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Old 08-16-2009, 03:53 PM   #10
Location: Miami, FL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 453
Re: What should I be prepared for when starting?

Sammy Gray wrote: View Post
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.

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