Re: Any suggested training dvd's for a beginner?
I agree that your instructor is the best referral source. However, I've found that the aikikai 5th kyu is pretty good, for the following reason:
1. It goes through basic rolls.
2. He talks about how important footwork and hand position are.
3. His terminology is easy to understand.
4. Here is where the concept of "positioning" and "opening" will be introduced to you.
I submit that while you can watch all DVD's you want, you will not learn technique from a DVD.
I respectfully suggest that you avoid the DVDs for now, until you get used to your instructor's language (how he explains the technique and the terms he uses (or she LOL). The best way to get confused is to try to learn from DVDs. They are informational and reference, when you have some context with which to understand
the information the DVD's provide.
You will learn from working with different training partners (of varied physical sizes), practice, practice and more practice. It's fun, when you discover the nuances of a technique and the way you perform it. I've also found that we all perform technique a wee-bit different, because we make adjustments for our body size, the training partner. Again, just my opinion based upon my experience and watching how my fellow dojo partners practice - not law by any means
BUT (LMAO)..Saito (IWAMA) is excellent, par none. Aikikai is easier to understand and integrates some saito movement (at least I think so).
I went on a bender one month and got Aikikai 1st - 3rd Volume, Morihiro Saito's lost seminars (two of them), Yoshikan volumes 1 - 3, Dr. Ah Li Loi, performing Shodokan Aikido. I love my collection, but it took me two years to really understand the differences between them.
I hope this helps a bit more....