New to Aikido?

One of two things seem to happen at our dojo.

1. People come and visit, watch a class, and decide that what they see isn't for them.
2. People come and visit, watch a class, and decide to sign up. They come to class fairly regularly for a few months, buy a gi, and then disappear.

Neither of these outcomes is what we hope for when someone considers taking up Aikido. We enjoy Aikido, appreciate the gift it can be, and want new students to join us. Every person that comes and sincerely practices makes our dojo a better place. It doesn't have anything to do with how "good" someone is at the art.

The first outcome is understandable. There are lots of reasons to watch a class and not decide to sign up. All that falling. The physical activity level. It looks hard. It doesn't look effective. Another dojo they visit seems better to them. They might not have been even considering a martial art. Did I mention all that falling?

The second outcome is understandable, too. Progress in Aikido is slow. At six months, I felt like I didn't know how to move, how to stand, how to breathe, let alone how to do any techniques. It's a big time commitment, people have families, other responsibilities, giving up several evenings a week becomes more than they want to do. They decide it isn't the art for them. They are sore all the time, I remember that clearly, that first year I found out just how many new ways to be sore there are. And did I mention all that falling?

So how do you get started successfully? I don't know how you will do it. I know how I did it. That's the subject of some upcoming posts.

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