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Old 06-01-2012, 02:34 AM   #1
birdy
Location: Newcastle
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Begining training in Aikido

Hi everyone

I'm new to this forum an just wanted to ask a question to you experienced guys and girls.

I'm about to start training in Aikido in about 3 months time or so. This is due to work commitments but I've managed to find a good school and I can't wait to get stuck in :-)

Question I have is - what should I be doing between now and then to prepair? I'm looking mainly for fitness preparation ideas ie running, weight training etc but any other suggestions would be more than welcome and helpful.

Thanks in advance and I hope to contribute more once I'm in the art fully

Paul
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

This may be a bit contentious, but I would find a dvd of basic ukemi (falling) training and practice on the lawn. Even if you just do some basic exercises such as rolling around on the ground without falling down or standing up it would be helpful. Not sure what is a good dvd to use though.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:31 AM   #3
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
This may be a bit contentious, but I would find a dvd of basic ukemi (falling) training and practice on the lawn. Even if you just do some basic exercises such as rolling around on the ground without falling down or standing up it would be helpful. Not sure what is a good dvd to use though.
Yes, practising rolls before you begin will give you a good head start. But start slowly and carefully from a seated position. It should be painless and you don't want to injure yourself. Practise on a soft surface.

There are lots of instructional videos about basic ukemi on youtube, I more or less randomly picked some.

These are instructional videos about rolling from jiujitsu, but we practise it the same way in our aikido classes:
-Back roll: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz8lx969WXs
-Forward roll: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W93w6aw26Ls

At 0:43 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wV49Q9mpUI shows a variation of the forward roll from seated position (the front arm going outside instead of inside). (BTW, the instructor in this video is also a member of AikiWeb, Chris Hein)
It changes which part of the shoulder you roll over. You can try and see which way feels the most comfortable for your shoulder.

With back rolls you can also move the arm out like that, as in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXBlZS6U6ns starting at 1:20 (the part before 1:14 shows what you shouldn't do).

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 06-01-2012 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:56 AM   #4
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post

At 0:43 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wV49Q9mpUI shows a variation of the forward roll from seated position (the front arm going outside instead of inside). (BTW, the instructor in this video is also a member of AikiWeb, Chris Hein)
It changes which part of the shoulder you roll over. You can try and see which way feels the most comfortable for your shoulder.
.
This is how my teacher teaches forward rolls to beginners, and I definitely recommend it. Like Dave said, don't overdo it. Even just rocking back and forward is enough to get you used to being in contact with the ground.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

The only real difficulty, other than being totally confused and overwhelmed, will be getting used to rolling. You will be pretty dizzy the first few times you start rolling around....not worries, you'll get used to it soon. It will always happen any time you take a big enough break in training. I've been doing aikido for over 10 years and I still get super dizzy when I haven't been on the mat in awhile.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:27 PM   #6
hughrbeyer
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Nothing wrong with basic aerobic fitness. Wind sprints, tabata intervals, if you can handle them. If you're not sure, you probably shouldn't try. It depends on where you go, but the only real physical limitations I've hit on the mat have to do with getting winded. Don't do weights.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
birdy
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Thanks very much for your advice guys - much appreciated and I'll be sure to act on it.

1 day as aikiweb member an already feel at home here thanks to you all taking timeout to reply.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
Malicat
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post

At 0:43 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wV49Q9mpUI shows a variation of the forward roll from seated position (the front arm going outside instead of inside). (BTW, the instructor in this video is also a member of AikiWeb, Chris Hein)
I had no idea that video was from one of the AikiWeb members! That's the one I used when I first started Aikido, before I found AikiWeb. Great video, it really gave me a lot of confidence!

Although I see nothing wrong with doing some weight lifting. Just remember that your goal isn't to gain bulk, but to tone up, so make sure to stick to using lifting exercises where you can comfortably do 3 sets of 15, instead of 3 sets of 10 at the heavier weight.

--Ashley
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:29 PM   #9
hughrbeyer
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Pretty much terrible advice on the weightlifting, whatever your goals.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
Rob Watson
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Ellis Amdur "From the Ground Up"

Practice that and eats lots of jelly donuts. Seek to develop the soft creamy center contained therein. That "golden bridge" Osensei talked about was the moonlight reflected of the glaze on a jelly donut. Honest - he told me in a dream.

After you eat enough jelly donuts you will be heavy - practically immovable - and when you do roll it will be much easier if you are well rounded out.

Seriously, just relax and don't stress you'll be fine.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
lbb
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

I'd say just start with a general program to develop aerobic fitness. If you're not currently engaged in a regular program of aerobic exercise at a level that produces a training effect, then just work on basic aerobic fitness. Don't do sprints or intervals until you've developed basic aerobic fitness, which could be in a fairly short time (4-6 weeks) if you're not far from it now, or could take longer. I'd skip weightlifting for now, not because I think it's a bad idea, but because I think it's not necessary at this point, and it's a bit tricky to do in ways that will be helpful and not counterproductive.

I would also not try to teach myself ukemi, even with the aid of the very best video of the very best teacher out there. Ukemi is an aikido skill, and I don't think there's any need to try to learn the skills of aikido before you start training in aikido. What would be the goal of doing that -- to avoid stepping on the mat as a newbie? The desire is understandable, but I think it's better to learn aikido skills from your teacher and do them the way your teacher wants them done.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:21 AM   #12
Basia Halliop
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Personally just from my own experience I don't think you need to do anything in particular to prepare. They certainly shouldn't expect you to know anything at all on your first day - that's the point of a school, and they'll have their own preferred methods of teaching anyway. And most things are safer to learn with instruction.

If you're not in good enough basic shape (cardio, flexibility, old injuries, etc) to get your heart rate up and to get into weird positions without risking hurting yourself, then I'd address that... but I don't know that you need to be in great shape already just to start a beginner's class. It's for beginners, that's the point... I think you'll figure out after you start doing it what you're lacking and if there's anything extra that would help. As long as you pace yourself and respect your limitations you will adapt.

The kind of stuff I do personally that I find helps me most in aikido (besides doing aikido) is body weight stuff like planks and squats and standing on one leg (i.e., core, legs, balance, range of motion) and things that use cardio. But (other than cycling) I didn't start doing any of that stuff until long after I started aikido. And different people have different strengths and weaknesses (e.g. I'm pretty flexible so that's never been something I had to consciously think about).

You'll kind of get a better idea once you're actually in the thick of it.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #13
ken king
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Core and cardiovascular exercises. Alot of streching and rotations. Strengthening the muscles above and below your knees can also help prevent common knee injuries. Good luck and welcome
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
birdy
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Hi Kenneth

Thanks for your welcome and reply. Sound advice re stretching and something I've already started. Quick question though, sorry if this sounds daft, but how do I strengthen below my knee?

And for everyone, do you have a favorite cardio machine you use? Why?

Thanks again for all your advice

Paul
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:52 PM   #15
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

My favorite cardio machine: legs...

Pauliina
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:17 PM   #16
Basia Halliop
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

I ride a bike everywhere I go, but that's the only thing I use in my life that could be considered a 'machine'. Otherwise I don't like machines for exercise -- better to learn to use your whole body to do things.

Why do I like a bike -- because it takes me wherever I want to go quickly and comfortably by my own power, lets me be outdoors every day all year and moving a bit no matter how busy I am, is fun, cheap, and environmentally friendly... basically I use it as transportation, any health benefits are a bonus.

Anything that gets your heartbeat up is good, doesn't need to be a traditional 'exercise' even. Skipping rope, jogging, jumping jacks, running up and down stairs, dancing fast, wrestling with small children...
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:12 PM   #17
Rob Watson
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Quote:
Paul Bird wrote: View Post
Hi Kenneth

Thanks for your welcome and reply. Sound advice re stretching and something I've already started. Quick question though, sorry if this sounds daft, but how do I strengthen below my knee?

And for everyone, do you have a favorite cardio machine you use? Why?

Thanks again for all your advice

Paul
Stand on a stair or a brick or a piece of wood ~2" thick with just your toes and lift yourself up and down slowly for as many times as you can. The rest of your foot hangs off the perch. Basically press up/push ups but with your toes.

Kind of like this http://orthopedics.about.com/od/spra...fstretch_2.htm

Except not so high up and use both feet together. In a pinch just go up on tippy toes but the slight elevation from a board really ups the ante!

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:14 PM   #18
hughrbeyer
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Skipping rope is an awesome workout, actually. Do the boxer thing--3 minutes on, one off.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #19
lbb
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Quote:
Paul Bird wrote: View Post
And for everyone, do you have a favorite cardio machine you use? Why?
Any of them will work fine if used diligently, but that's the thing. You may get better results by working physical activity into your daily routine (especially long term) than by carving out a slice of time to go to a gym. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Instead of watching TV or playing on the internet in the evening, go for a walk ro bike ride around the neighborhood. Ride a bike to work if you can, or get off the train/bus a few stops earlier and walk briskly. When it starts seeming easy, increase the distance, increase the pace. If your situation is such that that's not doable and you don't have any choice but to drive from your door to your workplace and work at a sedentary job all day, a gym is a good answer, but if you can work physical activity into your daily routine, you may have better luck at being active consistently than if you try to make time to go to a gym.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:00 PM   #20
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Begining training in Aikido

Quote:
Paul Bird wrote: View Post
Hi Kenneth

Quick question though, sorry if this sounds daft, but how do I strengthen below my knee?
Keep your knees slightly apart but not too far apart. Squat as low as you can manage while keeping your heels on the ground. This is only effective if you don't lift your heels up. It works the muscles that run down your shins.
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