Since the development of Aikido from the hands of its founder Morihei Ueshiba, it has gone through drastic changes. From the technique, practice, purpose, teaching, and training, Aikido is being interpreted in so many ways. Despite these glaring changes, the basic principle of Aikido still remains a martial art that aims to achieve peace and harmony without instigating attack and force.
BEFORE YOU PRACTICE
If you are into aikido and already been enrolled in one of the classes, you must familiarize yourself with everything that you need to know about the martial art. You must realize that the practice of aikido starts once you have entered the "dojo" or the place where demonstrations, teachings, and training take place.
The aikido trainees are instructed and expected to exercise and observe proper etiquette at all times. Here are some guidelines for those you have just started exercising or training for aikido:
1. Attendance is important and a must. Indeed, the only way for you to improve in aikido is by attending regular classes and continuous training. Although attendance is not mandatory in most dojos, you better keep in mind that for you to learn and master aikido, you must be there when you have training so you wouldn’t miss any of the aikido teachings and training.
Most aikido practitioners suggest that for a student to advance in aikido, he or she should practice at least twice a week. Aside from not missing out something, attending aikido classes regularly can also help you cultivate self-discipline.
2. Make your training your own responsibility. Just like in any martial art training, Aikido requires attention and dedication from you. And since you are the one who is interested in learning the martial, you should also be the one in-charge of your own exercise and training. Once you have decided to practice Aikido, it is given that you should be the one who is responsible for your proficiency and improvement.
Although instructors and senior students will be there to guide you, they wouldn’t be the one responsible for your improvement. So if you really want to improve in this martial art, make sure that you observe effectively before asking for any help and that you try to learn the techniques on your own first before you partake in any demonstration.
3. Bear in mind that Aikido training includes more than one technique. Aside from the physical demonstrations, training in aikido includes observation and modification of both physical and psychological patterns of the students' thought and behavior. Since there are so many techniques to learn, an aikido student should be ready to react to circumstances so he or she can cultivate awareness.
4. Memorize the basic teachings and principles of the martial art. Aikido is known as one of the non-aggressive means of self-defense. That is why most aikido training involves cooperative activities.
In order to learn and excel in the martial art, you must be cooperative enough with your partner so you will both reap the benefits of aikido. Make sure that you're careful when training and practicing aikido because some of the techniques can kill or damage when not practice judiciously.
5. Be prepared for anything and everything. Exercising, teaching, and training in Aikido are not simple. Because of the dynamic nature of the martial art, it can be very frustrating if you haven’t prepared yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Part of the training is learning to cope with frustrations that come with the training.
The best solution whenever frustration sets in is that the practitioner should observe what is or are the possible causes of this frustration and how can they overcome these challenges. They should avoid comparing themselves to others and continue improving their techniques.