New to Aikido
Before I get to the meat of this post I'll give a little bit of my background. I was at an MMA school for about 6 months learning the basics of boxing, kick boxing, BJJ, and the like. I've basically was there long enough to get a basic foundation of those styles, but not much beyond that. I recently picked up the SCA for the sword fighting, and I've been having fun with that. The best guy in our group also studies Aikido, which is how I ended up checking it out.
I went to my first class yesterday and had a blast. It mirrors BJJ a lot in how it works, and it seems like the combination of the two arts would be pretty awesome. The dojo is also excited for me being there, as they want to spar with someone with an MMA background considering that, apparently, Aikido gets a lot of flak from the MMA community, so they would like to train with someone who uses it to improve. I'm also short, and I'm quite happy that being short is a GOOD thing for Aikido. For once I'm not at a disadvantage for being 5'6" in a martial art.
In any case, what would you guys recommend a Aikido newb to do? By that I mean are there any exercises, stretches, drills/katas, and stuff like that I could train on my own outside of classes? I'm basically getting back into my old MMA groove and starting back with my conditioning training, so I figure it would be good to append Aikido stuff to my routine as well.