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Dave Curran 05-10-2001 06:43 AM

Short Intro and question.. newbie!
Firstly, hi all.. just registered, and I'm about to begin Aikido.

I'm 22 and am planning on going to my first class on Monday at my local Dojo and am interested on other peoples thoughts and tips for what will happen. I've been told best thing to wear is tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, any particular footwear recommended for off the mat?

I've read the beginners guide at which has a lot of useful info, and finally found a site describing how to sit seiza(!) with other basic information, but does anyone have any personal tips or thoughts for a complete newbie, what to expect, terms etc? Are there places to change generally, should I bother taking any clothes to change into or just wear the jogging trousers / tshirt there and back.. excuse my ignorance.

Thanks in advance, wish me luck ;)

CraigJamieson 05-10-2001 01:14 PM

Just Enjoy it
Dont worry so much. Im sure your future sensei would be happy just to get a new member, likewise his students. Just go along and enjoy the class. One thing that will help, if sensei asks for a volunteer, get up there! it might be a good thing!!!And youll get to feel your senseis aikido first hand.
Hope you keep practising!!!!

Shipley 05-10-2001 01:14 PM

Hi Dave,

Footwear in the dojo is usually optional. You take off your shoes just as you come in the door at most dojos, then some people like to have a pair of sandals that they wear when off of the mat, and others (like me) just tramp around barefoot. There's almost always a place to change, and it is generally not a great thing to wear your training clothes outside anyways as it brings dirt into the dojo. You probably won't be training long before you are wearing a gi anyhow. The sweat pants are a must to keep you from getting raw spots on your knees.

Some things to expect first off.

1. You probably won't have a clue what everybody is doing for the first couple of classes, just follow along as best you can with the bowing in and such. This is especially true if the new class doesn't all start at the same time so you would be training with people ranging from zero to three months of experience.

2. For most people, seiza is something that you get used to over time. It really does get more comfortable after a while.

3. When in doubt, bow. Works for lots of situations ;).

Hope you have a great time starting your aikido training!

Best of luck,


guest1234 05-10-2001 03:28 PM

if it's a rather formal place with a lot or rules, then there will undoubtedly be a senior student assigned to show you the ropes when you arrive. If it's a more relaxed kind of place, and no one offers to show you some basics you can always ask anyone you see...but i wouldn't sweat not knowing in a place that relaxed (if they thought it was REALLY important, someone would tell you). If you are training with someone and there's a fall involved that you don't know how to do, tell them BEFORE they throw you (they might not know you are new).
Have fun!

Daniel Trottier 05-11-2001 10:25 AM

I just started AIKIDO myself and this is something that might help you. When observing a tehchnique do not just look at the execution of the attack (I know I am using the wrong terminology...I just started myslef). Also look at the way the fall is executed (this will help you on the first day). I was mostly concentrating on the hand movements and forgot to observe the foot work.
Another thing:
Expect to be completely lost its normal!

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