The beginner's/basic classes are intended to teach the skills that are essential for Aikido practice. A typical class starts with a warm-up, which thoroughly stretches all the joints. This is followed by ukemi practice (forward, backward, and side rolls and falls). Then taisabaki, or body movement and balance-shifting exercises, may be performed solo or with a partner. Finally basic Aikido techniques, both pins and throws, are introduced.
The Aikido training exercises and techniques that are demonstrated in class can look deceptively simple. Do not be dismayed if you have difficulty performing the movements, keeping your balance and keeping your back straight at the same time. It takes a lot of practice!
The instructor will demonstrate each technique or exercise a number of times (maybe 10-12). A useful learning method is to focus on one aspect of the demonstration each time it is shown. For example, the first time, see what is the attack (e.g. wrist-grip/strike, front or rear). The second time, observe the footwork. The third time, observe the hand movements. The fourth time, note the direction of the technique, and so on.
The basic classes cover the essential points of Aikido practice. All of the exercises and training techniques in the basic classes are intended to develop flexibility, co-ordination, posture, balance, concentration, awareness and self-observation. Aikido training also develops a strong and supple body, and the ability to relax and move effectively.
Regular or senior Aikido students may attend basic classes, they will be happy to help you!