One of things that I still struggle with, which might very well be my age, is learning the range of terms in Aikido. This is compounded during training by having to then associate them with the things I’m actually doing.
This blog isn’t about providing a whole list of terms for you remember. You can find loads of them on the web but it will hopefully provide you some ideas and tips, that certainly helped me. Depending on your learn style this may be useful or not ?.
The first thing you’ll probably experience as a beginner is a very long set of Japanese words every time you get taught a technique. Initially this will be confusing but I can assure you you’re not supposed memorise them off by heart at the start… so don’t worry. However, first tip… there is a structure to the order of the words spoken and generally it goes like this…
Stance , Attack, Technique, Direction
Tip 2: Break it down – don’t try to learn it all at once. As I progress (slowly) I find focusing on part of the total description works better for me. For example, when sensei is demonstrating I’ll try to second guess part the total technique either the stance or the attack or the technique or the direction part only. Then, the next time I will try name two bits …and so on. Slowly building up to naming the full movement during demonstration.
Tip 3: If you have the time, do some homework off the mat. As I’ve said, there is loads of information/videos on “The Google”, plus links for beginners such as here, books you can buy, online flash cards and in this dojo we’re very lucky as sensei has made some cracking videos which certainly helps noobs like me.
Tip 4: Like everything, there is no substitute for determination and repetition. The more you try, and want to try, the better you will become.
Next blog. How’s it going so far?