Re: Is two Days a week enough?
Aside from all the friendly opinions bestowed above. The truth is that any training is good enough in the begining and its important that you enjoy your training and get the quality of training not the quantity. Aikido is a complex and endless art to learn and it will take the rest of your life, training never stops, and as some fellows have said previously... it should be a way of life to get any real benefit from it. But as O'sensei said....dont be be in a hurry as takes a minimum of 10 years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Plus if all you accumulate while attending every class under the sun is a multitude of high quality techniques over the years then you still wont have learnt anything of any real value.
Understand this, aikido is an art that is designed to offer to transform your life, it is just an offer, you have to take up that offer, it is up to you how you train but like anything else you get back what you put in, but here im talking again about quality not quantity, you have to be willing to train in a productive way that will allow you to see the many benifits for yourself, this is what makes aikido a great martial art to learn.
Aikido ultimately is about inner and outer transformation, both spiritually and martial, but the outer techniques are nothing without proper inner development, this is the core of the art and the fertile ground for which your training and way of life will progress. It takes a very sincere and committed approach on your part to fully understand the principles for yourself, no one can show you these, it comes from inner knowing and understanding. So, as an eager fresh new student i would suggest to them that you set yourself a target of putting importance on learning about the "Hara" or "one point" and how to conduct your bodily function in such a way that you learn how to improve your posture, breathing, concentration and awareness, as these are the fundemental underlying principles that provides the foundation for your techniques in aikido and everyday life. This acts as a platform as how to proceed with your training and how you should conduct yourself as a whole and will act as the foundation of all your training throughout your life. Mastery of techniques will come with time and practice, but its the essence of whats behind the techniques that is important and a mark of the quality of your aikido.
So, in the begining, its important not to be in a hurry, take your time, look deep into the principles of aikido and look to train this way from the ground up. You can do this easily over time training once or twice a week at the dojo and progress faster by training yourself in inner development in your spare time and practicing how to move effectively ect, aikido is like learning to walk all over again, in every day activities try use every moment as an oppertunity to do this. Once you feel confident that you are starting to realise what this "centre" business is all about, you can put it behind your technique and feel it working for real, then as you begin to feel good at it, then you will want to train more and more and put the principles you have learned to use which makes aikido more interesting rather than just going through the motions.
When starting aikido, you will be overwhelmed by the amount of sheer learning involved and what it takes for you to get there. So the best thing to do is just take it slowly and easy and dont pressure yourself or alow yourself to become overwhelmed, learn it properly and go at your own pace and enjoy it. Dont get too excited, be patient and put sincere basic training in that you will enjoy, create a solid foundation that you can build from, then you can take it from there and you will want to train more and more as you progress!
O'Sensei when asked always said that the meaning of Aikido was "Masakastu Agatsu" (True victory is self victory), overcoming oneself (ego) in order to fully understand the way in its true light, this is the way to train.
Sensei Paul Love