This is a real conundrum fro every martial arts teacher. What do do when a new student joins the class for the first time? Do I focus on them, of hope they fit in with what you are teaching you regular loyal students? The below is an outline of a simple lesson you can have a senior student take them through. Other options are to have them only come at say the beginning of the month (see beginners course article) that way they start with other beginners and have a critical mass and peers to start with.
To be taken by a senior student (it also requires the use of an uke initially as well), after warm-ups – this class might take one hour to complete after which the student is encouraged to watch the rest of the class.
This is a good opportunity to talk one-on-one about the art with the person but most importantly to LISTEN to what they want to know rather than telling them about why you like aikido – remember their reasons may be completely different. The intention of this class is to provide an overview of the art of aikido rather than putting them into a regular class which (a) can be distracting for the instructor and (b) may not provide them with the scope of our art (c) answer questions as they arise.
It is VERY important not to teach too much detail here (e.g. exact location of feet, aikido terminology, etc.), but instead to give them a feel for relaxed power, and the graceful yet powerful art that we do. This class works from the idea that aikido is derived from arts practiced by the samurai on the battlefields of feudal Japan and has evolved to today’s ‘art of peace’. You should also explain not meeting force with force and the blending and leading of energy as well.
Introduce yourself to each student before the class and ask them about their interest in aikido.
Introduce them to each other. Welcome each person personally at each class followup and thank them informally after class .
Explain that weapons’ training contains the basic movements of aikido and also develops a mindset that looks beyond your own hands and feet i.e. it helps look beyond the conflict and teaches ki extension.
“Ich-ni” of the bokken kata
This is just katakosadori ikkyo irimi and pin (demo with uke)
“San-shi” of the bokken kata
Repeat other side
“Ju-san” (bokken spin and cutting of bellies)
This is just munetsuki kotegaeshi (demo with uke)
NOTE: This can be varied to suit talents of the new student and/or what the senior student thinks is most appropriate. Ask student to stay and watch the rest of the class.