Originally posted by Carl Simard
If you're new at the dojo, here's two small hints that can help:
1) Place yourself at the end of the line at the beginning of the class. As in karate, people usually line up in ranked order, from beginner to the more advanced students, even if there's no "belt system" in aikido. Placing yourself at the wrong place may made some people think mistakenly that you're more advanced than you really are and applied techniques in a tougher way, since they think you know how to fall or correctly accept the technique... It happens to me one time. I was practising at a new dojo and, after some classes, was practising with a guy that was always in line with the 4th kyu guys, just before the 3td kyus. So I supposed that he was actually at least 4th kyu but he wasn't... He was a beginner and bang his his head heavyly on the mat when falling (actually it was really "falling", not "taking a fall") from a shio nage and hurt himself...
2) Learn rapidly to "tap" on the mat (or on the partner) when feeling pain. For the partner, it's the sign that he should stop because you're feeling pain. By not tapping, he may think that you don't feel pain and actually try to increase the pressure by thinking he doesn't doing it right... After some classes, this will become a reflex...
Thanks for the tip. I definitly don't want to be mistaken for a more advanced student so I will make sure I know where to stand. It took me a while to learn to tap out in karate, we did submission holds on occasion, but I got it down pat after I yelped one time instead of tapping. Everyone except me thought it was funny. I thought it was embarrassing
Hopefully That habit will be easy to get back into.