Aikido

This question was recently asked by a prospective student via email:

Q. What can I expect in my first year of aikido practice?

A. Basics should include rolling forward and backward, taking basic falls (ukemi), basic strikes, grabs, and other attacks, some form of stretching and conditioning to warm up the body, wearing your gi and if appropriate your hakama correctly, basic footwork and body work or tai sabaki (fune koge undo, tenkan undo, other aiki taiso) and an introduction to the aikido techniques. Since groups of all skill levels usually practice together these techniques will vary from dojo to dojo or class to class. Protocol and dojo/martial etiquette should also be taught in addition to some of aikidos rich martial history. These are not only the basics and fundamentals of aikido, but also the very things that will become part of your continued training and eventually who you are as an aikidoka or aikido practitioner.

– William Stynetski