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Old 09-15-2002, 06:33 PM   #1
Emily Acomb
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2
Question New Comer

I had never thought about martial arts until now. A friend opened my eyes to it just recently and I became very interested in wanting to try it out. I'm unsure if Aikido is the way I should go. I do not have that much coordination and I lack confidence in myself in so many ways. I do know that I need to get involved in something to help build my mind and body strength. Would Aikiko be something that would help me in those areas or should I try something else? I have no physical outlet and need one very badly. Also, do you have to have great hand-eye coordination to do this?
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Old 09-15-2002, 06:37 PM   #2
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794

Hi Emily,

When I started aikido, not only did I have two left feet, but I fell on my face getting onto the mat! Aikido is something that can take a lifetime to learn. If you are not particularly coordinated, don't worry about it. With time and practice, you will become more so. Aikido offers so much! I wouldn't worry about coordination at this point, and self confidence, hopefully, will come with practice.

Best wishes on this venture! Of course, I almost alway throw a vote towards practicing aikido.

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Old 09-15-2002, 07:41 PM   #3
PhilJ's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Bukou
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 240
Emily, you should have seen me when I first started. MAN, I was a nutcase. Just some dumb, loudmouth, unathletic college student with an affliction for vodka. Now, I don't drink and I graduated college.

Aikido doesn't require any athletics or coordination to start. In fact, we often see that the really strong people have a harder time grasping aikido at first. Your coordination will grow with time and honest practice.

You'll get more than you bargain for in a good aikido class. You'll learn how we apply our techniques to help daily life, and learn more about yourself -- this will aid your growth in self-esteem (I have a similar issue). You'll come to learn that the way you are is the best way to be, and self-confidence will build.

You've come to the right place for an aikido recommendation. Before you start, see if you can watch a class or two before paying money. This is a great way to see if you'd be comfortable in the class -- comfort is important I think for new students. At Bukou we try to be as warm (and realistic) as possible, because a new martial art can be spooky!

Anyway, good luck! There is a wealth of knowledge on this site, not counting the numerous people who post their thoughts and experiences. Let us know how it goes, and say hello on the boards to keep us posted.

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
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Old 09-16-2002, 04:20 AM   #4
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erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594
Dear Emily,

welcome on the Aikiweb.

Many different people started and do aikido for many different reasons. Wanting to build mind and body strength is also one out of this multitude of reasons.

A lot of the fysical qualities people associate with martial arts are learned by doing a martial art, they are most of the time not starting conditions! So dont worry to much about lack of coordination, lack of confidence or lack of hand eye coordination.

IME almost anyone can practise aikido. I have trained with nearly blind people, people missing an arm and even with some spastic people. Its cooperative manner of training and the virtual lack of egobuilding compitition make it the ideal place for people to train and grow at their own pase.

Still in the end it all comes down to the question: Do you think aikido fun? Best way to find out is to go to the dojo and try it (Most places offer the possibility to try it one or two times).

Good luck.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
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Old 09-16-2002, 09:29 AM   #5
Steve Bland
Dojo: Milton Keynes Sei-Shin
Location: Milton Keynes
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4


As someone who has started Aikido recently, I had may of the same concerns initially.

I was dragged along by a friend who had decided to start Aikido, and although I liked the idea in theory, I wassure that it wasnt for me.

I havent done anything physical for a very long time, im not in great shape, and my gross physical co-ordination isnt too good.

Two months later, im completely hooked and trying to shift my commitments so i can train more than two nights a week. I never honestly thought I would be, having never done anything like this before.

I would have to add my voice to the other replies saying try it
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Old 09-16-2002, 08:36 PM   #6
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,031

Good to see you training at my old dojo back home. Stick with it, Ray, Tim and Keith are great folks to train with, I was with them for 9 years + before coming to Japan.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-17-2002, 04:45 AM   #7
Creature_of_the_id's Avatar
Dojo: Alnwick aikido club (UKAU)
Location: Newcastle, England
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 217
Hi Emily,

Aikido would be great for all of those things. I say, go watch a few classes, pick a dojo and an instructor that you like and join up. Give it 3 months and you will be very proud of yourself and what you have achieved.

Even the most co-ordinated people can get on the mat for the first time and find themselves at a complete loss of co-ordination. So, you wont be alone in that (and its kind of expected from begginers).

By 3 months your mind should have adjusted to the new movements and your co-ordination will improve.

But, your first few lessons can be very awkward and very frustrating because your arms and legs wont go where you want them to.

Just stick with it and give it a fair go.

I think one of the other main benifits of aikido is that it is social. Techniques are done with a partner and you are interacting with others physically and verbally through the majority of the class.

This interaction has a definate effect on a students confidence in themseves, as they have all of a sudden found a community to be a part of with people. These people are willing to trust the student to apply techniques and not hurt them, and vice versa.

anyway, I talk too much...

You can get out of aikido all of what you want, and a great deal more if you are willing to invest yourself in it.

I find that the biggest hurdle for most people is to get the confidence to step on the mat for the first time. Just go for it

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Old 09-19-2002, 12:23 PM   #8
Emily Acomb
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2
Thank you Rachel, Phillip, Erik, Steve, Kev and my personal friend Jonathan for your great responses and encourangement. I feel much better about it now and cannot wait to get started - wish me luck!!! I'll let you know what happens once I actually get out there and try it.
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