First Class - What to Expect
What can you expect at your first class? Will it be difficult? Will you fit in? Will you be made fun of? Will you get hurt? Will you survive?
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Updated: Mar 24 2013
Your First Class
All these questions can run through the mind of a new student. I am happy to say, that even the most physically challenged student, or those with no previous martial arts experience will survive just fine. Can they all learn their first masterful technique in class number one? Not usually! But they will come out with some basic ideas of what a class is like, and how much there is to learn about Aikido.
Just remember, that EVERYONE has been here before. Everyone has to start with a first class. So what can you expect? Lets explore what a new student will first go through...
1. Entering the dojo - OSU! Everyone says it. What does it mean. Basically at this point it means hello. It is also a way of showing respect for the dojo and for other students in general. Accompanied with a standing bow, this gets us through the door. Then we remove our shoes and continue inside.
2. The change room - Removing our street clothes, we quickly dress in our training uniform, our dogi. First we tie the pants...slip the two strings through the loop and then tie it like our shoes...easy...unless we forget, and this only happens once (if the pants fall down we never forget again!). Next is the top, and at this time we remember to remove all jewelry (this includes any body piercings that could damage us or others), then we wrap our obi (belt) around our waist. Wrap it around twice, as if it was one belt with one end on top and the other underneath. Next we tuck the top piece under the bottom, like in the start of a reef knot. Then we tuck the top piece (the same) through the bottom once again. This is easy for Boy Scouts and any knot experts. For others, just ask a Senior Student. Click here to see example...
3. Entering the training area - Upon leaving the change room we turn into the mat area. As we enter the training area, we bow once again, out of respect for the hall, and to remind us of our own need to grow. Moving to the far right, at the corner of the mats, we step onto them (traditionally left foot first). Sitting in seiza (on your shins) we do a sitting bow to Shinzen (the alter).
4. Warming up, practicing , waiting... - While waiting for the command to line up ("seiretsu"), try to loosen up with stretching, ask seniors for some assistance, or try to practice things you may have seen already. When commanded, assume the proper seat at the far left of all other students, sitting properly on you shins with your knees on the line of the mats.
Could a piece of clothing change your life?!?