Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Make Friends Fast with Aikido!

When adults move to a new town or state, it can be difficult to make new friends. It is not uncommon for people to go through months and months of social isolation. This can lead to loneliness and depression, but over time, people slowly rebuild a new social network. That can be a tough experience for almost anyone. However, there is no reason to wait. Some more outgoing people may make an effort to attend activities like public lectures on interesting subject or things like that in an effort to meet new people. But more often than not, most people usually go to those kinds of events in pre-existing clicks and are often opposed to venturing outside their own groups or unwilling to let new people in to theirs. One of the reasons why events like these don't work so well as a way to meet people is that the event is usually passive (like listening to a lecture) and does not engage others or encourage others to socialize outside of their pre-existing social groups. Aikido, on the other hand, is a very different experience... a very active experience.

The Japanese martial art of Aikido is a great way to make friends fast. In an Aikido dojo (or school), the existing students are always excited to have some one new in class because they are excited to see that someone else is taking an interest in the art they feel so passionately about. Existing Aikido students go out of their way to make new students feel welcome and comfortable. In fact, it is their responsibility to do so. The head "sensei" or instructor makes it very clear to all existing students that new people are to be made to feel like this is their new home... because it is! That is, if they want it to be.

One of the most interesting things about an Aikido dojo compared to many other kinds of martial art schools is the "feel" of the environment. When you walk into an Aikido dojo or watch an Aikido class, the more prevalent noise you hear isn't shouting or screaming like you would expect in a martial arts school, but laughter. And, the most common expression you see on the instructor's and students' faces isn't grimacing or sternness, but big smiles and bright eyes.
In Aikido class, students always work in pairs or in threes and the new students work right away not just with other novice students, but with intermediate and advanced levels to provide an optimal learning experience. It is common for Aikido students to work with 6-12 different partners in each class! As a result, the new students get to know a half dozen people or so in their very first class. That is not too many names to remember and not too few. By the end of their first class, a new student is often on a first name basis with most of those people.
What makes an Aikido dojo such a great place to make friends is that instantly you have something in common with the other students... Aikido! You can't be self-conscious about yourself on the Aikido mat because you're too focused and too busy trying to learn the new techniques. Everyone is there to learn Aikido, a powerful and unique martial art with a tremendous capacity to transform people's lives in every aspect.

Everyone's motivation for practicing Aikido is different. Some people are there to learn self-defense. Others are trying to develop more self-confidence or self-control. Yet still, others are there for the exercise. But even if your reason for being there is just to try to meet new people and make new friends, you're still going to have a great time no matter what.

The friendships you make at an Aikido dojo - like Castle Rock AIKIDO in Castle Rock - don't end when class is over. Aikido schools tend to hang out and socialize with each other often. At Castle Rock AIKIDO, we periodically havea barbeque at a student's home and we cut class short on the 4 th Friday of each month and all go out to a restaurant or a late movie with each other to get to know each other outside of class. This New Year's Day, we are all going up to Boulder together to celebrate 'Mochitsuki,' an annual gathering of the Japanese communityacknowledging the new year.

Come discover how Aikido can serve as a catalyst for tremendous social growth in your life. Castle Rock AIKIDO is the martial arts school exclusively for adults in Castle Rock. We invite you to come try a class for free. Call us today at 720-221-3665 or visit us at: www.CRaikido.com for a limited time special offer. Experience a power you never knew you had. Experience Aikido!

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