I recent read a flyer at my local Y center about an Aikido class, and was immediately interested in what Aikido is all about.
During the past two weeks I have scoured the Internet for information about the Aikido, and also finaly have a chance to visit a class tonight.
What intrigued me about Aikido is its non-violent approach to self-defense, and its spiritualitly.
What has me confused is who can I trust to be a good sensei? My head is swimming with what not to do, what kind of sensei and dojo to check out, am I too old (39) to start, etc, etc.
I am not in this to learn how to throw people or put on a show. I am looking for something that will help me discipline, self-worth and well being.
Thanks for your time.
You are never to old to start Aikido. I recommend visiting several Aikido Dojo and asking a lot of questions. Don't just talk to the Sensei, talk to the students. Ask the students their reasons for studying Aikido (this will often give you a clue as to what kind of instruction they are receiving). When you talk to the Sensei, don't be afraid to ask him / her who they trained with and how long they have been teaching Aikido. Ask the Sensei what organizations the dojo belongs to and if their dojo is affiliated with Aikido Headquarters in Japan. When I first began Aikido I was limited to where I could train (there was only one Aikido Dojo within 60 miles), I was very fortunate though because the Dojo turned out to be an excellent place to train. I didn't realize how wonderful my Dojo was until I started visiting other Dojo and began to understand the differences between good Sensei and not so good Sensei. As a beginner it may be difficult for you to distinguish between good and not so good Aikido Sensei, that is why I recommend you visit as many Aikido Dojo as you can. By asking questions and visiting several Aikido Dojo, you shoud be able to make a good decision on where to begin your training. Good luck in your efforts.
Without a doubt sit in on the classes. that will give you a good feeling about the style of teaching and and the overall feeling of the practice. i would recommend a book to u . try the Aikido student handbook by Greg O'Connor. it will really help you break the ice and give you some sound advice and some background on Aikido and some dojo etiquette.
it should help some. good luck
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