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Aikido Training 2010 Summary

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Now that I’ve finished training for the year I thought I’d post my follow-up to Time on the Mat for the second half of 2010. My goal for the 6 months was 120 hours, and I’m happy to say I exceeded that, training 129.5 hours, despite my slow start in July and August.

‘Aikido Training Hours per month 2010’

Here’s the data broken down by number of days training per week – it’s clear that I was much more consistent in the second half of the year:

‘Aikido Training Days per week 2010’

Note that the dojo was closed in weeks 32 and 52, meaning I trained at least once every week the dojo was open!


My total training for the year was 231.5 hours of classes (188 lessons) on 172 days.

Nearly half my training was for Intermediate and Advanced Gakko, just under one quarter was beginners class, about one fifth regular classes, and the remainder training at Shinjuku Sports Center and a couple of seminars.

‘Aikido Training Hours per Class Type 2010’

  • red – (一般) Regular Class at Aikikai Hombu Dojo
  • light blue – (上級) Advanced Gakko at Aikikai Hombu Dojo
  • dark blue – (中級) Aikido Intermediate Gakko at Aikikai Hombu Dojo
  • green – (初心者) Beginners Class at Aikikai Hombu Dojo
  • purple – (特別) other special classes
  • orange – (スポセン) classes at Shinjuku Sports Center dojo

I attended the classes of 19 different teachers over the year. Three teachers make up the majority of my training – Yokota Sensei and Toriumi Sensei, both from Intermediate Gakko, as well as Kobayashi Sensei from Advanced Gakko and Saturday morning 3rd floor training. In the second half of the year I attended a lot of sessions by Suzuki Toshio Sensei, and Sasaki Sensei. I’m quite happy with the mix, except that I’d like to attend more of the Doshu’s classes (making 6am classes is hard when I have evening classes at least 3 times a week!).

‘Aikido Training Hours per Teacher 2010’

The second half of the year

The second half of the year started slowly as I was still recovering from my knee problems. But my impending 1st Kyuu grading test, scheduled for the first week of August, led me to push a bit harder and by the last week of July I was training 4 days a week again. Thankfully I didn’t have any major issues with my knees again. I graduated from my second semester of Aikido Intermediate Gakko, and passed my 1st Kyuu grading.

With the evening gakko classes over I began taking more of the 3rd floor “regular” classes, and also some of the Doshu’s morning classes in September. I was also invited by a friend to try out Wednesday evening training at the Shinjuku Sports Center, taken by Suzuki Toshio Sensei, which was a lot of fun, and was finally able to attend one of Endo Sensei’s classes.

October saw the beginning of the “Advanced Gakko” semester, with Kobayashi Sensei and Katsurada Sensei, and the classes were certainly interesting and very challenging. My knees were mostly back to normal so I was able to really get back into training.

At the start of November I signed up for the Wednesday night training at Shinjuku Sports Center under Suzuki Toshio Sensei. I also attended Tada Sensei’s 15th Special Seminar at Hombu Dojo. November was my biggest training month of the year, training on 20 days for a total of 28.5 hours of classes.

In December I was still training 4-5 days a week. Even though I’d only recently joined the dojo I was able to part in the demonstration for the 5th Anniversary of Shinjuku Sports Center dojo. Training 4-5 days a week for 17 straight weeks had started to take it’s toll though, and I was looking forward to end the year and having a couple of weeks break to give my body a rest. I couldn’t resist, and managed to sneak in one last training session on the morning of Christmas Eve day, giving me 70 days training at Hombu since my 1st Kyuu grading (not counting my training at Shinjuku Sports Center).

Looking ahead

I have now officially met the minimum number of days required to be eligible to take the Shodan grading test, although I know I’m not quite ready yet. My focus for 2011 will be preparing for my black belt grading and, most importantly, continuing to improve my aikido.