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Old 11-10-2009, 12:29 PM   #26
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Dojo: Jiki Shin Kan Utrecht
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

From the October column by Lynn Seiser:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16990

"Perhaps it's the respect for the courage it takes to just train. Martial arts is not an easy road to travel. It's filled with sore muscles, ice packs, and Tiger Balm. When I lived out in California I participated in several endurance events and was always impressed by the respect and appreciation the elite athletes gave us "back of the packers". They seemed to know the hours we all spent alone on the road to pay for the privilege to line up on the same line and finish on the same line (though hours later). Anyone who signs up, shows up, dresses out, and bows in gets my respect. They are no longer a spectator but an active participant in life."

This is how I feel about training with beginners as well. There are lots of people who never even dare to step on the mat. If you do, you deserve to be there!

In my experience, people who don't want to practice with beginners at a seminar will just simply try to bow to other advanced people. For the sake of your own training, do try to grab a few yudansha as well, be proactive about that. There will be plenty of people who'll be happy to train with you, and those who don't, maybe they just need to work on their own stuff this time. If they're experienced enough they'll manage to grab enough advanced partners during the course of the seminar, you won't have to worry about setting them back if they train with you once or twice.

In short, go attend, try to train with as many people as you can, and it will all sort itself out in the end.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:54 PM   #27
BWells
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Location: Concord, California
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

ATTEND! If your dojo is like ours, your sensei will probably be teaching off of what he got in the seminar for the next week or so, and attending will give you a head start.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:32 PM   #28
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

GO!!!

I attended my first mini seminar... incidentally with Heiney Sensei...After only 2 months of training, and got a lot out of it. All of my partners were terrific as was Mary.

I just attended my first full seminar ( Ikeda Sensei) last month after only 5 months of training. I am so glad I went. Yeah it was a lot to take in but so worth it. And those other more experienced students really seemed happy to work with me.

Last edited by Shadowfax : 11-10-2009 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:29 PM   #29
chillzATL
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

Quote:
Dainius Sileika wrote: View Post
I agree. I would draw the line at total beginners that can't roll yet, but as long as you can roll, I think you're ok to attend. Usually it's too crowded to take breakfalls anyway...
This would be my only concern. If someone can't fall properly, a seminar is likely going to be somewhat wasted on them. Otherwise a seminar is a great environment as they will be exposed to a wide variety of size/strength/experience and that will only help them.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #30
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

At the seminar with Ikeda there was almost no falling at all. Way too crowded. I got thrown more by Ikeda himself than by all of my partners combined over those 6 hours of training.

At Mary Heiney's... well she likes to see people rolling around I hear. Lots of falls. But I worked with a partner there that was not able to take falls at all and it certainly was not a problem. And toward the end of the day I was pretty tired and I stopped taking them. I still learned a lot.

Talking to your Sensei will give you the best answer.He knows your abilities. But if he says you should go then you definitely should go.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:02 PM   #31
danielab1924
Dojo: Aikido of Diablo Valley, Concord, CA
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

ok seeing as this question was posted up almost 6 years ago, I'm going to respond anyway for the hell of it. I think its good for beginners that recognize the basics of aikido to attend a seminar ie, hamni, tai no henko, etc. As long as you're not bothered by being talked down to to the highest degree by students that are higher in rank than you, you should have a lot of fun and definitely benefit.

falling up an escalator takes TRUE clumsy talent
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:17 PM   #32
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

yeah its an old thread. Should have been a new one started, but since it wasn't and someone needed some support....

Its a good thread, worth reviving.

I must be really really lucky. All of those I have had the privilege to train with that were higher rank than me have treated me very well, in fact in several cases I could feel that they were actually happy to be able to work with me and help me learn. I'm sure it will happen some time but so far I have really never been talked down to or made to feel inferior in any way but those of higher rank.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:34 PM   #33
Abasan
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

I took part in my first seminar, a BAB sponsored one after my 4th lesson or so. Needless to say I was whiter than white and greener than green.

But to this day I remember that seminar and the huge confidence boost it gave me. I met some brilliant fellows there who didn't mind taking a newbie under their wing. One guy just had me become nage for kotegaishe when I confessed not knowing anything at all. And pretty soon I was like throwing him around like a rag doll...(or so I thought a the time).

You should delve into the unknown because it is the nature of man to explore space and the final frontier...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:10 PM   #34
Garth Jones
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

David,

Four months is plenty! Mary Heiny is an amazing teacher not to be missed and you will definitely learn a bunch. If you were in my dojo I would strongly, strongly encourage you to come.

Cheers,
Garth
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #35
JO
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

Four months is twice the experience I had at my first seminar. The seminar in question is an annual one that I have only missed once over the last 10 years. I figure that first one helped me get off to a good start.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:31 AM   #36
MattMiddleton
 
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

Quote:
David Board wrote: View Post
After reading, this thread I feel encouraged to ask my sensei if I am ready to attend my first seminar. It would be with Mary Heiny. Who is visiting our Dojo next week. It seems that it would be a rare chance to learn from someone that trained with O'sensei.

However, I'm fairly nervous. I feel that I might detract from other participants ability to fully engage in the seminar when paired with me. I've been training for 4 months and am comfortable, not skilled but comfortable, with forward and back rolls (no break falls gotta roll before you can fly). I am sure that I will learn a ton. However, I have reservations that my presence will detract from older more experience students learning. While I'm comfortable with a handful of techniques most are confusing at best and some will be completely new. When I practice these techniques I still often find myself pausing and having to recall what is next. In class, I find other students paired with me focused on teaching me and not on their own technique. This seems unfair to ask in a seminar.
Does anyone have suggestions? Am I ready to attend a seminar (my Sensei is a better person to ask and I will today)? But more importantly how do I make sure that my presence doesn't interfere with another students learning?
GO GO GO GO GO!!!!

Sorry, I was just at a seminar with Mary Heiny Sensei, and she's awesome!
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #37
Victoria Pitt
Dojo: Shinjinkai, Chicago, IL
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

If you can afford it and your sensei says it's okay, GO. Sure, you'd get more out of it if you have been practicing for a bit that doesn't mean that you won't get anything out of it at all. It's great to be able to do technique with people who are not a part of your home dojo. I have not been training a year yet and I went to one about six weeks ago and I got a lot out of it.

~Do one thing each day that scares you...~
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:23 AM   #38
David Board
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

Everyone thank you for your encouragement. My apologies for dragging up a dead thread. I have signed up and my sensei thinks I will get a lot out of it.

I had no doubt I would but still have reservations that I might hold other students back when they get stuck with me but will take the suggestion to grab the more advanced students when I can (note to self, don't always grab the kind ones they always get stuck with you). Any suggestions on how a beginner should should take ukima with advanced students. I try to project an attack at the beginning but once things start rolling, I'm busy trying to learn from what their doing and not getting hurt. More often then not I'm along for the ride. Is there any words from the wise that would help my partner learn even from me, a beginner. I always learn some much from my uke (even the silent ones) that I feel I provide little in return as their uke.

Looking forward to a great seminar (busy aikido week, testing/demoing this week [new system in the dojo "testing" every month] and the seminar.)
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:32 PM   #39
Victoria Pitt
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

Quote:
David Board wrote: View Post
Everyone thank you for your encouragement. My apologies for dragging up a dead thread. I have signed up and my sensei thinks I will get a lot out of it.

I had no doubt I would but still have reservations that I might hold other students back when they get stuck with me but will take the suggestion to grab the more advanced students when I can (note to self, don't always grab the kind ones they always get stuck with you). Any suggestions on how a beginner should should take ukima with advanced students. I try to project an attack at the beginning but once things start rolling, I'm busy trying to learn from what their doing and not getting hurt. More often then not I'm along for the ride. Is there any words from the wise that would help my partner learn even from me, a beginner. I always learn some much from my uke (even the silent ones) that I feel I provide little in return as their uke.

Looking forward to a great seminar (busy aikido week, testing/demoing this week [new system in the dojo "testing" every month] and the seminar.)
Just let the person with whom you are practicing with know that you are new. You can do atemi as hard as you think your partner can take it (meaning if you are with a yudansha then don't be shy, but if you aren't sure, with another white belt, ask them how hard you should go). By telling your partner that you are new, they can still perform technique on you but not throw you into a crazy breakfall that you may not be ready for yet. They will still get the idea of the technique- the technique is the same if you go fast or if you go slow, that doesn't change- but they can temper the speed/force to accommodate you. Also, it does help people who are more senior as that slowing down helps them to notice little mistakes that they have been making because they usually go so fast.

Just my two cents from an "unranked" newbie.

~Do one thing each day that scares you...~
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:13 AM   #40
alexmasters
 
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Re: Seminars- OK for Beginners?

Absolutely visit some seminars, what better way to soak up so much knowledge.

So if you're a beginner thinking of attending one, go for it, yes it might cost you money and you might think it's not worth it if you're not taking part, but that's not the case.

I find watching lessons can almost always teach me as much, if not more about Aikido than physically taking part.

Watching others make mistakes seems to help me no end. You see what they did wrong and you see HOW they did it wrong, which validates everything that you do right! It makes me itch to be on the mat and try things out myself. A great source of inspiration if you're not feeling very confident in your abilities of late.

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