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Old 11-24-2004, 08:44 PM   #8
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Re: Concepts for Beginners

You folks might be interested in commenting on this.

I did a class tonight where I had to take all the students aside and give a short lecture on learning to read. I got the idea after seeing how many people were asking about or commenting about how to learn Aikido. I had previously pointed out that I thought it was important to learn how to learn. Then, I realised I had never really explained that.

If you learn to read English through phonetics, you first learn how each letter sounds, then you use these building blocks to learn about groups of letters that make up particular common sounds. By the time you are an adult and have done some reading, you are able to recognize entire words in a single glance. But before you get to the point that you can recognize complete words, you first have to learn the building blocks built from building blocks that are built from more finite building blocks.

I pointed out to the students the reason we do the basic foot and hand movements as warmups for each class is that these are the most basic building blocks of all Aikido. Once you are able to view all techniques in terms of these building blocks, it becomes easier to watch an instructor do a technique and break it down in your head into the basic building blocks so that you can emulate the instructor. The real difference between higher an lower ranks is that the higher ranks have practiced these building blocks longer so they are able to bigger chunks of techniques and interpret what they see in bigger chunks, making it easier to emulate the instructor's one set of movements.

I went through a series of techniques and had the students describe the technique in terms of series of foot movements and series of arm movements and a series of hand grips. They said they were much more able to understand how to do a certain technique after learning how to break down the instructor's techniques into a series of basic techniques.

So, long story shortened. The most important concept for beginners is how to see things as a series of other more basic movements. Of course, then, that means they have to learn all the more basic movement. I guess that means the more basic movements are more important than this concept! Uhhhhh. Looks like I got myself into a logic loop. Oooops.

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