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Ah! Aikido Journals! What a great Idea! I have read a few of the other journals with intrest and I see this as being a good learning tool.
I might as well start from the beginning and explain how and why I chose to study Aikido. It was a bit of fate that steered me to Aikido but first I'll take you back many years before that faithful day.
I grew up in a fairly Isolated community that was 2 hours from the nearest dojo. It was the Mid seventies and Bruce Lee was making MA's popular on the big screen with his Movie Enter The Dragon. When I saw the movie I was facinated be the grace and skill of the legendary Lee. I longed to be able to do what he could do. When the High school found a Judo Instructor from an adjacent town to come in twice a week to run a Judo class I jumped at it. It wasn't Kung Fu but you take what you get, right.
I studied judo for 5 years this way before the sensei finally moved to greener pastures, and I was out of a place to train.
Again I longed for the chance to continue on with the MA's, but life kept throwing me curves. 25 years later after I finally earned the time and money (and was haveing a mid life, and a mid drift crisis) I decided to find a MA to train in. I search many a dojo and dojang but they where either WAY too expensive or the times that they wher open didn't jive with my work times (I work a night shift). I was beginning to get discouraged when I happened to be walking along the beach where my wife and I bought some property a couple of years prior, wher I came across a guy carving what looked like a knife. Being the snoopy nieghbor I approached him and asked if it woudn't be easier to use the knife which he is using to carve the knife with (in jest)? He explained to me that he was a sensei of his own dojo, and that he used these tantos in his knife defense classes. On more conversation and questioning I found it very affordable and conveinient, and he invited me to try it out and the rest is history.
I've been at it for almost a year now, and have graded to 5th kyu. Aikido turns out to fit my personality well and is a good compliment to the judo I studied as a teen. I suppose I'll always study Aikido now cause it makes me feel so good. It has changed my life and perspective on many things that I hope to journal here.
but that is for a later date. Right now it is the end of my shift and I have to print up a transfer for my colleage.