Had my first Aikido Lesson

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jimbobmullman
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Had my first Aikido Lesson

Post by jimbobmullman » Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:43 am

Today I had my first Aikido lesson. I enjoyed it but it wasnt quite what I expected. It was very quiet. The teacher guy (sorry dont know correct terms yet) demonstrated the technique once or twice then got us into pairs and had us practice it a few times. There was no detailed explanations more a kind of 'just see what you can make of this' ethos. None of the others, beginner or experienced, were talking and i felt really quite stupid constantly asking my more experienced partner how many steps, what foot positions, where my hands should be etc. Now maybe this was just that class (we were all beginners with some older students there to help), or maybe they are all like this. Can anyone who does aikido enlighten me? Are classes supposed to be quiet?

On another note, seiza (sp?) position, it's bloody painful.. Does this get better with practice or do I just have to learn to ignore the pain? Oh and I will be going back.

Any imput is much appreciated.

Jimbob.

JoeFlitton

Post by JoeFlitton » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:52 am

I don't know about Aikido itself - but the Seiza position does get easier with practice. I found it very painful at first (espcially if you've got big thighs - it prevents your ass from sitting properly) but you get used to it.

In regards to it being quiet..maybe everyone was just nervous?

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maciek1230
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Post by maciek1230 » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:26 am

My friend trains aikido 5 times a week.
Its like that when you are a begginer you must learn basics.
Falls, steps etc. Its a little fun. But after a while the teachers requries more
concentration, speaks about details like where shuld be your leg,hand,
how to balance with you opponent, hold him, throw etc.
Just be patient you will learn with time.

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Xen
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Post by Xen » Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:23 pm

I've been practicing Aikdo for some time now (2nd kyu) and understand completely where you're coming from.

I myself was a beginner and went through that awkward phase where you don't know which wrist to grab, what foot to have forward etc etc.

Just believe me, in time, you will understand. I go to two classes a week: a beginner/intermediate class, and an intermediate/advanced class.

At the beginner class, you see a lot of 'newbies' coming thinking it's like karate or something equally different. I can see the awkwardness, the lack of understanding. I try and help them to relax a bit and just do the best they can. They all pick it up quickly, as will you if you stick at it.

I don't really know what you want me to say...but trust me, after 4/5 lessons, you'll have the etiquette down to a 'T'; you'll be a tad more comfortable in seiza; you'll feel more comfortable training in the dojo environment; you'll understand the basic foot movements and positions - it will get better in time.

With regard to seiza, this takes time to get used to. I mean a lot of time i.e. years. Try practicing on the living room floor while you're watching TV. Get comfortable, and just stay there for 5 or 10 mins; your feet go numb :-P I do this a few times a day; sometimes for up to 30 minutes (after which I need to massage my legs back into action) It may sound extreme, but it helps you relax in the dojo for those brief periods of seiza.

With regard to noise in the class - well this depends on your sensai (teacher) - saome prefer it to be quiet, and that you only speak if you need to, and only about Aikido. However some are a bit more leniant. You should remember that when you train, even though it is a social occasion, etiquette and respect are paramount (especially in Aikido, as opposed to some Martial Arts which are less strict). You are there to train, to learn Aikido as taught by O-Sensai. Train hard, and you'll see the difference quicker than you imagine.

Have a look through these links (which I think i'm ok to post - Admin?)

http://www.aikido-world.com/highlights/ ... hnical.htm
http://www.aikido-yoshinkai.org/Glossary.htm
http://www.martialarts.org/styles/aikido.htm

The last two are kind of 'Aikido Dictionaries' which should help you with the basic terms.

I hope i've been of help: If you want anything more specific, please ask :D

Oh and you said something about:
The teacher guy (sorry dont know correct terms yet) demonstrated the technique once or twice then got us into pairs and had us practice it a few times. There was no detailed explanations more a kind of 'just see what you can make of this' ethos.
A tip: when you're watching him, try and watch different things on each demonstration e.g. His head on the first, his feet movements on the second, his posture on the third etc. Try and imagine yourself doing the technique as he's doing it...this may help you to be more confident with the technique you're practicing in a few moments.
i felt really quite stupid constantly asking my more experienced partner how many steps, what foot positions, where my hands should be etc.
Don't. They've been there as well. Your Sensai has been there. Everyone is there to help. If someone is un-co-operative, tell them politely that you don't understand and need them to explain to you as best they can (remember they too may not know if the technique you're both practicing is accurate - that's why your sensai should walk around and correct you, or be a call away if you're struggling). If they still remain un-co-operative, report them to the sensai.

Again, hope this mini essay helps.

Apologies for any grammer and spelling mistakes in this post - I didn't get chance to proof read it.

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Butuz
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Post by Butuz » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:56 pm

Quality post Xen - one of many.

Keep it up! :???:

Butuz

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jimbobmullman
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Post by jimbobmullman » Sat Sep 18, 2004 3:24 am

Thanks guys (especially Xen :???: ) Your posts are, as always, extremely helpful. Ill definately be sticking with this, for the next few months at least, to see how things turn out.

Jimbob.

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Xen
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Post by Xen » Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:02 pm

Butuz wrote:Quality post Xen - one of many.

Keep it up! :???:

Butuz
Thank you very much Butuz.

jimbobmullman wrote:Thanks guys (especially Xen ) Your posts are, as always, extremely helpful.
Thank you very much Jimbob.

:cool:

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Banzai Joe
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Post by Banzai Joe » Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:30 pm

Yep, nice one Xen, there seems to be a lack of informed aikidoka around these forums, so good advice is always welcome.

If i may add to Xen's post. We often used to have classes where there would be no speaking at all. The sensei would gesture that he wanted us to watch the technique closely whilst demonstrating, then gesture for us to practice.
Remember aikido is just about the nearest art to attaining budo that you are likely to do (bring on the arguments :? ) therefore the unification of mind, body and spirit is better to understand without words. The point also being that if, without spoken word you can understand and execute a technique correctly and feel that it was right, then you have made that little part of aikido YOURS, now and forever. Instead of emulating what you have seen, you have understood it and grasped it for yourself. This will, i promise will make your aikido far better.
Took me 10 years to achieve shodan, and i'm always looking to 'find' a new technique for myself and make it my own.
As for seiza, a necessary evil i'm afraid. It does get easier, but not easy! (imho). LOL....wait till you start doing shikko (knee walking) and hanmi handachi.
Also, when you start using the bokken, to visualise the techniques you are doing, your aikido world will open up greatly, and i think and hope you will enjoy it even more. Stick with it......its a beautiful art.
fwiw

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Banzai Joe
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Post by Banzai Joe » Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:49 pm

Yep, nice one Xen, there seems to be a lack of informed aikidoka around these forums, so good advice is always welcome.

If i may add to Xen's post. We often used to have classes where there would be no speaking at all. The sensei would gesture that he wanted us to watch the technique closely whilst demonstrating, then gesture for us to practice.
Remember aikido is just about the nearest art to attaining budo that you are likely to do (bring on the arguments :? ) therefore the unification of mind, body and spirit is better to understand without words. The point also being that if, without spoken word you can understand and execute a technique correctly and feel that it was right, then you have made that little part of aikido YOURS, now and forever. Instead of emulating what you have seen, you have understood it and grasped it for yourself. This will, i promise will make your aikido far better.
Took me 10 years to achieve shodan, and i'm always looking to 'find' a new technique for myself and make it my own.
As for seiza, a necessary evil i'm afraid. It does get easier, but not easy! (imho). LOL....wait till you start doing shikko (knee walking) and hanmi handachi.
Also, when you start using the bokken, to visualise the techniques you are doing, your aikido world will open up greatly, and i think and hope you will enjoy it even more. Stick with it......its a beautiful art.
fwiw

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Xen
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Post by Xen » Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:35 pm

Banzai Joe wrote:If i may add to Xen's post...
No.

:twisted:


Heh. So helpful he felt he should post it twice :-P

Indeed everything you've said there is lovely and clear, and accurate!

Heed our words jimbob! lol


And even though in our class, very rarely we will practice in complete silence, I completely understand and agree with what you said there Joe.

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Banzai Joe
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Post by Banzai Joe » Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:02 pm

Lol.....sorry, i have a habit of repeating myself......habit of repeating myse..DAMMNIT! :x

Anyways, we don't do it very often nowadays, but i believe its invaluable. I think when you get to the level Xen and i are at (and others of similar experience) you are allowed and expected to play with the technique. I have adopted about 4 different versions of tenchi nage and they all look and feel different to each other. Indeed uke says they are very different in feel and intention. I suppose, once kihon are ground into the aikidoka they then start to find there own way, or 'do'.

The Kancho for our organisation said to me one day "the first 30 years of aikido are the hardest"....eeep !!! I'm a thrid of the way there, but i know what he meant, and hope i can accomplish the other 2 thirds b4 i shuffle off this mortal coil.

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