02 Aikido Beginners Course

posted 26 Jun 2010, 03:43 by aikidorepublic   [ updated 11 Dec 2010, 01:29 ]
The idea of an aikido beginners course has worked really well. It is one month duration and the student is offered a grading at the end as an encouragement to finish. For many they may not continue so its a nice exit point for them, they have had a chance to have an overview of the art and its many facets (open hand , self defence, weapons, meditation, ki). By the end of the month they can evaluate wether the art is for them or not. By running a course with fixed dates many people come to the dojo that might not ordinarily because 
    - they know they are starting with other beginners
    - a fixed end date means no obligation on them

Of course the hope is after a month of training that the new student has found out more about the art that got them interested to turn up in the first place and thus carry on learning the art. Here is the lesson plan. It is predicated on starting with a foundation movement and building on it, The focus is on experiential rather than technical (though the instructions to the instructor takes the form of technical term). This is because implict learning has a lot of advantages, though it has the draw backs of being seen as infotainment and working with other beginners is limiting from an experiential and learning point of view (Aikido as an Elite Sport)

After running beginners courses for 10 years many things were tried in varying duration, frequency of classes cost and the offering of a certificate. The following is what worked well. The challenges of running beginners classes are many, students only get to work with other new students for most of the time so don't get to feel the 'magic' of aikido. Teaching  beginners courses also gets a bit dry after a while so there is a need to cycle through instructors and senior students. or new people to a dojo they need the best possible instructor so that deep aikido is presented, the risks with a less senior person or skilled instructor is that aikido isn't represented as best as possible.

Moe recently i have noticed a tendency for people to view beginners courses as a fee for service activity, rather than an invitation to begin the process of learning aikido. After completing a course people expect the next course for their next belt to be laid on. So my focus has tended to shift toward an apprenticeship method - it attracts less people but I hope people more interested in taking on aikido, rather than 'yeah I've done some aikido'

Preamble

The  Instructor / Senior Student should  follow these lessons as best you can; taking 10-15 mins on each section. Remember you do not have to teach in complete detail as students will repeat and develop the material as they go. The focus is on them practicing, perfecting the technique will come in time. Please be mindful of what they covered in previous lessons and what is coming in the next lesson. Students should join the rest of the class when all the lessons are finished.

 


 

Lesson 1

 

6:30            Warm-ups with class

 

6:50             Discussion about aikido with students (by a sensei) use uke to demo

 

7:05             Safe backward ukemi (rock and stand)

 

7:20            Udefuri waza progressing to katate kosadori iriminage (then ikkyo irimi)

 

7:40            Weapons – holding bokken, bokken cuts (basic), “Four Seasons kata

 

8:00            Ki training – ‘unbendable arm’

 

8:15            Taninzugake with the whole class – katate kosadori

 

Lesson 2 

 

6:30            Warm-ups with class

6:50            Tumbling – backward ukemi on normal mat (basics)

     – forward ukemi on soft foam mat (basics)

 

7:10            Waza – katate kosadori iriminage

                      katate kosadori ikkyo irimi /  tenkan

 

7:30            Weapons – bokkens drills – stepping and cutting

    bokken cuts, “Four Seasons kata”,

    jo drills e.g. munetsuki, guard, shomanuchi, yokomenuchi

 

8:00            Ki training             - sitting in seiza (formality and posture)

                                    - Aikido posture and footing (weight distribution) with ki testing

 

8:15            Taninzugake with the whole class - katatekosadori


Lesson 3

 

6:30            Warm-ups with class

 

6:50            Tumbling – backward ukemi on normal mat

     – forward ukemi on soft foam mat

 

7:15            Waza – katate kosadori iriminage

katate kosadori ikkyoirimi /  tenkan

– teach kotegaeshi on wrist from static

katate kosadori munetsuki kotegaeshi

 

7:35            Weapons – “Sword of Nine Directions”

     jo drills progressing to ‘Shooting Star”

 

8:00            Ki training – kokyu dosa (basic)

 

8:15            Taninzugake with whole class – katatekosadori

 

 

 

Lesson 4

 

6:30            Warm-ups with class

 

6:50            Tumbling – backward ukemi on normal mat

– forward ukemi on soft foam mat & normal mat (depending on student’s confidence)

 

 

7:10            Waza – katate kosadori iriminage

katate kosadori ikkyo irimi /  tenkan

– katate kosadori munetsuki kotegaeshi

same side hand grab  (i) ikkyo irimi

                 (ii) tenkan progressing to “Emperor’s clothes”

 

 

7:45            Weapons – “Sword of Nine Directions”

    “Shooting Star”

 

8:05            Ki training – kokyu dosa

 

8:15            Taninzugake with whole class – katate kosadori or same side grab

 

 

* Another few more lessons can be added if because of time constrain not all of each lesson is completed.

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