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Old 01-14-2021, 10:16 AM   #1
Location: Fl
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 1
I just started Aikido. Did I make myself look bad already?


I started my first session this past Sunday. At least I thought I did. I thought it would be a good idea to arrive early, but I misjudged just how close to the dojo I actually do live so I arrived before the previous one ended, which was a weapons class (I scheduled for open handed classes). A good 20 minutes beforehand, at that. There was only one other student
there, and I was invited to the mat where I made a real fool out of myself the whole time. My basic left and right seemed to be left in the car when I was in the parking lot. I felt like the sensei was getting kind of frustrated with me, particularly to be someone my age getting such simple things mixed up. At the same time, he wasn't slow to encourage me when I corrected myself or to discourage and encourage the other, more advanced student either. One thing that stuck with me particularly is that his (head?) instructor was doing the exercises with us and corrected the other student in a particular movement without really interrupting but explaining to the sensei that he had noticed it and had a way that he thought he would understand it. When he stepped in front of us, the way he explained it helped me understand it as well, and it led to the two of them showing so eone of a step by step process on the reasoning behind it.

I still made myself look like some kind of fool. I took the opportunity during breaks to apologize to them for the way it was going and he seemed like he asked me if I was there for the class I asked for or if I changed my mind to the weapons class instead. I have alot of respect and no doubt of his abilities so I don't want to run myself off by making a bad impression of myself from the get go. I suspect I might be overthinking some parts of it.

I've scheduled 4 more classes for one each week, but I'd like to start scheduling for twice a week, is there any advice that one is willing to offer as far as etiquette, a better way to approach, should I be there at EXACTLY the time of my class instead? Anything I might not be thinking of at the moment? Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:28 AM   #2
dps's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,401
Re: I just started Aikido. Did I make myself look bad already?

I don't know how many times I heard, " No your other left". Don't sweat it. You are training your body to do things it is not use to. Most of us have had similar experience. Keep practicing and practice at home.

"two left feet "

Go ahead, tread on me.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:56 PM   #3
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 689
Re: I just started Aikido. Did I make myself look bad already?

It's common for any person who starts learning a new skill.

As for the etiquette (arriving before time etc.) the reality is far les general than people seem to think. Some teachers make things seem very strict, others are very flexible, each group/Sensei have their own way, and the best Sensei will adjust himself to local culture, the group and the student. A simple suggestion - talk to your Sensei and ask how to behave.
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