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Old 06-16-2005, 09:01 PM   #1
Paul :]
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Lightbulb Beginner Advice?

I'm thinking of starting in aikido. I like the control and flow of it when I see it performed. I'm ready for anything that may result of training. [pain], [disappointment], [embarrassment], [anger],and [enlightenment]. I was wondering if anyone had some advice to reassure me of my decision. I also need to know if I need to sit down and change my mindset. Any help would be appreciated.
- Paul.
[a humble newbie]
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Old 06-16-2005, 09:15 PM   #2
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
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Re: Beginner Advice?

I think all that you will experience all those things for sure. The only thing I would add is that you have to make up your mind in advance that you won't give up when you feel those things because expecting them is still different from feeling them and you will need to convince yourself to continue despite the irrationality of it. Over the last ten years, I have had to find reasons to continue that motivated me. At first, it was weight control. After I lost 53 pounds, then it was improving and making the next rank. Later, it became to keep my son in it. Then I began to like it and I didn't want to lose it in my life. Today, it's helping others find all the benefits of Aikido that I have enjoyed because of the last ten years of practice. All the questions I have ever had about this art have been answered on the mat and as my former teacher, Rick Laue used to say, "You have to find ways to stay on the mat at all costs."
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:11 PM   #3
ad_adrian
 
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Re: Beginner Advice?

yep totaly agree....
you have to decide why YOU want to do aikido...
and why you will stick to it.... experiance it for your self....
just dont be one of the many that start it and quit it soon after....
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:03 AM   #4
bbleeker
 
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Re: Beginner Advice?

I agree with Jorge and Adrian; just wanted to add that 'why you want to do aikido' will probably change over time.

Berna Bleeker
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:15 AM   #5
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Never wash your belt. Thats for cissy's. And clean people.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:32 AM   #6
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Quote:
Paul Mabus wrote:
I'm thinking of starting in aikido. I like the control and flow of it when I see it performed. I'm ready for anything that may result of training. [pain], [disappointment], [embarrassment], [anger],and [enlightenment]. I was wondering if anyone had some advice to reassure me of my decision. I also need to know if I need to sit down and change my mindset. Any help would be appreciated.
- Paul.
[a humble newbie]
Hello Paul,

I think no one can reassure of your decision. One of the most famous instructors currently living in the US camped outside the Aikikai Hombu until they let him in.

I suggest that you go to a dojo and take a few classes. Wear a loose-fitting sweat suit and be prepared to start training in ukemi (falling, receiving). You do not state how old you are or where you live in the US, but the instructor I referred to in the last paragraph lives in San Diego.

One question: do you want to give your whole life to training in aikido (like monasticism), or are you content to add training (with strings attached) to what else you do in your life?

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:44 AM   #7
aikidocapecod
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Go to class with an empty mind......Listen and WATCH... Do not try to learn everything the first day.
Aikido is an art that takes a lifetime to learn...but you learn each time you go to class. When you get a bit frustrated, stop....think about something positive that you have learned in class.

Aikido is not just a martial art. It is a study in learning to control yourself. If you go to class and try to control your partner, most likely it may feel like a struggle. So go into Aikido knowing that the most important thing you can learn is how to control yourself and how to observe....

Good luck!!
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:53 AM   #8
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Don't quit, don't die.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:56 AM   #9
ad_adrian
 
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Re: Beginner Advice?

i think naturally u go with an open mind...even if i thinkabout something in the dojo in a few seconds it will dissapear.....im always free there.....i love it
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:59 AM   #10
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Well, to be honest, you should get prepared for almost every romantic relationship you get into to compete for your mat time.

If your partner does not train, they almost never can understand why you need to make it to practice _every_ Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and lots of weekends - or whatever your schedule is. What _worked_ for me for a little while was to simply explain that this is part of who I am and it will not be changing. Everytime that is tested, my choice was that aikido was more important to me than a partner who wasn't willing to accept all of me. (Or course there is a limit to that. When your family members are in the hospital, etc. your place is with them not on the mat.)

If your partner does train aikido, this is great for a long while until other priorities come along and you start competing for who gets to go to special classes. You would think this is not a big problem, but it can be unless both of you are actively looking out for each other as opposed to yourselves.

Regardless, there are problems associated with anything. You need to decide if they are acceptable to you.

Rob
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:07 AM   #11
aikidocapecod
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Good point Rob. But one of the benefits of practicing Aikido is that you learn to see your partner much differently. Both your Aikido partner and your partner at home. And with that increased awareness of your partner comes an understanding of their needs.....
That understanding of needs will, in most cases be noticed. And your home partner will notice the change. This is a good thing. And the home partner may attribute that change to your Aikido training and not feel like you have added a mistress!!!! Aikido is a very demanding mistress. But has many very positive advantages.....
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:20 AM   #12
guest89893
Dojo: Jihonjuku/ St.Pete. FL
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Quote:
Paul Mabus wrote:
I also need to know if I need to sit down and change my mindset. Any help would be appreciated.
- Paul.
Go train. Training will change the mind set if needed.
Gene
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:58 AM   #13
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: Beginner Advice?

I agree with Peter Goldsbury that the decision is yours and you must be assured of your own reason and purpose. I also must add that for some people, quitting may be an option. For me though, Aikido and martial arts was not something I ever thought of doing. I had never seen a martial arts movie. I didn't know who Steven Seagal was or Bruce Lee much less Morihei Ueshiba. My son and I were just driving buy a shopping center and saw some men practicing something that looked interesting and here I am 10 years later! I ran into something wonderful and great but it wasn't a particular vision that sustained me. It was just the fact that I am not a quitter and I have a particular aspect of my personality that I like to take things to their full potential to see what that is. I realize I myself may come on a situation that will mean the end of Aikido for me but I have invested so much time, money and energy into this, I don't really want that day to come so I keep trying to find ways to keep this going. That's why I'm teaching today. It's because I came on a situation where I wanted to keep learning under my master teacher but I couldn't continue in the dojo where I was. If I had, I would have had to leave Aikido because I wasn't interested in learning what the other dojos in my immediate area were offering and I was fascinated by what my Shihan was doing.
Dr. Goldsbury is right. Try it out before you make the big commitment. In fact, this is an activity that feels very different than it looks. My comment was that you can do it though if you persevere.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:41 AM   #14
Holly Nesbeitt
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Dear Paul,

Just go try it! It's not like you're getting married or donating a kidney. If you like it, you can stay. If you don't, you can go (with an interesting new experience under your belt).

Enjoy!
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:18 PM   #15
Adam Alexander
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Quote:
Holly Nesbeitt wrote:
Just go try it! It's not like you're getting married or donating a kidney. If you like it, you can stay.
That's what I'm saying--what's all the drama for? Just do it.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:22 PM   #16
rogueenergy
Dojo: Aikido of Lincoln
Location: Lincoln, NE
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Give yourself a minimum of 4 classes. You'll know if it's for you by the end of the fourth class. Don't forget that there are many styles out there too, be open to new styles. In fact, just be open.
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Old 06-18-2005, 01:12 AM   #17
ElizabethCastor
 
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Wow! Alot of my sentiments have been touched on. What a great group of people

1st: sounds like you've aready put in a lot of thought about training already and that you're ready to get rolling (literally!)

2nd: My decision to step on the mat was an invite from a friend and the willingness to just give it a whirl and see what was goin' on. Much like Jorge, I never seen the art, heard of it or even knew how to spell it before walking in the dojo

3rd: I've been training for a year and have enjoyed all of the learning you so eloquently listed above. AND, I look forward to learning even more about the art, myself and others

4th: Yeah, I've had to make a stand for my practice over some other things but again it's a learning process I just ask myself what meets my needs?

5th: I noticed that you like katanas... has anyone spoken to you about the bokken paractice?
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Old 06-18-2005, 03:06 AM   #18
Michael Meister
Dojo: South Hetton
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Quote:
Paul Mabus wrote:
I'm thinking of starting in aikido. I like the control and flow of it when I see it performed. I'm ready for anything that may result of training. [pain], [disappointment], [embarrassment], [anger],and [enlightenment]. I was wondering if anyone had some advice to reassure me of my decision. I also need to know if I need to sit down and change my mindset. Any help would be appreciated.
- Paul.
[a humble newbie]
Be patient, don't expect to much of you in the beginning, and, most important of all, have fun.
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:03 AM   #19
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
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Re: Beginner Advice?

I hope you have a wonderfully positive experience. If you do not, then I have more advice. If a sempai (senior) is giving you a hard time to the point that you are very uncomfortable, please do the rest of aikido a favor and tell the instructor - even if you decide to quit and wash your hands of that place. Sempai can be real jerks sometimes and a lot of time that is because they really just cannot see themselves in the "abuser" role. In Japan, there is a cultural context on which the sempai - kohai relationship can work. That context is not present in the States by default and has to be specifically added (which is normally not the case). A conversation with (or a letter to) the instructor explaining a negative experience would be crucial for helping open the instructor's eyes to what is going on in their class with beginners.

Rob
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Old 06-20-2005, 08:17 AM   #20
Mike.Ordway
Dojo: Massena Martial Arts
Location: Massena New York
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Re: Beginner Advice?

Being a newbie to aikido myself (just under 3 weeks) I can tell you that already Aikido is one of the best things that I have done with my life. Saying this may sound silly but it is. Up until Aikido my life was pretty much sitting around, going to school, more sitting around and maybe a few chores around the house. Now with Aikido I have something to do with my life. But again like everyone else is saying this decision is yours and you should make it for your own reasons. Have fun if you decide to do it and if not... have fun with whatever you are doing.
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Old 06-20-2005, 08:22 AM   #21
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Beginner Advice?

My only advice is to quit after a few months if you don't like it . But if you do like it, write it into your schedule.
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