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sbrocklebank
02-06-2007, 01:20 PM
hi all

just come back from dojo having had a great session. anyway i was wondering why people started aikido, and as your experience of the martial art has developed has your motivation changed?

i started because for some reason i have wanted to take up a martial art for ages and what i thought i knew about aikido - ie. nutralize attack with minimum damage to attacker - sort of fits in with my own mind set. of course i wanted and still want to get to black belt standard. having spoken to the black belt holders in my dojo it seems to take a really long time to get there. which makes me question my motivation. which leads me to my question.

cheers and happy aikido-ing

simon

mrfeldmeyer
02-06-2007, 02:17 PM
Prior to Aikido training, I had done boxing and Tae Kwon Do. When I was young, I got into a few too many fights, and they always ended with people being hurt. I realized that I no longer desired to be violent, this was around 15 or so. Around that time I happened across a friend begin and end a fight immediately with a waki gatame, and no one walked away hurt (anymore than pride) and I asked him what exactly that was he had just done. He explained a little bit about Aikido and how it works. So after I moved to a place where there were a couple of dojos I looked into it and found a dojo I liked. I hadn't really been in a fight in quite a few years (and don't plan to ever again), but still found the idea of Aikido intrigueing, so I began training. The rest is history.

mickeygelum
02-06-2007, 02:33 PM
This might help you...:)

www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9765

CNYMike
02-06-2007, 11:22 PM
I first came across mention of Aikido years before I started training, in an article in Scientific American about how it and Judo use circular motion. (Yes, when I was a kid, I had a subscription to Scientific American; this is how nerdy I am.) When I started doing karate in 1985, I read books and magazines about martial arts; O Senei's feats piqued my interest. So when I learned of an Aikido class at a local college in 1986, I signed up, although I continued in karate. I dropped out of that dojo after two years, but kept doing the wrist stretches when I worked out on my own. And I kept buying books on Aikido; every once in a while I'd think about going back.

When my Mom and started doing Tai Chi, the instructor mentioned the school he owned in Ithaca, NY, I looke up its web site and found it had an Aikido class. After my mom died and the school that had hosted the Tai Chi class closed, I went to the Ithaca school to continue in Tai Chi and Kali. (And I had continued doing Karate all these years.) I spent about six monts thinking of joining the Aikido class. When I eventually told my Kali instructor, he thought taking Aikido was the best idea I'd ever had: "You'll be a better martial artist!" So I jumped back into Aikido in March of 2004. The rest is history.

Amanda
02-07-2007, 02:59 AM
I spent four years doing judo and then the club I attended while away a university closed. I tried going to the gym and swimming and while I liked both neither really did it for me. I kinda stagnated for a couple of years and then complained to a friend that I felt i had been missing something since the judo club shut. He suggested I join him at aikido, I did an I'm still there about a year and half down the track. He's stopped coming and the club had to shut for a while after my first sensei left but it reopened and I still go.

Peter Goldsbury
02-07-2007, 03:25 AM
Quite by accident.

A friend had earlier told me about this 'Japanese martial art based on love' and I was not interested. Later, I met a Japanese student and he invited me to go on the mat and check. I was hooked, but it could have been judo, karate, or a dozen other martial arts.

So I have never invested aikido with the kind of practical and spiritual skills that you won't find in other Japanese arts worthy of the name.

You don't mention where you train in Leeds, but if you know Ken Marsden, give him my kind regards and best wishes. We tested for
shodan together. I think it was in 1978.

Best wishes,

SeiserL
02-07-2007, 05:41 AM
Aikido always fascinated me. It was the natural evolution of my martial arts (Budo) journey.

Besides, I don't golf (something about windmills and clown faces).

Roman Kremianski
02-07-2007, 07:09 AM
I'll quote Eric:

I wanted to wear a skirt.

;)

Guilty Spark
02-07-2007, 07:54 AM
Saw an add for it in the newspaper. Remembered Steven Seagal 'did aikido' in his movies, thought it looked pretty cool so I joined.

crbateman
02-07-2007, 08:19 AM
Because it was there... so, why not?

aikidjoe
02-07-2007, 09:05 AM
I started because I thought breakfalls looked awesome and, through a couple rough patches, kept going because as my understanding deepens, the bigger a mystery Aikido becomes. It's a kind of art that takes decades to master for most (even those who have mastered it are constantly deepening their understanding), and even if you don't think you're prepared for that, once you start you may realize just how puzzling Aikido is. That's what keeps me going; it simply is never boring - you've never quite figured it out - and it's always there for you.

L. Camejo
02-07-2007, 09:10 AM
Knew that Seagal did it. Did not want to do Karate/TKD/Judo and on my first visit was quite impressed with the Astronomical side of it, i.e. people being placed in orbit.:D

Been an avid Astronaut since.;)

gstevens
02-07-2007, 10:54 AM
I was cruising around the world in a 39 foot sail boat. Spotted an article that was written by some dude about a train he was riding in Tokyo. The article started me thinking about his premise, that human conflicts can be resolved without the use of force. The article made a huge impact on me. The premise was strange, very strange to me.....

So about two months later I ran into a situation where there was a really interesting conflict, two equally strong opponents were engaged in a conflict over a limited resource. It was not life threatening, simply annoying to one side of the conflict. I listened to the conflict rage for about 40 minutes. I saw the same patterns of all human conflicts I had seen before, however this time I remembered this dude, and his strange article, about a train in Tokyo.

With nothing to loose, I entered the conflict, and used the principles that were stated in the Train article. It was amazing the conflict ended in less than a minute. It takes me longer to tell the story than the end of the conflict actually took. I was amazed, this was a non physical conflict solved by blending and redirecting energy, the results were amazing and like nothing I had ever seen before. So I said to my spouse, "If we ever live tied to land again, I think I would like to try this Aikido thing".

We continued sailing and had another conflict, this one physical, with some unruly locals. It was like I was above myself watching the conflict, detached, and yet in the middle of it. I realized that I came within 1/2 a second of easily killing someone, one simple easy move of my hand, 1/2 inch or so in one direction, and his head would have hit the pavement with enough force to easily cause life long damage or kill him. I realized that it would have served no purpose, and that I had some issues that I needed to work on, which I had been working on for a long time, but was getting nowhere with.

So when we eventually and unexpectedly came back to live in the Bay Area, my wife recommended to my in laws that a month of Aikido would be a good birthday present. Tried one dojo, didn't like it, gave up on the concept. (It didn't match in any way I could see the essence of that article, that one success that I had felt first hand.)

About 2 months later a ten year + friend of mine came to visit. I told him that I had tried this Aikdo thing, and how disappointing the whole experience was after my wonderful application of what I thought it was earlier. He listened intently, as this friend often does. He filled in a couple of details about the article that I had remembered incorrectly as I told him about the article, including the name of the author; Terry Dobson. My friend told me of his aikido practice which he had been doing for over 10 years. He restated what it was that I was looking for in an Aikdio practice and assured me that it was available, and that I should try a few more dojos.

I was mentally blown away, I had seen some limited conflict resolution by my friend in the years that I had known him. His way of solving conflicts, one even with me, seemed to me to be calm, sure, amazing and almost always win win win.. Was this part of his personality from the beginning, or had Aikido shaped this in him? I had to see if I could get some of this amazingly wonderful conflict resolution, not just in my conflict with others, but the root of it, where my inner conflicts exist, from which all my outer conflict seem to spring. Could this real Aikdo be obtained, could I by training learn to change me?

So I called or emailed every dojo in the area. I visited 5 additional dojos, and found one that is an amazing fit for me. I have trained for a few days over 3 years. I train a lot. I can't tell you the difference it has made in the way that I move through life both physically and mentally. Sometimes I solve conflicts so well that I am amazed at myself, other times I am amazed at my incompetence in solving the conflict of what a I and my wife each want for dinner.


Guy
:-)

Ron Tisdale
02-07-2007, 01:04 PM
other times I am amazed at my incompetence in solving the conflict of what a I and my wife each want for dinner.

:) Hey, dinners are hard! That's why when the GF and I can't decide, we have a standing agreement on french bread, cheese, and wine!

Best,
Ron (of course she's french...so go figure... :D )

Budd
02-07-2007, 01:44 PM
My dad had me involved in judo and wrestling as a kid. When I moved out to Oakland, California to live again with my mother and finish high school, three things happened:

1) I saw my first Steven Seagal movie
2) The new high school did not have a wrestling team
3) I started training at East Bay Aikido (Guy, say "Hi" to Gambell Sensei and Rick for me, I still make it out there once a year or so)

I trained for about a year and a half of aikido, then graduated high school and moved back to Pennsylvania to attend Allegheny College (I know there's at least one other AC grad on this site). Allegheny had gotten rid of its wrestling team the year before, but there were enough carryovers and the local freestyle/greco club was very strong that I was able to stay somewhat active in club wrestling. I then began training fairly regularly in an Americanized karate school (the instructor taught stuff from Shotokan, Vee-jitsu and Tang Soo Do), which then led to some (humorous) attempts at kickboxing.

After college, the areas I traversed didn't offer what I was looking for (which at the time, I couldn't identify, other than "something else") from a martial arts perspective. In my short-lived career as a Counselor to Youth with Behavioral Problems in a residential setting, I found that my recent forays into pugilism had imparted me with the entirely "wrong" set of reflexes (big time penalties for striking a minor), such that I had to "turn off" those responses and really focus on grappling (which as I'm sure many here know, when you have to "think" about what you're doing, severely compromises your effectiveness).

I realized a few other things:

1) I needed to get back into training.
2) Ideally, I needed to train something that could apply in a number of situations.
3) I needed to get a job that paid more money, wasn't as stressful and had a career path!

A couple of years later, having made some headway on (3), I figured that I'd delayed long enough numbers (1) and (2). The Itten Dojo, an independent dojo in Enola, PA was very close to my home and they offered aikido as a training option. Fortunately for me, it's been a very good fit and I attribute many of my current successes off the mat to the work and lessons I've learned on the mat.

Funny thing though, when I started back up with training, I was like a starving man that tried to over-eat once food becomes available. I joined a gym to train with a former Pro Wrestler, I started boxing workouts and then I began playing judo on weekends. After a bit, I realized that I was merely becoming "competent", at best, in a number of things, but I wasn't really getting "good" at any of them. I've pared back a bit, realizing that my aikido practice contains a lot of what I was looking for elsewhere.

So, these days, I make time to train whenever I can . . . (oh yeah, my wife trains as well, so that's also a HUGE bonus!)

Life is good.

Suru
02-07-2007, 05:53 PM
Hadn't heard the word "Aikido" 'til I was 20. WIth moderate curiosity, I found Aikiweb and read "Memoir of the Master" and "The Founder's Teachings." I thought, 'is this for real?' I found a club at FSU...wow training was awkward at first! I had played plenty of basketball and golf but never tried a martial art. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew I loved this strange old man's philosophy. I love training and teaching beginners. I will return to the mat when I discover the right meds...I wish I could today; these side effects of fatigue and dizziness are so frustrating!

Drew

Mike Hamer
02-08-2007, 01:00 AM
Friend from school told me about some "Samurai School" that he was in when he lived in Florida. This guy was a complete joke though, always telling people bullcrap that wasnt true so I just said "Cool man...good for you" The next day he brought a book called "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" I found this site, did a quick dojo search, and the rest is history my friends.

Tinyboy344
02-08-2007, 10:33 PM
Started out with Tae Kwon Do when I was little, hated it. Then I wanted to train in judo, my dad is Ni Dan in Judo, he didn't want me to do it (said it was dangerous for me) and suggested Aikido -.- Tried it and got hooked for more than a year then I took a 6-year break cuz of school and stuff. Just got back into it recently.

Nafis Zahir
02-09-2007, 03:29 AM
I wanted to train in a second martial art and I thought Aikido would be easy since there were no kata's, kicking or punching.

Guilty Spark
02-09-2007, 04:31 AM
I wanted to train in a second martial art and I thought Aikido would be easy since there were no kata's, kicking or punching.

See I've heard this mentioned before there's no punching or kicking. (Even though I've seen clips of Osensei and Gozo Shioda punching kicking and striking..)

Here's the thing, in order for someone to learn how to defend them self against a kick or a punch you need someone to punch or kick you properly in the first place, right?
If someone gives you a half assed strike then what are the chances you'll actually be able to defend yourself when it happens for real? Slim to none is my bet..

A video comes to mind which I'll use as an example. A girl (on you tube, yes yes I know) is apparently setting herself up to demonstrate defending herself against a kick. A guy standing in front of her, on command, gives her a kick and she just gets launched off screen.
I figure she's trained against someone kicking her at a dojo but never really trained against someone kicking her 'for real'.

I feel knowing how to punch kick and strike is a VERY important part of knowing and learning aikido, as an uke you owe it to your partner.

Dennis Hooker
02-09-2007, 06:58 AM
I started it out of curiosity after reading about it. I was in a phase of my life where I needed to re-socialize myself, the government programs weren’t doing a very good job for some of us. The people I met and their skill level gave me a great deal of peace. I was already a pretty good fighter I needed to be a better person, father and husband. Latter when I got very ill with Myasthenia Gravis my teachers did what my doctors couldn’t.

p00kiethebear
02-14-2007, 11:51 PM
Why did you start Aikido?

Because it looked fake and I was a young punk who wanted to show those aikifruits what real fighting was.

Let's just say my Sensei put me in my place the first class and I became one of the aikifruits.

Now I'm a young punk who knows Aikido :D

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Princess Rose
02-15-2007, 12:05 AM
When I was eleven I saw this cheesy movie with this karate girl who was like kicking ass so naturally I wanted to do that. My parents, however, said no. So then this friend of theirs said she had an awesome non-violent martial art that teaches like peace and all so they agreed. I was hooked.

Edward
02-15-2007, 03:23 AM
When I was still a teenager, I read a book about Judo, the way of gentleness, and was very amazed at the principles of non-resistance and using the opponents force against him. I joined a Judo dojo and stayed there for over 7 years. It didn't take me long to realize it was all BS, there's nothing gentle about Judo, and I have never seen anyone apply the principles I read about in that book. I realized that Judo had drifted from what its founder wanted it to be. I had to stop Judo because of my bad knees that I acquired during those 7 years, and a few years later, I saw an aikido dojo in the city where I live. I knew vaguely about it and that it used the same principles as Judo. Some research over the net, and I knew this was for me. Basically it had everything that attracted me to Judo and none of the drawbacks.

Jorge Garcia
02-15-2007, 04:34 AM
We had just been to eat some Chinese food. My family got in the car when my son announced he had entered a contest at the cash register. I said,"What contest?" He said," The one for a free karate lesson." I said to him that everyone wins those but he didn't believe me. Sure enough, a week later,a letter arrived saying he had won. I took him to the karate dojo and it was full of 30 other "winners". After the lesson, I asked him how he liked it. He said that he hated it and hitting the air and yelling "Kiai!" was weird and embarrassing. He seemed discouraged and was quite downcast when we saw another place in the business park where some men were training quietly. I think that was what struck me. They seemed intent at what they were doing. We stopped and watched and the teacher came and talked to us. I told my son that he should try this art. He did and immediately fell in love with it. That was July of 1995. Neither of us had ever seen a martial arts movie. Even today, I have only seen one martial arts movie at a theater. I didn't know who Bruce Lee was or Jackie Chan was. We just did Aikido because it was fun and interesting and it was something a father and son could do together.Two days ago, my son and I went to train again and I realized that is what I have always liked about aikido. That I can be with my son, and that we can laugh and talk about things on the way home.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Ed Stansfield
02-15-2007, 06:26 AM
I was hooked, but it could have been judo, karate, or a dozen other martial arts.

So I have never invested aikido with the kind of practical and spiritual skills that you won't find in other Japanese arts worthy of the name.If the Buddha exists anywhere, it exists everywhere.

I think I first read about Aikido in a Hardy Boys Detective Story of all places. I'd wanted to learn it when I was a teenager, but at that time there were no dojos where I lived. I started Aikido when I went to University because there was a club and I had the time and the opportunity. I think I had the sort of pre-conceptions that you get from having read a little bit about Aikido from people that don't really know much about it; I don't know if "spiritual" is the right word for the ideas I had about it but I had "intellectual" conceptions of what it would be like - that it was non-agressive, that there were no attacks etc. Also, I thought it would be less frightening than joining the Jitsu society...

For me, the reasons why I started don't seem very relevant to my day to day practice now - they seem to be more a result of chance, co-incidence, ignorance and immaturity.

Second best decision I ever made though.

Ed

DonMagee
02-15-2007, 06:56 AM
I had gotten a black belt in TKD as a teen, and had moved and let my practice fall to the side in exchange for sports, cars, and girls. I wanted to get back into martial arts. I was ripped off by a tkd school I tried to join (long story) and wanted to try something different. I thought about a few arts, kungfu, judo, karate. But I decided judo was a silly sport, karate was too much like TKD, and I just did not like the kungfu instructor I met. At the time I had only heard about bjj but didn't think it was offered in my area, and to tell the truth was probably too intimidated to even go check it out if I knew. I found out about Steven Segal and his aikido, so I googled it, found a school and checked it out. I was impressed with the prices, techniques, the people, and their attitudes. The instructor had me come out on the mat and basically controlled me like I was a puppy. One of the more happier decisions I ever made. Not only did it get me back into the martial arts, but my instructor was the spring board for my judo/bjj/mma training and ultimately lead to me losing about 50 pounds.

crbateman
02-15-2007, 07:03 AM
...and ultimately lead to me losing about 50 pounds.I found 'em, Don. Want 'em back??? :D

DonMagee
02-15-2007, 07:21 AM
Nah that's ok, but thanks for the offer.

Daniel Ranger-Holt
02-19-2007, 06:04 PM
I started Aikido because i wanted to learn a martial art that would make me feel comfortable on the street if i was ever to be attacked, simple. I had been putting off joining a dojo for about 5 years for all sorts of reasons. I got attacked...and have been training for the last 8 months. The more i read and more videos i watched the whole thinking behind the art completely captivated me and here i am. No previous martial arts training, none others have ever took my interest.

Eddie Heinzelman
02-21-2007, 12:13 PM
My brother took karate for awhile when we were kids. I was more interested in kung fu at the time, but I never studied anything. Then when I was in college, and I really became interested in Zen and eastern philosophy, I learned about Aikido, but I still never took the time to devote to it. My interest lies in it's philosophy as well as a martial art and the fact that it's not offensive in nature.

Fast forward about 14 years, and my daughter said she wanted to take karate. I bought a free month of classes at one of their school functions, and so I went with my daughters to try out karate. I didn't really want to study karate, but only did it because a) I had the lessons, b) I thought I could help them learn if I took it, and c) there was never anywhere to study Aikido that wasn't an hour or more drive.

Plus, I'm a musician, and the thought of breaking boards with my hands and competative sparring do not thrill me in the least. I had a friend mugged and killed after he left a performance several years ago, and although I don't know if any art would have changed that, I sure find myself in some odd places at odd hours, and felt like it was long overdue to learn self-defense.

Fortunately, after our free month, the dojo was going to close so a gentleman who had been working out with us decided to take it over. He is a 4th Dan in Aikido and transitioned the school from karate to jujitsu and aikido. I was thrilled! It's only a couple minutes from my house so I can actually workout for 3 hours instead of spending 2 of those hours driving to/from a dojo.

So now, my daughter loves jujitsu and aikido (so much more than karate) and I'm spending 3 nights a week in the dojo as well as helping out at the school (admin, website, teaching, etc.).

Eddie Heinzelman
02-21-2007, 12:18 PM
My brother took karate for awhile when we were kids and was a huge Bruce Lee fan. I was more interested in kung fu growing up (no, not David Carradine), but I never studied anything. Then when I was in college and I really became interested in Zen and eastern philosophy, I learned about Aikido, but I still never took the time to devote to it. My interest lies in it's philosophy as well as a martial art and the fact that it's not offensive in nature.

Fast forward about 14 years, and my daughter said she wanted to take karate. I bought a free month of classes at one of their school functions, and so I went with my daughters to try out karate. I didn't really want to study karate, but only did it because a) I had the free lessons, b) I thought I could help them learn if I took it, and c) there was never anywhere to study Aikido that wasn't an hour or more drive away.

Plus, I'm a musician, and the thought of breaking boards with my hands and competative sparring do not thrill me in the least. I had a friend mugged and killed after he left a performance several years ago, and although I don't know if any art would have changed that, I sure find myself in some odd places at odd hours, and felt like it was long overdue to learn self-defense.

Fortunately, after our free month, the dojo was going to close so a gentleman who had been working out with us decided to take it over. He is a 4th Dan in Aikido and transitioned the school from karate to jujitsu and aikido. I was thrilled to finally have an opportunity to study aikido! It's only a couple minutes from my house so I can actually workout for 3 hours instead of spending 2 of those hours driving to/from a dojo.

Now, my daughter loves jujitsu and aikido (she really didn't like karate) and I'm spending 3 nights a week in the dojo as well as helping out at the school (admin, website, teaching, etc.).

Hanna B
02-21-2007, 12:22 PM
I had read about aikido and found it fascinating - not really sure what it was I read about it that attracted me. It might have been the tone or language in the article, or whatever. There was no aikido dojo where I lived though, so I explored what other budo arts there were - until an chance to do aikido emerged.

garry cantrell
02-21-2007, 02:35 PM
It was because of an attractive young woman. :D First semester at college I saw this very attractive woman with blond hair and blue eyes walking from the gym wearing a gi. I had done Goju-Ryu for about a year prior to that and thought I had the background to strike up an interesting conversation. Aikido?? Never heard of it. I do karate! Um, didn't make that much of an impression. So, come Winter Term I signed up for Aikido - and she didn't. Dangit. Too late though. I was hooked. That was 30 years ago. I've done maybe 5 years of TKD, maybe 3 of Judo, a little Shito-Ryu and a little Hapkido over the years and lately have been playing with the BJJ folks - all great fun and all great folks, but it's always Aikido that's my mainstay.

Rolf Granlund
02-22-2007, 04:12 AM
Aikido seemed to be a natural step in my journey as well. I have trained in various striking arts for about twenty years and decided that for me, aikido would help me learn how to move better and to be aware of what's around me.

Also, I feel that Aikido gives me more of a choice in dealing with situations and the ability to escalate my response if necessary.

PhilMyKi
02-22-2007, 11:57 AM
I could give some up close and personal reasons like 'I had no social life', 'lack of friends', 'seeking a little more direction in my life', 'needed to lose some weight', 'needed to get out of the house more' or 'low self esteem' but they are all boring and blahhhhh :yuck:

How about I am slightly nutty in a high pressure job and I need to blow off some steam now and again :D . I enjoy the interaction and appreciate the friendships I have cultivated.

Angela Morton
02-24-2007, 02:40 PM
Originally i started because my partner raved about it. Then we bought a house and couldn;t afford fees. I went back to training after two years on Thursday because i missed it, i'm still not sure i can afford it, but i'll try. i missed the way it got rid of frustration, i missed the oppurtunity to learn something a bit different. My body resents rolling on thursday after so long out, and the pain has bugged me for two days, but at the same time the pain is nice, it's aiki-pain and it means i'm training again, and training made me smile!

Ryan Sanford
09-10-2007, 11:43 PM
I dug this thread from the bowels of the forums because I wanted to hear more people's stories about how they heard about Aikido!

I learned about it on a special called "Martial Arts Hot Spots" on travel channel... I had never done a martial art, but I wanted to take one. All it took was me seeing the little clip of Moriteru Ueshiba doing randori to get me fascinated in it, and the rest is history! :D

lbb
09-11-2007, 06:43 AM
I was training Shotokan karate when I lived in the big city, and I'd still be training Shotokan if I were living there. Then...I moved to the sticks, with no real martial arts within an hour's drive. About five years after I moved here, these people started this dojo in a nearby town (Green River Aikido (http://greenriveraikido.org)), and I said to myself, "Aha, at last some real martial arts around here!" Any real dojo would have done just fine by me.

Angela Dunn
09-11-2007, 07:51 AM
Bit late to this thread but I will post anyways, because I can!

Triple reason actually, walked into the middle of a fight at work between my managers and some shoplifters hell bent on sticking a knife into someone. Luckily no-one got hurt but it made me think, hum may be useful to know what to do in that situation. This was confirmed by other experiences in retail hell!

So I actually found out about the Hartlepool class by accident when doing some research for work, (Looking up an address that happened to be the same place my dojo is based at. ) I clicked on the wrong link and there was a picture and article about my now Sensei and the class. Did think it looked fun but then sort of did not go.

Anyhow few months later adverts started appearing in the local newspaper, plus I needed the address again, clicked on that very same wrong link again and thought, hum may as well give it a try. A friend at the time kept nagging me to get in touch to find out more about it, and because well getting into social situations and meeting people away from work would be a good thing. Got in touch via email with a list of questions which promptly got answered, my details got passed on , emails got exchanged that got me giggling like a mad thing and thought I got to go meet this person. A week later I found myself gathering up courage and walking through the door. I am still going nine months later and its the best decision I think I have ever made.

GLWeeks
09-12-2007, 10:02 AM
I had studied Karate for 5 years while in my teens(I'm 39 now) and was 6 months away from testing for black belt when my Sensei retired. I tried studying under different instructors, but it never felt the same. I decided that it was only a belt and walked away.

12 years later the wife and I moved to Memphis, TN and I started realizing how much I missed the martial arts. Moving from Tupelo, MS I now had a much broader selection to choose from. I found the Aikido Society of Memphis and met Greg Owen Sensei and I have been hooked ever since. Greg has moved to FL since then, but this time I have decided to continue my training and push forward. We have a great group led by Robert Kores Sensei and I am there to stay!

I have started dabbling in Escrima and I am loving that as well...

Guy

Dewey
09-12-2007, 09:23 PM
To be a Jedi, of course! ;) See my very first post in the Introductions sub-section: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=173735&postcount=1

Seriously, though. Aikido for me is more than a hobby...it's a lifestyle. I wouldn't go so far as to say "budo," though...I'm not worthy of that. I'm a long way from that. But it certainly is a defining aspect of my life.

Mattias Bengtsson
09-13-2007, 06:04 PM
I started Aikido because a friend of mine bugged me to start...

is the simple answer, in reality, it is of course more complex than that..

When I was about 20 years old a friend of mine got me into Shotokan Karate which he had trained for half a year. But when he stopped slightly less than a year afterwards I discontinued as well.

I didn't really know any of the other and while the atmosphere wasn't exactly hostile it was a bit... competitive. So when my friend quit, I quit as well.

Then a few more years later I did some kick boxing at University but as I found it to exhausting I decided it wasn't for me, just about as the warm-up exercise was done. So was I...

So... another couple of years.. and at the age of 33 I figured it was time for me to join the ranks of grown-ups.. and get a drivers license.. (I live in a moderately small town, and it takes slightly less than half a hour to go from on one side to the other.. by bike)
At the same time I started to worry about driving a car would mean less exercise and a increase in weight, so when I was "recruited" to Aikido it was more or less as "a better option than going to a gym"..

Aikido seemed to me something I could do without needing to be young or flexible, or being in perfect condition.

Now, a year later, the incredibly friendly atmosphere of the Dojo have made me more friends, and that friend who got me started in Karate some 14 years ago are coming to the "beginners class" next week.. meaning my whole experience of Martial arts have come full circle :D

My father who is suitably impressed by my Ukemi (he is 63 and I haven't given up the hope to get him to start :D ) once asked me for "how long is this course supposed to take" to which I replied "until I grow bored or die, whichever comes first" ;)

hullu
09-19-2007, 04:52 AM
Health problems. I had felt bad/sick for 1-3 months. I took some drugs but they did not help. I am not fat and I am young but due to the addiction of the terrible computer my shape had gone down. Especially poker was bad for my healt. Easy money but.. just terrible.

Will Prusner
09-19-2007, 11:17 AM
Because I wanted to usher in a new era of peace and enlightenment, which is the inevitable result of opening the rock-door of heaven and restoring the reign of Amaterasu o mi Kami. Obviously.
:straightf

donplummer
09-20-2007, 08:55 AM
At 6'5" and close to 400lbs, I got tired of relying on my strength and size to dominate people as a full time "bouncer" at numerous clubs in NYC. Had a room-mate who had tried Aikido before and after attending another friend's Black Belt test, I was hooked. The randori blew my mind. 9 years later I have an entirely different approach (much more peaceful) to dealing with difficult people. The philosophy of Aikido has really taken root within me. My discovery of Aikido has doubtless saved my life on numerous occasions. Stories for another thread...

Bronson
09-20-2007, 09:01 AM
The local ballroom dancing classes didn't fit with my schedule so from my research I figured aikido would be the next best thing ;)

Bronson

BK Barker
09-20-2007, 11:19 AM
Why did I start Aikido... hum.... well here it goes...

When I was a kid growing up I loved to watch martial arts movie's and was intrigued by Bruce Lee/Karate/Kung Fu/ and many others but the art the really grabbed my attention was Ninjutsu. To say that I was infatuated with Ninja's would well really be an understatement. I had books upon books and tried to find some place to learn this mystical yet awesome art close to me but as I figured that was just as illusive as the ninja...So I move on looking at other forms and while in the military I got some mixed training and I do mean mixed! But that just fueled my desire to learn more even though at those times I didn't have the time or money to do so and thus put off on something that I really wanted to do....fast forward a bit...many years later I had started looking at different dojo's in the area's close to me and everyone I visited I was not moved to join so I went on about not doing the one thing I really wanted to do deep inside and kind of gave up especially after dealing with a broken back and cancer...

Fast forward to this year...

I started working in a local hospital where I worked part time sat/sun in house services. A job came open in our dept to work in the ER so I put in a transfer request because it would 1 open up my sundays for my competitve archery and 2 it payed more besides I am a 12 year vet of the fire service and was an emt for about 1/2 of that I figured heck I would enjoy it.... I got that job and that led me to learn about one of the rn's practicing martial arts. Well I got to talking to him here and there since we worked the same shift all the time. But the more we talked the more I was intrigued... to say that he got me excited about learning a martial art that I thought was really "cool" is very accurate but I was still a bit reserved because he was studying at a dojo that I had visited in the past and was still a bit skeptical. So he kept inviting me to come over and check it out so I did. When I walked in he introduced me to the sensei and we talked for a bit and I watched a class... well that was it I was hooked! I have now recently gotten my yellow belt and am looking forward to working with everyone there at the dojo every week! I wish we was going 3 days a week every week but even though it's only 2 that's fine with me as it leaves time for me to coach my daughters soccer team and still practice my archery as well. The reason I like aikido so much is not only the people I have come to know is the fact that it is really challenging in a lot of ways. It's easy to tell if I have my head in the game or not and when I don't that just makes me want to try harder to get my head in the game every time even though it might be unrealistic to say every time but hey if I can get those on days to be more then the not on days I'll be a little happier!

Stefan Stenudd
09-28-2007, 04:07 AM
It started with a nikyo:

http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikido-true.htm

Ryan Porter
10-02-2007, 11:30 AM
I just started for exercise, really. I had been going to a gym, lifting weights and swimming. I was in shape but getting bored. I thought martial arts would be a good way to keep fit and learn something at the same time. Also, my reflexes felt dull.

I visited a Kung Fu dojo, and I remember a lot of squatting and punching. Didn't really interest me. I couldn't see the spirit. I went to a Tae Kwan Do dojo and, although the class had mixed ages, it was really for kids. Everyone had to say a corny "pledge" before and after class. Then, I went to the Aikido dojo and watched. The practice looked looked so joyful, especially when students were in line-practice and rolling back and forth all over the mat.

I signed up and knew I'd like it. I didn't think, however, it would be a big part of my life 10 years later.

Avery Jenkins
10-04-2007, 06:43 PM
I was walking from my Boston apartment to the pizza joint on the corner, and ended up getting in the middle of a knife fight from which I luckily escaped uninjured. I wisely thought that I may not be so lucky next time.

I had seen aikido previously, and felt the art matched with my philosophy (I was already practicing Zen at the time). So I enrolled at the New England Aikikai, went to 6 classes, dropped out.

Couldn't get aikido out of my head. 3 years later I started again, in Connecticut. This time it stuck.

peejaymc
10-04-2007, 09:46 PM
I was in a relationship with this guy that said he knew aikido (come to find out he's just seen a lot of Seagal movies). Anyway, I was bored one day and looked it up on the internet. Found a school, went, and it looked so cool. I was amazed.

I've stayed with aikido because it has done something in me.

Shannon Frye
10-11-2007, 12:01 PM
2 reasons -

I couldn't find a decent Judo dojo around here
and

I wrote a book review of Aikido Basics on my blog, and had my review critiqued by the author himself. That was great motivation to "get on the mat and train".

Carlos Rivera
10-12-2007, 06:14 PM
Main reasons-

a) to save my knees (all that TaeKwonDo was doing a number on them)

b) to keep practicing into my "golden years" (that means past 90)

c) to get rid of a beer belly (got rid of it, and then discovered lots of Aikido folks like that "biru")

d) to meet new friends (some are more like family)

So far so good, the knees are holding up great, I have trained for a while and made great friends in different places, and I am halfway to my "golden years" goal!! :D

Mark Uttech
10-12-2007, 06:19 PM
Around the time I was in 5th grade, I saw an ad in a comic book: "Combat Aikido". For some reason (karma?) the word stuck into my head. Twenty years later, I saw the word again, on a flyer. I signed up. 23 years later, I am still signed up.

In gassho,

Mark

Dewey
10-12-2007, 07:13 PM
2 reasons -

I couldn't find a decent Judo dojo around here
and

I wrote a book review of Aikido Basics on my blog, and had my review critiqued by the author himself. That was great motivation to "get on the mat and train".

Sweet!!!!

On a different note: I love you're signature. I prefer: "atemi's not having to say that you're sorry."

Flaria
10-13-2007, 11:22 AM
To get excersise! Now i've been drawn in by Aikido's super-amazing-awesomeness-of-all-time! <3<3<3

senseimike
10-13-2007, 01:21 PM
This is an easy question to answer for me.... about 17 years ago, when I was just an akward teenager, my dad said "Get in the god damned truck." We headed to a new dojo in the area and the rest is, as they say, history.

Mary Turner
10-13-2007, 05:40 PM
The mixed martial arts school I previously attended closed due to lack of students funds. My sensei recommended Aikido, and said, "This guy Bill Bunn, he's a stickler for details".. What an understatement! But I am a better student for it.

tedehara
10-13-2007, 06:21 PM
I was interested in the concept of Ki and felt it could best be understood by practicing an art. I was warned off learning Tai Chi since I was considered "Japanese" and the teacher I wanted to study with had a tough time during WWII while in China.

One day I was looking though The Whole Earth Catalog and saw an article about the book Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. Since this martial art was suppose to use Ki, I thought I'd give it a try. I went for a few months, then left to join the Army. Years later I started again with the Chicago Ki Society.

Ika
10-16-2007, 04:40 AM
I strated aikido...hmmm i just tried...no purpose...
But now, i really love aikido ! i dont know why... :D
Still red belt, but i will keep practice to get the higher level...
Sorry if my english is bad...:p

kenshi07
10-16-2007, 12:40 PM
My body really hasn't ever been up to par with my friends, I've had some problems and that made we want to make myself more fit and able to take care of myself. So I had begun looking into the martial arts. Along comes an anime (Ruroni Kenshin) and I am even more inspired to look into a way not only to protect myself but others too. And so I begin looking deeper in to budo specifically kendo, but eventually Aikido catches my attention and I lock on too it. But I was so far from any dojo, all i could do was read. Then came college and the Aikido dojo here at Fort Hays was actually one of the things that attracted me here.(and it was cheap) And I've been at it for about 3 months and I never want to stop! I want to grow old and roll into eternity!

hkronin
10-16-2007, 01:08 PM
I saw Gino Felino beat up a bunch of guys in "Out for Justice" and thought it looked cool. "Has anybody seen Richie???"

Seriously though; I trained in Kenpo for many years, but I wanted to try something new. I managed a large retail store where we were constantly dealing with and restraining shoplifters. I couldn't exaclty hit them in the throat, or kick them in the groin, and these non-lethal scenarios showed me some areas where I could really benefit from something like Aikido.

Kakita
10-19-2007, 12:31 PM
I had a bad expeience going home a few months ago:( . I made a decison to learn some self defence, and a good friend of mine pointed me at this thing called Aikido. Well I would say she sent me off to it. But no, she pretty much dragged me kicking and screaming onto the mat.:freaky: *looked like this on the first session)
Going to have to say it wasn't a bad choice. Loving every minute of it!:D