OCUPATION:High school student
I have been in and out of different martial arts and self-defence courses; among them have been Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Tai Chi. The funny thing is that none of the arts mentioned above caught my attention more than Aikido. Sure, I'm not saying that the arts above are boring, quite the contrary. They were interesting enough, but I found no challenge in them. There was nothing I had to surpass when practising. I entered Aikido in December of 98 and I must say I have never worn so many bandages in my life!!!!!!!
Now I am 5th Kyu, and believe it or not I still can't roll backwards. My teacher only let me get this far, now half the class (for me at any rate) is dedicated to rolling. This is one thing that many of you starting Aikido will encounter. Some of you will be able to roll backwards with no problem, others will be afraid to roll forwards, and some might go totally hysterical to the thought of break fall!!
One thing that I can tell you is that if you have taken any dance lessons, you will have more ease in what is turning and lowering your centre of gravity because you will be more or less used to it. Don't worry if you go flying every which way you will get better with time. It's just a matter of practice. Another thing if you hurt yourself (and men this goes for you too!!!) tell the teacher, there is no point in been stubborn or strong. That kind of stupidity put me out for three whole months!!! It's not worth it.
Once you commence in a group, and feel part of a group it is necessary to become a family. What I mean is that once you feel welcome in a group there should be a certain amount of care and love for your companions. This is one thing that O'Sensei wanted to achieve, and it's what my teacher has told us (my classmates and I) time and time again. This is not only for your group it should be for all groups. So much so that you can walk into any Dojo of the world and be recognised as a friend and partner because you all share something very special, the teachings of O'Sensei.
P.S. when ever you get a bad bump or a twisted foot, try ice first and then a hot bath(or a bucket, enough to cover the injured area)with vinegar, works every time!