What makes a good Aikido student great?
As I approach my 20th year studying Aikido, I find myself reflecting back on the journey. When I started, I really had just one mission: Be a good student. As time passed and I learned from my teacher and many others, I started to observe certain training habits, attitudes and other qualities that elevated my training, understanding and overall appreciation for Aikido. I paid close attention to some of the top students at seminars, how they conducted themselves and how they trained. I noticed that — despite their personalities off the mat, some very extroverted others introverted — they trained hard, attended a lot of seminars, and didn’t talk during training. I quickly realized that their talent in the technique wasn’t what made them great, but rather they were great because of ‘everything’ they put into their Aikido training. As time has passed and have been teaching for a while now, I started to think more about what makes a good Aikido student great. I asked our guest instructor, Reuven Lirov, 3rd Dan, Fukushidoin, who will be teaching in June at our dojo, to share his perspectives along with some of our Yudansha.
Attributes of a great student include:
-One who has the best attitude during practice
-One who doesn’t get frustrated
-One who when frustrated doesn’t show it.
-One who seeks honesty in their training
-One who focuses on developing ‘active’ ukemi
-One who builds strong pre and post-class habits
-One who supplements Aikido training with body conditioning
-One who actively looks to engage with fellow students
-One who attends seminars regularly
-One who regularly invites and brings friends to experience Aikido
-One who does not ask when they will test or receive a rank
-One who is conscious of, and takes responsibility for, the safety of his/her uke
-One who leads by example
-One understands and embraces the Sempai-Kohai relationship
-One who freely gives his/her time to help others train
-One who understands that there is never nothing happening