fun,

Shadowfax 08-17-2009 09:33 AM

Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?
 
I have callous build ups on my toe knuckles. Had one minor case of mat burn on one foot a while back that I'm pretty sure occurred while doing a seated Kokyu ho. No biggie.

We have one fellow in class who started when I did and who has a pretty solid karate background. From what I've observed it hinders a lot more than helps him in his learning aikido... although I must confess I really admire how well he can take Ukemi. I must say I have a blast training with him, he is as much a beginner as I am and he carries that attitude.


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