Re: What would you say to a new student?
how about something like:
Please be patient with yourself and with us. If you've been highly skilled in another activity such as a different martial art or a sport, it helps to remember that you took a while to develop that level of skill. You may not have realized when you were starting that you weren't automatically as skilled as you are now. It takes most people several years to acquire the skills displayed by the senior members of any dojo. You may be faster than most, average, or slower than most, but we are delighted to have you with us, so we can share our learning with you.
As well, discuss how aikido can have some dangerous movements, and how senior members have the responsibility to help newbies learn safely. We don't want to cause injuries to the people we train with, because if they're hurt we can't train with them. you'll be exploring the limits of your range of motion in several joints in your arms. Sometimes this can be painful. Because you're new and you may not have experienced these movements (such as "nikkyo" or the "second technique" please note that it takes very little force to be very effective, and it is important that you a) submit (by tapping the mat, for example) before it gets very painful when you are having a technique applied to you, b) move slowly (initially) when applying the technique on others so that you can stop when they "tap out". If you are patient, and learn well with slower movement at the start, you can speed up later after you've learned the "correct" way to move.
or something like that....