Re: Books and DVD's for newbie's
I attended my first (mini) seminar after only a month of training and my second (full) after only 5 months of training at the encouragement of my teachers. Not only were these amazing and valuable experiences but I never once felt that I was not safe with the many different people I got to met and train with. I just made sure to let them know I was a beginner and they were very helpful and made sure to not go beyond my abilities in the ukemi department.
Never once felt as if anyone was unhappy to work with a greenie like me.
As for books.I tend to read more of the philosophical stuff both about aikido and martial arts in general. Most recently read "Be Like Water" by Joseph Cardillo. Really enjoyed it.
I avoid technique books. That I want to learn in the dojo not from a book. But a good technique book can come in handy when you are trying to remember what it was you did in class that day, in the beginning.