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Growing up in Japan it was only logical to train in the Martial Arts. Aikido was my first preference and I trained for a few years and when I was about 11 my parents decided the classes were to great an expense and so I moved on to Shotokan Karate (which I could take on base for much cheaper). Eventually I moved on to Judo and then after returning to the US my training dropped off completely.
After being here in Indianapolis for 5 years I decided it was about time to start training again and Aikido was my ideal choice. Even though I had enjoyed Karate and Judo they never had the lure that Aikido did. A lure which I attribute to the spiritual side that Karate and Judo lacked as they seem to present themselves more as a sport.
I have been perusing aikiweb for a few years and it was the first place I turned to search for a dojo. There turned out to be a few schools here in Indianapolis but Indianapolis Aikikai caught my eye immediately.
I decided to watch a class a few days later and see what they were all about. I had been to a few "martial arts" schools in the US and honestly I did not have very high expectations as I was expecting alot of the "tradition" to be missing from their usual routine. Thankfully I was proved wrong and the class was quite enjoyable to watch. Everyone was extremely nice and the head instructor Sensei Lavelle was highly skilled and there seemed to be a complete lack of ego in the class which is one of the major reasons I wanted to return to Aikido.
As it turned out it was not a school but a club in fact which fit nice quitly in my budget There were a number of very talented members who have trained for quite along time. In fact one of them makes it a point to travel to Japan every year to train at Hombu-dojo and has been making the trip since the early 80's.
After the class was over I decided I definitely wanted to train at Indy Aikikai and joined the club then and there. We'll see how it goes and maybe I'll be able to tap into some of the knowledge I gained as a youngin'. Then again, maybe not