by Sensei Robin Wilden
(Bognor Regis, West Sussex UK)
Firstly may I start be saying thank you to Sensei Tony Wilden for setting up this page. It offers me a chance to share some of my insights and thoughts on aspects of Aikido, in general, and specific to our classes.
Whether you are a beginner or have reached a more advanced level, we are all looking to advance in our training every time we come to the dojo.
So the question we should be asking ourselves is... "How can we make significant improvements over a shorter period of time?"
Here are four simple steps that were passed on to me and have helped me a lot over the years.
1 - Observe and copy students and Sensei of a more advanced level, not just your own Sensei. Watch their movements and learn from them too. Feeling comfortable, developing centered core strength, and understanding will come with time and practice.
2 - When watching your instructor demonstrating a technique, they will usually show you a minimum of 3 times. It can feel a lot to take in so break it down. Firstly watch the footwork, then watch the arms/upper body and third, see the technique in its whole form.
3 - Repetition drills. Some will go well, others will not, its all in the nature of learning. Keep working hard, practising the techniques over and over again. If something needs adjusting, it is your instructors job to spot this and help you refine your technique.
4 - Enjoy your training. Learn from what doesn't work and correct it on the next technique. If something works well, acknowledge that to yourself and just take a moment to mentally tell yourself "well done". Positive affirmations stay in the mind and give us a goal for each and every technique that follows.
Helping others is the way of the Aikidoka so make sure to train with everyone and treat all levels equally and with respect.
The above guidelines are not set in stone, just my opinion and what has been passed on, and worked for me personally. If you find that the speed of your development increases then please feed back your thoughts.
Sensei Robin Wilden
Arun Aikido Club
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