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Please talk to me about Aikido

(10 Posts)
lifeistooshort Tue 28-Jun-16 12:02:16

Just that really. Thinking of starting up Aikido and wonder whether anyone has any experience to share on how often you need to train, how hard it is to learn and anything else useful.

lifeistooshort Tue 28-Jun-16 13:52:48

Hmmm okay so not many aikido practitioner around here then :-)

iamhopeless Tue 28-Jun-16 13:55:01

What do you want to know I'm a 3rd dan aikido?

ThomasRichard Tue 28-Jun-16 13:56:15

I haven't got any experience but my friend did it along with another martial art for years and said it's the best for women's self-defence as you learn how to use your attacker's weight against them.

lifeistooshort Tue 28-Jun-16 13:58:54

iamhopeless mostly what I said in my OP and also how quickly your progress (although I am sure you will say "depends on abilities). How long it took you to reach your 3rd Dan, why you went with Aikido etc...

iamhopeless Tue 28-Jun-16 14:23:40

Ok why i went with aikido I didn't lol I have high rankings in 4 martial arts I was raised by my grandparents in Japan and my grandfather was a grandmaster in aikido. So i was lucky to have some of the best instruction possible in several Japanese martial arts all of which I still practice.

I started training really as soon as I could, been training for over 30 years now. Don't think I could stop even if I wanted to lol, but I still love it as much today as I did when I was young.

How difficult is it to learn depends on a few things, age, natural ability, quality of instruction / school, dedication (the more you train the easier you will find it) I could go but these are the main points

How quickly you can progress depends on similar things and also how regularly your instructors / schools offers assesment. Once you attain black belt there are restrictions on dan progression (well there are in Japan and i believe the uk is the same) which mean you have to have a number of days (years) practice between your graddings.

I attained my first dan before my 18th birthday and then had to comply with the Japanese regulations of Dan rankings (which differ to the UK system) on reaching adulthood and becoming an instructor. I'd been training for 10 years before I reach 1st dan, But it would have been faster if I was not studing other martial arts at the same time (I do not recommend this, to students choose your ma with care and knowledge and dedicate yourself to it - is the best way I think even if I'm a hypocrite)

It is an amazing ma to learn, and is excellent for women, gender really is no barrier to excellence

Can I ask your reasons for learning? Are you hoping to get fit or protect yourself or for other reasons?

Do you have access to a good school or instructor and can you afford classes?

Your instructor would be best placed to talk to you about time commitment some schools recommend different amounts of training.

You really will get out what you put in.

Hope that helps but I'm more than happy to answer any other questions I can't really comment on individual centres or instructors though as I'm sure you appreciate.

lifeistooshort Wed 29-Jun-16 09:51:59

That is really helpful iamhopeless. I have done karate for years (so reasonably fit) but for personal reason, I have decided to stop at my current club and there is no real viable alternative. I still love the discipline and mental mindset associated with MA so thought I would try a different one. In the past few years, I have really enjoyed all the sessions with "weapons" (bo, bokken etc) and thought that perhaps Aikido would offer me the opportunity to develop this.

How do you know a club is reputable? Are there questions to ask or things to look for.

Thank you for answering my post so fully

iamhopeless Wed 29-Jun-16 13:04:31

Lifeistooshort your most welcome.

Ok few more bits of information for you.

You'll probably find your progression in aikido is slower to start with them with karate. On the flip side as you have a good grounding in one ma and the mindset you'll find that side of things easier probably.

If your interested in the weapons side of aikido (jo, tanto and bokken) you are going to need to find a good school. I would look for a dojo that is a member of
JAC (Joint Aikikai Council of Great Britain) - JAC is the official governing organisation for traditional Aikido in Great Britain. It is recognised by Aikido World headquarters. That way you are garanteed that your dojo is Affiliated - Look for affiliation to World Aikido Headquarters in the case of traditional aikido. Be aware that only a few dojos in London, and indeed the UK, have this affiliation. Your Aikikai grades will be recognised and your training consistent all around the world. This will not be the case with privately issued grades. Ultimately this is a question of quality too

Ok brief word of warning there are some centres in the UK (actually everywherr outside japan) that have instructors and offer students private grading systems this means that there are SOME people with very high grades that are not trained to the right standard. I want to be careful here I am not criticising these centres but they are not necessarily as good as their dans would indicate. (Eg they may hold a privately graded dan above mine but my training and competency will be above theirs) By studing with a JAC school you will be getting the same level of tutition as you would in Japan. Hope you see what I mean.

Some dojo will offer classes which are devoted almost exclusively to training with Jo (staff), Tanto (knife), and Bokken (sword); the three principal weapons used in Aikido. However, the goal of Aikido is not primarily to learn how to use weapons, so I would always recommend a 1 in 3 ratio for every weapons class you should do 2 none weapons classes. This is the same percentage of weapon vs none weapon training persists throughout aikido

Ok so things you can and probably should ask

So you've found a JAC centre

Ok go and talk to the instructors what grades are they, who awarded them (they should have no problem with you asking this) have they done national or internal study?

How often do the offer classes (i recommend 2 classes a week to New students)

Can you observe a class (I'd have no problem with this but I do ask that you show respect to my class and students so please be quiet - I'm sure you would be anyway)

Are the students and instructors respectful?

Remember aikido training is cooperative not competitive I can explain this in more detail but just wanted to give you the basics as I don't want to over load you.

As your looking for weapons training when do they offer this? A student can train with weapons from day one but should train with weapons after they have a basic grounding some schools don't offer weapons training at all. So you will possibly be told either at a certain belt or once you reach x standard or they may offer weapons classes as an additional class option.

Hth?? If there is anything else please come back to me, honestly more than happy to help.

If your looking for more weapons focus than aikido offers there are other more weapon focused ma which you maybe interested in I can discuss a few of the japanses options if it would help.

lifeistooshort Thu 30-Jun-16 14:32:03

Iamhopeless I cannot thank you enough . The club I have found does not appear to be affiliated. I have already arranged to go an have a look so will but might look for alternatives also.

I will take on board all the points you made and really am grateful for you taking the time to answer my post so fully

iamhopeless Thu 30-Jun-16 14:48:58

If after you've had a look you have any questions (or whilst your training) please feel free to send me a pm or come back here I'm always happy to help. Good luck.

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