In some of my previous posts, I discussed the various student levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced in Aikido. At the beginning, the student must learn the basics: rolling and some basics techniques, the first 6 months of the training and afterwards, depending on the frequency of the training, he should start attending seminars.
There are several reasons for attending seminars.
In France, it is required to attend Aikido seminars for passing ranks. Some seminars are organized to review the techniques and they count for the exams and others are just aikido training.
(Picture: Summer camp in Montreal with Christian Tissier.)
In the US, it is not required to attend seminars for passing ranks unless stated by the organization, which is rare. Most students usually train in one place, and they don't adventure out. It is a personal choice. I am personally doing my research and I want to train with as many people as possible.
Seminars are a personal study to further improve our ability to perform techniques.
I believe that attending seminars can only improve the skills of the students. When we train in a dojo, we train everyday with the same people so after a while it becomes easy to perform the techniques and everyone goes with the flow. At seminars, there are some challenges: different students, another approach from another teacher and the environment is different.
Different students: height, arm length, personality and experience can make the training incredibly challenging. The aikido student might have done Nikyo 1,000 times, but he will realize that the way he has done it for a while is not working on certain students, so he must find a way to modify his technique to make it work.
Another teacher: he or she might show a technique you have practiced before, but it is performed differently, and the goal is to practice it the way this seminar teacher does it. Such training offers a certain level of openness. Be open to learning!
And finally, there is another good point attending seminars is for the spirit of community.
We all share a similar passion for Aikido, so it is a good place to make a lot of friends for life.
Seminars are a place where you can grow, and strengthen your skills, and build a relationship with other members of the Aikido community. Research are essential to improve our skills.