By Steve Weber
Special to the Nugget
Martial Arts training can be a unique and satisfying experience. But for someone who has never taken such a class before, it can also be very challenging on a number of levels.
Let us first discuss fitness. Certainly anyone with average or better physical skills is a potential candidate. Yet, I have successfully taught people with minor health issues and in poor physical condition. Those with a proper mindset and a determined, spirited drive, often overcome significant obstacles. We are not generally training at a pace that the average person would find difficult to keep up with. Every class starts with approximately fifteen minutes of warm up exercises that are specifically geared toward the types of movements one would use in the class.
The next consideration is mindset. Why do you want to train? What motivated you to visit the school? Assuming one has the time to devote to training and the funds to pay for it, ask yourself if you intend to stick with it long enough to learn something of value. If you’re the type to quit anything that frustrates you when it isn’t easy to do, you will require an attitude adjustment that puts more emphasis on patience and perseverance. Come in with an open mind and prepare to accept the discipline of listening intently and using keen observation skills. These necessary traits enhance your focus and will contribute to your success in the learning process. While training, it will be critically important to clear your mind of all extraneous thoughts.
Finally, your “spirit” or better put, your emotional attitude will determine whether you meet the goals you have set for yourself. Your position or ability outside the school is not equivalent to rank or skill inside the school. Humbling one’s ego is essential to fitting in. Those with emotional baggage, including issues with authority figures, will need to modify their behavior. The Martial Arts begin and end with courtesy. If you chafe at saying yes or no sir, it’s not for you.
Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 North Oracle Road, in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.
Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at www.AikidoAcademyOfArizona.com.