Deciding to go to your first day of class can be tough because it is unfamliar, so here are some things to know about entering a Shugenkai dojo.
- Aikido is about blending with life, so you can be assured that no one is looking to make you feel foolish!
- It is your first day - you are expected to know absolutely nothing about aikido! Revel in this and be open to whatever you see while knowing there is no expectation that you understand any of it yet!
- We are all partners on the mat - we work together to create something beautiful.
- Don't for a moment believe you are "slowing down the class." New students bring a dynamic to practice that is valuable for both experienced and less experienced students.
- If you have any physical limitations or fears, don't hesitate to tell the teacher. We can accommodate about anything if we know about it.
- There are no awards for pushing yourself too hard physically and getting hurt. Take it easy, and if you need a breather step to the side of the mat and take one.
Here is how a typical first class might go:
- The best advice is to arrive early and talk to someone before class! They will make sure you have help for everything.
- Get dressed in some comfortable, loose clothes. Sweat pants and a t-shirt work just fine. Don't worry about getting a uniform until you know that this is something you want to do.
- Remove jewelry before class and shoes/socks right before you step on the mat.
- As we step on the mat, we bow towards the front of the class as respect for the Founder dedicating his life to discovering aikido.
- Someone will show you how to sit properly and where to sit. You will line up and sit "seiza" to the far right of a row.
- We might start off with some exercises for mind and body. Follow along as best as you can. The teacher will likely ask you to be right in front of them, so you can see well and be surrounded by people who are familiar with the exercises no matter what direction you face.
- Try not to be nervous - we have all had a first day and everyone there is there to support you on your aikido journey.
- Follow along as best as you can for the class. Keep your mind open and be in the moment! Self-consciousness doesn't help you a bit.
Now check with the location about class registration and schedule and come practice with us!