- Practice Aikido in both sides
If you want to be strong in every self-defense situation, one of the key things you don’t want to miss is to train in both sides: right and left. I see many students who feel at ease in one side, but experience huge performance loss when it comes to the other side. So break up with this habit and train your brain to be able to handle your body movements in both sides.
- Change your Uke more often
Students differ in the way they perform the technique; the throws, knocks, punches, speed, strength and techniques will change from one Uke to another. If you want to simulate real-life situations, one thing you have to do inside your Dojo is to train with many opponents. That way, you will gain a vaste experience. You can imagine how you will behave when you practice with a strong man compared to a 14 years old Uke.
- Focus, focus, focus on the basics, the rest will come later
The basics must be the start point of your Aikido training; the pressure points, the appropriate timing and the right move are key points that you have to master before you move to other things. When the technique becomes a reflex, you will be able to combine it with other techniques, or face many opponents, without losing your performance.
- First things first
Start by the basics, don’t jump right to the complicated techniques while you are not mastering the basic ones. Start with the 10 basics (kimisube, kinonagare, shizey etc.) and five principles (ikkyo until gokkyo), the basics of Tai sabakis (body moves like irimi, O-irimi, Nagashi, etc). For people who are already familiar with Aikido, make sure that you really master the basics or your techniques will be weak.
- Your breathing is your fuel
A lot of people don’t pay attention to their breathing when they’re training, and Aikido training is not an exception. Breathing plays a key role in achieving the technique. If you don’t pay attention, you will rapidly feel exhausted. It is also critical in real-life situations: A skilled fighter could attack you at the right time in order to instantly defeat you. So try to hide your breathing.
- Do some footing in the weekends
Having a good fitness allows you to resist more during your Aikido training as well as in many other situations. It also improves your breathing, which is important as we saw on the previous point. You will feel at ease and concentrate more on the technique, which will have a brilliant effect on your results.
- Train regularly!
One of the best ways to improve your Aikido training is to practice regularly. If not, just forget about everything I told you before, because it will never help you.
- Be open to other Aikido styles
Yeah, nothing is perfect, and so are martial arts. If you want to be more skillful, you should see what other styles think of some Aikido thechniques.