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Old 11-02-2004, 09:31 AM   #1
Stethomas
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Had my 1st ever Aikido lesson last night & it was great, im so glad ive finally done it. Everyone there was dead friendly & helpful. Im going next tomoz!
Does anyone have any useful tips or advise for a beginner! Think im gonna get an Aikido book too, dunno which one tho because there's so many.
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:38 AM   #2
Bronson
 
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Quote:
Stephen Thomas wrote:
Does anyone have any useful tips or advise for a beginner! Think im gonna get an Aikido book too, dunno which one tho because there's so many.
Wait on the book, or at least ask the sensei if there is one that he would recommend.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:47 AM   #3
Stethomas
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Thanks Bronson i will do. You seem like you know your stuff. Don't wanna rush this whole Aikido thing anyway, like everyone says (Just let it come naturally) which is what im gonna do;

Starting by only going twice a week for now!
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Old 11-02-2004, 05:31 PM   #4
aikidoka87
Dojo: Ken nin dojo Gainesville, Florida
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Congradulations on that man, I still remember my first class. Definitly ask your professor about which book he recomends.
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:47 PM   #5
Dan Gould
Dojo: Cilfynydd, Pontypridd
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Yeah, I remember my first class, too, like it was yesterday. Actually, as they say... it was the day before :-D

In it together mate, lol
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:22 PM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Relax, breath, and enjoy yourself. Welcome.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:09 AM   #7
DonnaQ
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

I started a month ago myself and what I would recommend is to simply do an extensive stretching session before you go to bed (on only Aikido or every night). It helps to relieve a lot of joint and muscle tensions especially in the spots you are not used to using.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:28 AM   #8
emceul
Dojo: Scoala de Ki Mircea Eliade
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

I also started a month ago ...
I would like to recommend "Ki in daily life" by Koichi Tohei...
You can ask your sensei if he finds it suitable for you.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:39 AM   #9
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

I second Donna`s advice. In my experience, lack of flexibility and strength cause a lot of problems for beginners. I also recommend any book in the library on any martial art, Japanese culture/history, exercise, psychology, etc. They all will help.

Charles Hill
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:24 AM   #10
Stethomas
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Thanks for all the replies & yea i can see how the stretching would help lol my shoulders & legs were killing the day after. As for the exersize im in the gym most days anyway so don't need to worry to much about that too much & yea when ive settled in i'll mention getting a book to my Sensei & see what he recommends. My next lesson tonight WOO HOO.
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Old 11-05-2004, 12:00 AM   #11
Olivia_S
Dojo: Aiki-Kai Australia, Launceston
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

My advice would be the following:
- do everything extremely slowly and carefully!
- don't try and do everything as fast as the more experienced students (or you will hurt yourself.. and I have!).
- practice (everything and) rolling - start as low to the ground as possible and get the hang of this before doing it as Uke (run out instead of rolling if you aren't confident)

I've only been learning for a few months but that's what I have picked up so far.
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Old 11-05-2004, 05:45 PM   #12
senseimike
 
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Don't go to class with any pre-determined expectations of what you are going to learn or retain that day. As my Sensei told me, and I tell my students.... bring an empty cup and let the Sensei fill your cup. Take that cup home and digest it slowly until next class. If your cup is half full, the information will spill out and make a mess, if you try to digest it too quickly or try to digest too much you may belch out the information you are trying to keep in.

Kind of a goofy way of looking at things, but it's my way of getting things across to my class.

Mike Taylor
Godan
Chief Instructor, Rising Star Aikido
South Bend, Nebraska, USA
www.risingstaraikido.com
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Old 11-05-2004, 05:56 PM   #13
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

You got a lot of good advices. I would just repeat Lynn's words and in addition: If you can't do something do not be confused, you will get it. Just relax and enjoy.
I would not hurry with a book. I've got one for myself when I started just for the names of techniques, but it was really unnecessary. Practice is the best source of knowledge.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:30 AM   #14
Adrian Moore
Dojo: Shinmei-Kan, London England
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

i'm pretty new but one thing i have found really helps is sitting in saiza (?) at home sometimes, just to get used to sitting like that as it can get painful when you're not used to it..
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:52 AM   #15
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Quote:
Stephen Thomas wrote:
.... Does anyone have any useful tips or advise for a beginner! .....
In addition to the fantastic advice everyone else has given, I would strongly recomend doing a little bit of stretching AFTER class, especially the aiki-taiso wrist stretches. I make a point of doing that especially if we do a lot of nikkyo, because I've felt it in my PECS of all places the next day!

Quote:
Think im gonna get an Aikido book too, dunno which one tho because there's so many.
Down the road you may want to get the "Best Aikido" books by Moriteru Ueshiba, O Sensei's grandson and the current Doshu. He wrote the first book with his father and it covers the basics; the second book, "The Aikido Master Course," goes into more techniques and covers things you'd see later on. Nothing you might have to worry about now, more a preview of coiming attractions.

Saotome Sensei also wrote a book on Aikido; IIRC, he grouped the techniques by attack. There's a section in there on some of the more advanced forms of training. Again, nothing you should have to worry about right now, but it can serve as a "preview of coming attractions," letting you know where it's going. Unforuntately, I can't remember the title, and I have no clue as to where the copy is. And as noted, there are whatever titles your sensei recomands.

Beyond that, go to train in friendship. Relax, and enjoy it!
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Old 11-06-2004, 12:20 PM   #16
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Hi Stephen!
I can relate to your situation with some twist (I'm 44 with some lower back problem). I'm in my 4th month in Ki Aikido and lovin' it. In addition to all the great advice and recommendations, trust yourself, believe in yourself, don't over analyze things, relax, and most important, extend Ki.
Like Radu Loan, I also recommend "Ki in Daily Life". It's a good book (I'm kinda partial about it because I'm in Ki Aikido). Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2004, 04:52 PM   #17
Aristeia
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Ok, advice for beginners.
1. As someone else said, do everything slowly. Almost tai chi slow (almost). Beginners want to do everything fast and cool like the seniors, but Aikido is a pretty precise art. You're better off figuring out exactly where your hands and feet should be going than trying to do techniques at full speed.
2. Everytime you find a partner for a technique, find the most senior person you possibly can. Beginners often feel more comfortable training with other beginners because they are less self conscious about not knowing what they are doing. But you can't learn this way. Depending on the make up of the class avoid training with other white belts altogether if you can.
3. Repetition is everything. How often you train and for how long isn't relevant, all that matters is how many reps you get in. So everytime you feel tempted to stop and discuss a technique, ask a question etc. ask yourself how many repetitions you could have gotten in in the time it took you to do that, and if the value of the discussion outweighed the value of those reps. Sometimes it will, but more often you're better off just doing the technique again and again until it starts to fall into place. Particularly if you're with a senior who can use his ukemi to guide you through the technique (and if you're not with a senior there's not much point stopping to ask for advice either)
4. Stay focused but stay relaxed and remember you're there to hae fun.
5. Watch the footwork. Learn what the different steps are called in your organisation and break every technique down into the foot movements.
6. It's never to early to grab some weapons and start training them. Ask a senior to show you some basic weapons moves you can work on - this will help your footwork and your technique and also give you something you can do outside of the dojo. Your friends and family will be grateful you have another outlet than asking them to grab your wrist.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:26 AM   #18
Stethomas
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Lots of really great advice here so thanks everyone was really helpful. Im on my 4th lesson tonight so ive got 2 pay my for my membership now which is 25 pounds.

So far im really enjoying it & feel as if im gonna stick at it, i believe a lot of people drop out, can't understand why myself. As for a book im think im gonna purchase

AIKIDO > A BEGINNERS GUIDE

Its only cheap & im sure i'll learn something from it!
Any thoughts!
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:35 PM   #19
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Quote:
Stephen Thomas wrote:
Its only cheap & im sure i'll learn something from it!
Any thoughts!
Book learning can be counterproductive if the book isn't directly relevant to your style, or maybe if the terminology is different, stuff like that. (And at the best of times, book learning is overrated anyway.)

Are you sure that particular book fits in with whats taught at your dojo, was it recommended to you by someone there?

Sean
x
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Old 11-13-2004, 11:28 AM   #20
Stethomas
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Yea i see what you mean with the book thing, different Aikido styles. Anyway good news i spoke to my Sensie the other night for a good 20 mins after class & i told him i was thinking of getting a book & it turns out he has a load of books his-self which he lends out for 50p a week which can't be bad.

Next lesson on Monday night now, (My 6th) i can't wait!
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Old 11-13-2004, 11:39 AM   #21
mj
Location: livingston, scotland
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Quote:
Stephen Thomas wrote:
Lots of really great advice here so thanks everyone was really helpful. Im on my 4th lesson tonight so ive got 2 pay my for my membership now which is 25 pounds.

So far im really enjoying it & feel as if im gonna stick at it, i believe a lot of people drop out, can't understand why myself. As for a book im think im gonna purchase

AIKIDO > A BEGINNERS GUIDE

Its only cheap & im sure i'll learn something from it!
Any thoughts!
Dunken Francis book?

Absolutely shocking. Terrible book with nothing to redeem it in any way. Even the photos are so amateurish you wonder why no-one spotted the insanely bad production values.

I know that seems excessively harsh..but I stand by my opinion on it.

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Old 11-13-2004, 12:14 PM   #22
Stethomas
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

WOAH.

Thanks for that MJ, not gonna bother now! Gonna wait & see what my Sensie says on Monday anyway...
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:16 AM   #23
Chad Scott
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Finally... My 1st Aikido lesson (Advice)

Some advice:

- If your partner is aggressive and likes to show how 'strong' he is,
it's OK to tell him to slow down and ease up! Better than getting an
injury and having to miss weeks of classes.

- I am fairly new to aikido too. I recently bought a book called "The
Spirit of Aikido" by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. It explains some of the
philosophy and spiritual aspects of aikido. I like it.

Have fun!
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