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Old 10-11-2010, 07:50 PM   #26
Lyle Laizure
Lyle Laizure's Avatar
Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 563
Re: New dojo/new student

If there are students in class of course you have an uke to demonstrate with. Just take your time and it will work itself out.

Lyle Laizure
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:14 PM   #27
Andrew Macdonald
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 126
Re: New dojo/new student

I remember when i started a new dojo in a different style.

Lots of fun and very exciting. i think that i would be use ful to find out what your new students think aikido is. they may have checked some website and seen alot of different representations.

I think when i started aikido one thing that i really enjoyed learning was the basic breakfall, and then using that break fall to come out of a technique safely.

I think you are going to have a great workout yourself being uke for all your new students
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:43 AM   #28
Insane Duane
Insane Duane's Avatar
Dojo: TenShin Budo Kai
Location: Washington
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 31
Re: New dojo/new student

I'm a Nidan in Aikido. I'm the one that usually has to show the newbie's the ropes so to speak. I've found that they can get bored and lose their interest really quickly (especially when they are young) so the first thing I do is show them how certain locks feel when applied correctly. I'm sensitive now to know how much pressure/torque to apply to get their attention but not make them scared. This usually perks their interest and shows them that these techniques are real. I then allow them to feel how little movement it takes to go from "I kind of feel it" to "Oh $hit". As we all know, it doesn't take much. This will (hopefully) instill the idea of control. After that I then go into the basics: movements, stances, strikes, ukeme, etc.

I wish you success and may you help shape the next generation of Aikidoka!

One last thing, I like to tell them stories of how I survived a couple dirt bike accidents with barely a scratch thanks to my ukeme skills. On one of these occasions I flew about 25 feet and laded on my back (ushiro sutemi). It happened in slow motion and I remained calm and relaxed and after-wards it gave me a giddy feeling.

Last edited by Insane Duane : 02-04-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:18 PM   #29
Dan Rubin
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Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 369
Re: New dojo/new student


In my opinion 2 hours is too much for a first class. Your students will come to you with varying degrees of curiosity. They should leave class feeling physically refreshed and with their curiosity piqued, not exhausted and thinking "I've got the idea, now on to the kung fu school down the street."

Congratulations on opening your own dojo. Be sure to let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:11 AM   #30
Dojo: Kokikai Aikido Boston
Location: Boston
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 121
Re: New dojo/new student

When I opened my dojo is was really interesting, having to show students such basics as how to line up and how to bow! I really had to think about these things. Also, just explaining the ki development exercises we always do at the start of class was a challenge. Also, since they are all beginners then it is not possible to pair someone up with a more experienced person so I was always running back and forth to help the newbie pairs. Putting a website out there helped tremendously finding new students. Now that the dojo is more established I realize what a commitment I made. I never really thought how things would be beyond getting it started. There are always different challenges and that makes it so interesting. This is the 4th year now. As for the first class I like to teach katate te tori shiho nage tenkan on the first class. Breaking the technique down is useful. Then I can describe mirror hamni and why it is useful. Choke is another good one, or shoulder grab ikkyo. I am thinking of practical things they could use if this was their first and last class. Surely things will not be quite like you thought they'd be, students will present different challenges and you will respond to them. I would focus on selling the students on what they can get out of the style and ask them what brought them to your door. I do like to have new students fill out a waiver and information form when they start. Most of all I recommend focusing on your own development. If you become better they will become better also.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:26 PM   #31
Dojo: Aikido of Park Slope/NY Aikikai
Location: NYC
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 106
Re: New dojo/new student

my sensei suggested the 1st lesson we teach should be just rolling back (not full backroll) from sitting and coming back up, very gentle and slow at first, until we determine their level of physicality. Then how to go down to do the same thing from standing, then Tai no henko, and then katatetori shihonage, and especially the ukemi from shihonage, with the ukemi utilizing the skills they were practicing.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:22 AM   #32
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,192
Re: New dojo/new student

Toby Kasavan wrote: View Post
my sensei suggested the 1st lesson we teach should be just rolling back (not full backroll) from sitting and coming back up, very gentle and slow at first, until we determine their level of physicality. Then how to go down to do the same thing from standing, then Tai no henko, and then katatetori shihonage, and especially the ukemi from shihonage, with the ukemi utilizing the skills they were practicing.
I like this progression, and particularly the use of rolling back from sitting both as an assessment tool for the instructor, and a way of getting the students to understand the mechanics of that part of the roll. If you start from standing, as most dojos do, a new student may manage the early part of a backwards fall (getting the foot placed correctly, bending the knee to lower the body), but after that things tend to fall apart -- right at the point where it's most crucial to have the correct mechanics to avoid injury. If you start by teaching the mechanics of what happens after the hip makes contact with the mat, and students have a chance to become comfortable with that, you have a much better chance that they'll be able to do this when they try to fall from standing.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:31 PM   #33
Dojo: Aiklikai of Philadelphia
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 92
Re: New dojo/new student

Rick Stickles Shihan said, "Always end on an easy technique so that students leave feeling successful."" kokyu doa, kosa dori ikkyo, morotedori kokyu ho etc.

I personally do like students to do much or any falling in their first class. Having them practice backfall is good but back roll and front roll can freak some people out.

I also would look at things like the new 6th kyu requirements at USAF and similar things from other federations. Since those are the basics it can't hurt to introduce several of those plus one or two soft fall techniques.

finally I would ask you to consider introducing weapons. Things like suri ashi and kaiten are instantly obvious with a bokken.

best of luck
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:14 AM   #34
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 688
Re: New dojo/new student

About one year after your questions, how did it go?

Did you open the new dojo?
Did your Shihan help?
How many students have you got?
What is your focus of teaching?

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Old 02-10-2012, 04:29 PM   #35
TheAikidoka's Avatar
Dojo: Tenshinkan Dojo UK - mid sussex martial arts school
Location: Brighton
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 127
Re: New dojo/new student

About one year after your questions, how did it go?

Did you open the new dojo?
Did your Shihan help?
How many students have you got?
What is your focus of teaching?


Well, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the recession hit and 6 months after opening I had to close the dojo due to only having 3 students.

So I didnt crumble, I gave it a month, and started looking for somewhere else to train. I stumbled upon a dojo in the heart mid Sussex. The dojo head is Roger Payne Kyoshi & Daihyo (official representative) of the Dai Nippon Butokukai (society of martial virtue) from japan. Sensei has graciously asked me to teach the Sunday Aikido weapons class, and now Ive now started teaching to juniors just last week.

So I started with gentle warm ups, for a bout 15min, then I spoke about the aims of Aikido, and built upon the principle of not causing you attacker harm, but to still have total control, and we achieve this through body movement, I introduced Tai sabaki at this point.

We moved on to simple forward roles. The first technique I introduced was ikkyo omote, leaning on the principle already learned of, body movement to control your attacker, and not strength and aggression.
We practiced also Ikkyo Ura. After they got the general idea, I added the idea of letting them go after you enter forwards from ikkyo omote, to help uke to learn forward breakfalls. We ended with suwari waza Kokyu dosa.

Although I had to close my own dojo, i fell i have gained an immeasurable amount more by becoming a member of the mid sussex martial arts school.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #36
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
Re: New dojo/new student

Thank you for the update! Glad you have found a happy new home dojo,

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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