I am curious about what you mean by the first and second forms of aikido. Ikkyo, ikkajo, nikkyo, nikkajo? All can refer to different things between aikido and other Japanese aiki styles. Can you describe these forms and maybe tell us about your experience with aikido? Style and length of time training?
Hi Krystal, I have trained in Aikido for around 9 months now, I am a white belt and I have never taken a grading in Aikido, my training has been interrupted twice by surgeries for me and my daughter. My background is that I formerly trained in Krav Maga and I made the decision 9 months ago to leave Krav training and move to Aikido, it is a long story, but essentially I had become concerned that Krav training was changing my personality and Aikido came across my pathway and I began to study the philiosphies of O Sensei and it just clicked with me and I realised that Aikido was where I needed to be and its a decision I do not regret one bit to this day. I dont dislike Krav its just that the door for Krav has closed and I have moved on to Aikido.
That said I find Aikdo really difficult at times, it is very hard not to muscle through the techniques and to rely on strength rather than correct technique as a default position, my Sensei recognizes this and has put me onto "Tai Sabaki" with a broom handle and instructions about being "Centered" and this is really starting to help as I work on using that as the basis for the required forms.
In terms of the first grading they are looking for the first two forms, I gather that there are 20+ forms in Aikido, so this is grabs to the right hand and left hand if that makes any sense? The grabs are then repelled with Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, Techinage, Shionage, Kaitenage, Iriminage and Kotegashi (spelling is mine from memory) Gokyo is demonstrated but not taught at this level.
I find that the first set I can just about manage okay, but when I have to change arms I tend to get confused, yet I recognize that it is all about practice and I have seen some good improvements over the time that I have been there. The Dojo also teaches Atemi-Jujitsu as well as Aikido and students are generally graded in both. So practice nights will contain both Aikido training as well as time spent training in Atemi Jujitsu.