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Old 02-26-2002, 04:35 AM   #1
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
Workshop to Promote Aikido

I have a little problem here that I hope members of this forum might be able to help me with.

I have the opportunity to hold a short session to introduce people who have heard of aikido but never studied it. I'd like to use the opportunity to get these people interested enough in aikido to want to try it out in dojo.

Does anyone have any ideas on the techniques that can be taught and how many techniques that should be taught in the space of an hour to make if fun and interesting enough that they want to follow up at a dojo.

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Old 02-26-2002, 06:53 AM   #2
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
If I'm reading this correctly, it would be kind of like a beginners' class, correct? One where they are actually on mats learning techniques, not just a demonstration? In that case, if you want to get these people to want to come to a dojo regularly, you can't introduce so many that they will be utterly confused. Extreme frustration is not fun, nor would it make me want to sign up. I would say do a couple of the more simple (is there any such thing?) techniques. I prefer kote gaeshi and ikkyo for beginners (probably because those were the first ones I learned.) Let them get the hang of it. Then, at the end of the workshop, you could have a senior student demonstrate with you, and show some of the more dynamic techniques to give them a taste of the kind of things that they could do with a lot of practice.

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Old 02-26-2002, 10:42 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
It depends on what kind of folks you are trying to seduce into Aikido: big young college guys would probably like to see lots of action, big falls, a grimicing uke, and then once you have their attention, a more simple version of the same that they can learn, with one of their own as the uke.

If it is middle aged or older either sex, but especially women, high flying breakfalls, kicks, and kiais will probably not go far in enticing them to risk fragile necks on a regular basis. Techniques that show strength is not needed (big uke for sankyo or nikyo perhaps) are more likely to attack new students.

Since it sounds like you will have a mat full of folks who don't know how to move or fall, I'd limit liability by keeping the falls simple, if at all, and making sure everyone knows which way not to turn if in a joint lock, knows how to tap (and what to do if they hear a tap), etc.

I'd agree that the best bet would be to keep it to only a few very uncomplicated things for the students to try, so they get some feeling of having learned something, changing partners around if needed to fill time and make sure everyone is getting it. Any extra time could have some more complicated demo's just to show how fun it can get, or a little weapons, etc.
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Old 02-26-2002, 10:48 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
Oh, and I'd try to make sure you or another 'assistant' makes it around to everyone on each new technique to be sure they have a chance to feel it from you...nothing can be more frustrating than two newbies working together, neither sure if they know what they are doing and neither ever really feeling the technique.
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Old 02-27-2002, 01:47 AM   #5
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
I recently helped one of the other shodan from our dojo do a demo. Some of the things that really seemed to get a lot of interest were the basic-basic stuff. Things like unbendable arm, unliftable body, fudotai seiza & fudotai tachi. We demonstrated them and then had everybody get a partner and try. Everyone was able to do it (some needed a little one on one help from us, but they did get it). They were all amazed at the power of relaxed strength.

We also did some stuff from things that may be encountered outside the dojo. "Haymaker" roundhouse punch to the face, straight forward choke with both hands (I know it's a silly attack leaving the attacker open to lots of horrible things but the cops in our dojo tell us it is pretty common), etc.

We also had a question & answer period at the end and wound up going over time with all the questions, and these were people who knew nothing about aikido.

It really isn't hard to fill an hour. Once you get rolling the time will fly and you'll wish you had twice the time.

Hope this helps,

"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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