View Full Version : What did spark your interest with Aikido?

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Lari Hammarberg
12-25-2010, 11:37 PM
This thread ties more or less with the previous "how was your first Aikido class ever?" thread.

As any student, i ask you questions and seek knowledge and inspiration from you who have started this journey bofere me, so tell me, how did you find about AIkido, and what made you go to your first class?

I'm now too lazy to repeat myself about my reasons for starting to explore the world of budo, but i don't know about your decissions and feelings behind, so open your mind and tell what got you onto this way of living, what brought you to your budo? :)

Arigato.*bows with hands in the tatami* :D

12-26-2010, 02:48 AM
Dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu! :D
I chose Aikido because I saw it as moving meditation with a self-defense aspect thrown in. I liked the idea of trying to use my attacker's efforts against him or her, and with the intent of not harming the person where possible.

12-26-2010, 07:46 AM
What first sparked my interest was seeing Ed Baker Sensei do a demo at a local YMCA in the early 70's. The way he moved and totally controlled his uke at that demo was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

12-26-2010, 08:58 AM
In 2008 I attended an big horse expo that I go to every year. I was there with a friend I had met on the internet who had become interested in horses and he and I had shared our experiences for some time. This horse expo features top riders and trainers form across the country giving lectures and demonstrations on riding and training.

As I was not particularly interested in seeing anyone that weekend I looked over my friends choices. He greatly wanted to see a trainer named Mark Rashid. In fact he had seen one of the trainers lectures before he caught up with me that day and he really wanted me to join him at the next one.

My friend is a professional martial artist. He runs a large dojo that teaches mainly karate but he holds multiple black belts in a number of martial arts including aikido. So needless to say his interest in this particular trainer soon became very evident.

As we sat down and Mr Rashid entered the arena he looked over the crowd and said to us. I am a martial artist. I practice the art called Aikido and in my dojo we treat our fellow students with respect. So I do not want any negative energy here while I am working with these people.They have come to lend us their bodies and those of their horses so we can learn from them. If anyone has anything negative to say during the lecture please get up and leave in order to do so.

The stadium was silent. I was impressed.Usually horse people can be extremely critical of one another when watching others perform. It gets really distracting and irritating when trying to watch and learn from a good trainer and people behind and beside you are whispering loudly all of the faults that they find.

He went on throughout the session discussing principle used in aikido that can be applied to riding and training horses. The whole thing was fascinating. So I returned home from that trip deeply intrigued by this trainer and aikido. I bought and read all of his books over the next few months. And with quite a few nudges form my friend finally decided to give aikido a try. I'm happy to say that it has enhanced my horsemanship a great deal already. :)

Diana Frese
12-26-2010, 09:53 AM
Wow. How to begin. I was first introduced to Aikido at Cornell, in the sixties; the judo club invited the Waseda Aikido club from Japan and I was stuck in the infirmary with German measles and couldn't attend, but they gave me the brochure. It was probably the thing with the flying people that got me. Seriously, I was curious about it, especially since in the self defense lessons that were added to the regular "girls judo" classes at Helen Newman Hall on
campus Aikido was mentioned as the origin of one of the
techniques where you just pass by the attacker, and safely.

Then the judo teacher's cousin, who was teaching in downtown
Ithaca, where a friend of mine and I were also attending, started
teaching Aikido classes. It seemed to be a lot of movement
and in contrast to judo, he didn't seem to be teaching actual
techniques and he seemed to like to throw us, maybe teaching
by throwing, which is what I heard some traditional teachers
did in Japan in the old days.
The one thing I do remember was what he always said to the
class "Don't strive for effectiveness, look for the shape of the
movement." I know I got most of the words right, except I'm not
sure about the "look for" but I'm sure I got the meaning right and
"look for" is probably pretty close to what he said. My
husband says that's great advice.
I don't know who his teachers were in France, we graduated soon after but that intro was enough to get me to NYAikikai when I was working at the Azuma Japanese department store in NY and taking classes at Columbia University.
Now my husband, who is from Shotokan karate has
been practicing judo for almost two years and loves it, so
if I uke for some judo without being thrown (injuries not from
Aikido) he will practice Aikido with me and I can get back
into it.

By the way, Clark, I was honored to be a guest in Marion and Ed Baker's home several times and honorary aunt to Jim and Kelly. I am so grateful to them even though I was only there for one of Ed's classes, it being the holiday season. I miss them very much as Marion and Ed have passed on. They were great for advice
on life in general by telephone, not just aikido and training
in general from Ed. I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer and train
with Ed and his students.

Lari, you may end up being very sorry for your repeated requests
for stories from old timers, at least from me. Here's one especially for you. I had learned Hungarian from some friends and some books in the 1950's and heard it was related to Finnish. That seemed strange,because on paper it didn't look anything like it.
Years later, in the early 1980's I was teaching at a YWCA in Greenwich Connecticut although our main class was at the Stamford YMCA. There was a lady from Finland who had practiced before. It was nice having her in the class, but when a friend of hers arrived and they started speaking Finnish my brain was spinning around trying to figure out what the words meant. It sounded so much like Hungarian, but my brain couldn't recognize any of the words.

Of course not, it just sounded like Hungarian, but it was Finnish.
Try listening to some people talking Hungarian sometime, you
may get a big surprise. It may sound like Finnish but you
probably won't recognize any of the words.

I hope other people answer your thread, I'm interested to
read about other people's interest in Aikido. At NY Aikikai
in the old days, when Aikido wasn't very well known, actors
and dancers were attracted by the movements, and learning
balance, etc. but soon found it to be fun, too, as Yamada
Sensei has mentioned in recent USAikido Federation News
editorials and articles. I had never been very coordinated and
had to take four modern dance classes a week instead of two to
keep up with my classmates in high school (in Japan I think
it's called modern ballet, I don't know what it's called in Europe.)

Judo at Cornell was taught as a curriculum course and the
techniques were taught one by one, whereas at NYAikikai....well the menu for the day can be a surprise, as it is in many Aikido
dojo. I guess that's one incentive to taking a test, because you
get to really learn five or six or so really well, for your level, in preparation as the senpai's help you get ready.
The classes were small in the sixties and Yamada Sensei came by and said "move your foot." I was so confused that I asked "Which foot?" He bent down picked up my foot and moved it. "This foot," he said. I had to attend a lot of classes to figure out what the techniques were about and memorize four words each instead of the two for judo,because there were different attacks other than just the collar and sleeve grips of judo, but i guess this is enough information for one post.

So have fun Lari, good hearing from you and keep practicing
and writing! Matthew and Clark, please write more too, and
anyone else considering replying to this thread.

Diana Frese
12-26-2010, 09:57 AM
Hi Cherie, glad you posted. I was writing mine and didn't see it
until after I posted. I'll read it now. My childhood best friend
lives in Virginia and raises horses so I'll have to tell her about
your post. Thanks!

Tony Wagstaffe
12-26-2010, 11:01 AM
The idea of achieving maximum effect with minimum effort........:cool:

12-26-2010, 11:50 AM
I've always been intrigued with martial arts. In my past I made half hearted attempts at practicing Kempo, Tai Kwondo, and Tai Chi. I was never in a one place, physically or mentally, long enough to buckle down and really focus. About a year ago I became interested in the possibility of practicing Aikido after watching a few documentaries on YouTube...although I had been interested in Aikido since about 1996. I began doing lots reading and research on Aikido. Including talking with a good friend of mine who trains in MMA. I wanted to get someone's oppinion that I respect and trust on the subject. Mainly regarding the martial aspects of the art. It's one thing to watch videos of guys being thrown around like sAcks of potatoes...to the new comer it doesn't look feezable. My friend assured me that Aikido is one of the most martially effective arts that exists. So I started looking around for dojos in my area. I was lucky enough to find one about 45 minute from my home. the very first class I went to the Sensei had me participate in. It was a weapons class. The next morning I went to the open hand technique class. I was completely sold after experiencing Aikido first hand.
That was about a year ago. Since then I've past my 5th kyu and I've also started training in Iaido. A whole new world has opened up to me. The more I Iearn the more eager I am to learn. I wish I could've started early in my life, but I also realize that I might not have been ready to dedicate the time and effort. I would also like to add that it's been nice to be involved in an art where getting the next belt it isn't the main focus. It's about the journey. It's about being humble enough to see your mistakes where there's constant room for
improvement. I'm 35 and at this point I'll probely be over 40 before I'm ready to test for my black belt. I'm absolutely in no rush:)


12-26-2010, 12:05 PM
I already had the martial arts addiction -- started training in 1990, I guess it would have been. When I moved to my current location, I stopped training, because while there were martial arts schools of various styles here, none of them were any good -- I kept training at my old karate dojo for as long as that was practical, but it was infrequent. Then my senseis opened up their dojo, and I could see it was a good dojo, so I said, "Okay, so now I'll start over and do aikido." It wasn't a matter that I got interested in aikido and wanted to learn it, I just wanted to continue martial arts training and this was the opportunity to do so.

Lari Hammarberg
12-26-2010, 12:42 PM
Go kaitō itadaki, arigatōgozaimasu. :D

Hello Diana, end up being sorry for it? Why so?

Funny thing you brought up this thing about Hungary and the languages.. I'm fortunate to have a Hungarian friend who lived as my room mate for half a year.. They are interesting people. The main thing with languages being similar is the pronounciation. And my friend told me that long time ago, "the men from north" traded with hungarian horsemen.. So no wonder theres some similarities.

Nice to have so many of you sharing your stories. :)

For me the thing that got me interested was my brother, some years back he told me about Aikido, showed some things, ukemi and some simple techniques, he demonstrated some bokken kata's and so on, it looked so controlled and fluid and how quickly he was able to roll, get back to stance, perform a kata...

The speed, control of movement and how it was so.. well, sophisticated looking got me really interested. And when he told me about the philosophy of not hurting the opponent etc. got me hooked..

To bad all the other activities and laziness held me back about starting earlier. And during that time Asahi dojo did not have practice in my town. Well, doesnt matter now, better late than not at all.

12-26-2010, 12:56 PM
Well, I've been kinda interested in martial arts since my father told me about judo when I was a kid - like "you throw him and he's on the floor before he knows what happened". So when a friend of mine was asked by her uncle to try out aikido (and asked me to go with her), I did... it was a very nice training, we liked it and we're both still there! (Even with the same teacher...)

12-26-2010, 01:17 PM
Changes every training session. My interest is sparked for different reasons. My reason for beginning Aikido, is not my reason for continuing Aikido, and I doubt my reasons now will be my reason years from now as I advance in my studies.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-26-2010, 02:11 PM
, how did you find about AIkido, and what made you go to your first class?
After years of training and competing in olympic style TKD I was looking for something less demanding and at walking distance from home.

12-26-2010, 02:19 PM
Was I first saw it, I thought it looked like magic and they moved really cool.
But too far a job for this old basher.
Too awhile before I found some one I thought could actually do it. Only to find out I was impressed by the students and had to wait until Sensei got back.
It still looks like magic and they still move really cool.

Mary Eastland
12-26-2010, 02:28 PM
The man in the hakama was quite handsome...23 years later we are still together and have a beautiful dojo at our home.

12-26-2010, 10:51 PM
Steven Seagal ;)

Randall Lim
12-27-2010, 12:04 AM
This thread ties more or less with the previous "how was your first Aikido class ever?" thread.

As any student, i ask you questions and seek knowledge and inspiration from you who have started this journey bofere me, so tell me, how did you find about AIkido, and what made you go to your first class?

I'm now too lazy to repeat myself about my reasons for starting to explore the world of budo, but i don't know about your decissions and feelings behind, so open your mind and tell what got you onto this way of living, what brought you to your budo? :)

Arigato.*bows with hands in the tatami* :D

I was in my High School Judo club. Through this, I developed a flare for throws & breakfalls.

However, as the years passed, I realised that I no longer had the muscular strength & stamina to upkeep the vigorous Judo trainings.

As such, I went out searching for other softer arts that also involved throws & breakfalls.

Low & Behold i stumbled upon an Aikido class through a window, conducted by a middle-aged Caucasian couple. Living in an Asian country & coming across a Caucasian teaching an Asian art to a group of Asians was quite inspiring.

I jumped upon the chance & registered myself in that class the following week. That was in 1998.

This Caucasian Sensei was Dr. Peter Nawrot (4th Dan Tendoryu Aikido Berlin). Anyone knows him??

12-27-2010, 12:10 PM
Steven Seagal ;)

Myself as well as two of my good friends at the dojo said Above the Law did it for them. And yes, upon entering the dojo we all realized (although I believe that we were all bright enough to suspect) that there was more "to it" than what a movie showed--have to get the disclaimer in there before the Anti-Seagal crowd pounces. Howeve, to see some street application was really nice. I had already seen a lot of strict "touchy feely" aikido prior.

Diana Frese
12-27-2010, 02:38 PM
Thanks Lari, my other friends say I tend to be too long-winded,
especially about Aikido.
Right now we are dealing with the aftermath of a blizzard
here in New England, so I will have to make this short. I'm glad
so many have liked this thread, so thanks again, for starting it.

It's true our reasons for continuing may change. As for myself,
ukemi was something I always had to work at, but it was worth
it, it was indeed the closest thing to flying for humans.

About the magic part, when NY Aikikai didn't have very many
students on the mat at one time, we were instructed to go
help out any spectators who might have questions, especially if
we had arrived too late to take the class and had to wait for
the next one. One day, I turned to the spectator sitting next to
me and said, "Don't worry, it's all done with mirrors." Then
I let them know I was just kidding. But it does look like magic,
I found when watching and it was hard to believe I also looked
a little bit like those practicing on the mat.

In later years, by the way, Aikido became more well known, and
by the seventies, I thought people better bring a shoehorn
when visiting NY Aikikai in order to manage to get onto the mat.

Aikido to me has great diversity, it can be very strong, it can
be very gentle. And as Tony Wagstaffe pointed out in another
thread, people can adapt their practice to fit their physical
situation, like oldtimers like me, going back to practice after
many years. Aikido is still fascinating, even after all this
time has gone by.

12-28-2010, 02:07 AM
Reading about the philosophy of some martial arts, yoga was getting boring, always the same meditations and aikido was in the same dojo where my children had karate very close to my house.

Benjamin Mehner
12-28-2010, 10:52 AM
About three years ago I quit my job at a group home for the mentally handicapped to try working in a kitchen. I started out as a dishwasher, but within six months I had worked my way up to Sous Chef. I made many friends there, but one person in particular became a very good friend of mine. One day he handed me a little book entitled "The Art of Peace". I was intrigued by the philosophy in the book and I wanted to learn more. I had some martial experience and was familiar with taking ukemi, so my friend and I went out into a field and he showed me a little bit about Aikido. I decided to find a dojo and when I did my friend gave me his gi. I really owe him a lot.

12-28-2010, 01:08 PM
I became good mates with a work colleague and even though I had practiced martial arts as a teenager, I hadn't found anything I liked since. My colleague mentioned he did aikido and I thought that if a guy of his sincerity and integrity endorsed this dojo, I'd check it out.
I went along with the thought that "I'll do this as long as life doesn't get in the way" little did I know it would become part of my life. I've been at it for eight years.

Lari Hammarberg
12-28-2010, 02:32 PM
Arigato for your replies. :)

It's been a good read so far.

jamie yugawa
12-28-2010, 03:09 PM
My Grandfather was a Sensei here on the Big island of Hawaii and my Dad, Aunts and Uncles practiced in the 60's. I have heard about Aikido since my childhood. I guess hearing about "Ki" and martial arts here being integrated into life as the norm peaked my interest in Aikido.

Lari Hammarberg
12-28-2010, 03:27 PM
My Grandfather was a Sensei here on the Big island of Hawaii and my Dad, Aunts and Uncles practiced in the 60's. I have heard about Aikido since my childhood. I guess hearing about "Ki" and martial arts here being integrated into life as the norm peaked my interest in Aikido.

Thats cool, i guess you have very good training possibiliteis there?

12-28-2010, 03:39 PM
found a book in the library a home teach book and watching Segal on the movies and went along to the club and really enjoy it.

12-28-2010, 04:36 PM
I was a Judoka at the " Abbe School of Budo " one evening in 1957 I decided to stay and watch the Aikido class that followed..Previously, I had always left early, I had a very pretty girlfriend and left asap to meet her, this one evening I stayed late to watch Aikido with Kenshiro Abbe teaching, the only Aikido class in the UK. I was impressed, from that evening I did my judo class then went onto the Aikido class.after a couple of years I gave up Judo, I am still involved in Aikido 53 years later..

Henry Ellis

jamie yugawa
12-28-2010, 05:38 PM
Thats cool, i guess you have very good training possibiliteis there?

Yeah there is a good number a dojos here and very good teachers also.

Lari Hammarberg
12-28-2010, 06:00 PM
Yeah there is a good number a dojos here and very good teachers also.

I thought so, you guys have longer history of Aikido in there, i wish i had a choise... Nothing wrong in our local dojo this far, but i would love to be able to choose from many. :)

And i guess, it's rather many dojo's in rather small area?

Lucky you to live in there. Nicer weather and many possibilities for your training. ;)
[/end offtopic]

01-04-2011, 04:51 PM
Well I used to do aikijitsu and when we moved out here we couldn't find the style. My husband wanted to do aikido and he wouldn't joing without me... so I went. I didn't really like it at all at first. I stuck with it and it has grown on me since.

01-06-2011, 04:45 PM
If I'm honest, I'm a big Star Wars fan. My friends had been doing Aikido for some time but then I heard they learned to use weapons. Having not been interested in martial arts before yet always had an interest in swordsmanship, plus a childhood of lightsabres, I decided to watch a lesson. After that I was hooked. The way they moved and the care in which they moved was amazing to me. Then when I learned about the spiritual aspect of Aikido, I decided this was the thing for me.

01-07-2011, 06:33 AM
I just wanted to try some thing different form the normal full contact TMA out there and Aikido hits the spot, not looked back since.

01-07-2011, 06:58 AM
I wanted to learn a martial art all through my life. But my problematic right knee and bodybuilding background prevented that...
At every dojo i went to querry on training they would say too bulky, probably too slow, bad knee, forget it.
Then i saw an Aikido flyer my previous Sensei had issued.
The black Hakama rang a bell concerning an old Aikido video i had seen years back. I could not believe you could throw someone like that away from you and cause him no harm.
I was 29 years old back then and thought i would try it out. If for anything else, to overcome my internal fear of being unable to participate in something exciting!
It was then, a rainy evening of 2003 that the journey started.

01-07-2011, 07:01 AM
@Stelios: The dojos you visited before sound quite strange to me! I've been to more than one Club, also Karate and Taekwondo, to visit or to train, and there were always people with all kinds of physical properties - old, young, slow, fast, fat, skinny - training together, each as they could. Lucky you found your Aikido club in the end!

graham christian
01-09-2011, 03:37 PM
Nice thread lari. My interest was sparked by the challenge of harmony, being in harmony with the aggressor. Just the idea was like a magnet to me.

Lari Hammarberg
01-10-2011, 05:20 PM
Nice thread lari. My interest was sparked by the challenge of harmony, being in harmony with the aggressor. Just the idea was like a magnet to me.

Arigato Graham.

Your post here goes really close to my interest about Aikido too.. :)

04-06-2012, 07:58 AM
I saw the laserdance in Oceans Eleven movie and was very impressed and inspired by the graceful and beautiful movements. I later found out that it was Capoeira the Brazilian Martial arts of dance fighting. Then I remembered that I did Aikido before so that sparked my interest in Aikido :)

04-06-2012, 03:31 PM
Truth... :)

My wife.
I took her to various local dojos to get her opinion, and she thought Aikido looked cool.
[Softer, not as violent, etc.]

Personally, at the time, I was not into 'touchy' arts.
The closest I felt comfortable with being was to a glove to someones face, etc.

But I tried it out anyway.
I started in Hungary with very poor Hungarian language skills.

It was at Aikiweb, and using Aikido 3D, etc. that I was able to make heads and tales of what was what.
And I started, and really relied on, feeling the techniques work.

To this day I still see confusion with people, who speak the native tongue here, Hungarian, when three different instructors go around and give conflicting advise based on theory vs. letting them 'feel it' as it were.

This is not to say their techniques are not effective...

Anyway, I have, as mentioned, and still rely on taking the time to feel the technique work.
I have people try to spin out of a technique, roll out, etc. I want to see control throughout the movement.

A lot of times the beginner help me without knowing. They naturally roll as there body has no resistance, whereas other higher ranks have their bodies conditioned to move in the correct position and dont even think of an 'escape'. [A big potential downside with Aikido if your not careful.]

After three years of training, I stopped.
I found the training sessions to be very disorganized, etc.
But its not just this dojo, its the general structure in many dojos.
[Personally I get along better with a map/plan like with the Gracie Combatives, etc.]

I stopped after my live training at the local Thai Boxing dojo.
Part of my new requirement for Aikido was to watch another art... [of course better to try it out.]
And after 3 years and some dialogue with other Aikidoka who had a similar experience as mine, I realized that Aikido took me about as far as it could without some, substantial, shift in mindset with how it was being taught.

[At the time I had three or four people come to me to train them for their exam as the course had been so random after a year they still did not grasp the basics, but quickly caught on.]

Anyway... due to health reasons. [Long cold winters here, and I was not doing anything] I did not feel the energy or desire to take up Thai Boxing again, so in Jan. I started back.

Same issues as before, and I still do what I did before, instead of chatting about right or wrong I merely show a technique and ask if they feel it. [Rhetorical, the point is they do and the light goes off]

In the process I came across BJJ. [If I did not like touchy feely arts before, I would never have given BJJ a go years back] Times change, Im getting to be an old man... or so it seems, and I have started to play with BJJ and it just 'makes sense'.

I would love to take BJJ and Aikido and mix them. [To the best one can.]
In theory I have it like this:
Aikido for distance, Judo to toss to ground, BJJ for ground and Thai Box for atemi.

This is not a new idea - its jiu-jitsu before it got split up.

For me, Aikido is a missing part of a whole.
The atemi should be replaced with something like Thai Boxing, etc.
[Now dont discount weapons, but so many dojos do very little if no weapons work, that any connection of strikes/weapons and technique are lost]

I have seen two views in Aikido and two ways of practicing.
Those who have dan rank in nothing but Aikido seem to be, from my observation, the ones who will stop someone mid progress and say "thats not right as they would do such and such". All theory.

Those who have dan rank in Judo etc., as well, are more 'realistic' and tend to be viewed as harder.
But we must all remember that the guys who were at the start of the art, pretty much had a black belt in Judo, etc.

What may have been broken down could have had certain things lost to those who did not train in anything else. Its easy to forget to teach essentials that we take for granted.
[Like those who argue that those who train in Gi Jiu Jitsu are better at no gi, etc.]

So that is the long and short of it.

Aikido was a path that led me to BJJ, and really to seeing that these arts are not really separate.
Just stages. :)



04-06-2012, 06:34 PM
I love hearing about everyone's path to "the path" so to speak. It's always amazing to see how many different people Aikido attracts and captivates. I really like the story about the horse trainer. I've noticed the same thing. It seems that most folks who are very good with animals are doing Aikido whether they realize it or not. The Dog Whisperer is another teacher/trainer that springs to mind who inadvertently uses aiki principles of non-violence and calm-assertiveness to achieve a goal with the animal, rather than trying to force his will upon them. It's fun to watch him correct the owner's posture and listen to him tell them to "relax", "keep breathing", "drop the tension in your arms (body)", etc... I swear I'm in the dojo every time I watch :)
I started late in life, it seems. I didn't really get in to martial arts until about a year after college. I then studied Goju-ryu Karate and Ed Parker Kempo for several years, but I had always thought about Aikido in the back of mind, but didn't know where to look. I think I first saw a clip on TV (not much of an internet back then) of the late Rev. Kensho Furuya Sensei. I eventually ran into an old friend, and former ballet dancer, one evening and she told me she was doing Aikido and invited me to a class. I was, of course awful. I basically did really good karate, but really bad Aikido for 2 hours in the corner, but I could see that whatever it was they were doing was something that I wanted to do too. I kept cross training in Kempo and Aikido for awhile, but eventually drifted toward Aikido full time, and the rest is history.
Keep the stories coming!

Stephen Nichol
04-11-2012, 10:46 PM
+ 1 for the 'Steven Seagal' crowd. Movies initially but I read up and continue to read up on him and his path. I admire Seagal Sensei as he has stated over and over again in his interviews that your Aikido has to work 'in the street'. I wish one day I could meet him to thank him for getting me started on this path without even knowing it.

It has become a lot more since then for me. The earlier post about Star Wars in the thread (for me I think Lucas dressed Jedi up too much like Japanese Kimono wearing samurai.) has a lot to do with it, Jedi philosophy etc.. maybe a little easier to absorb than Shinto/Omoto-kyo systems and practices.

I still train myself for my own harmony, peace within etc.. but I always train so that my outward techniques are martially effective, street effective. (By outward I mean that I am almost completely focused and absorbed with internal power/aiki training right now, always looking for the Aiki in my Aikido expressing it with the technique, not just doing techniques more or less 'mechanically'.)

So now I continue to train because I have a wonderful Sensei and other members at our dojo that make it fun to continue to learn, practice and develop myself and each other with.

Zoe S Toth
04-12-2012, 03:24 PM
I guess I'm a bit different from the rest of the crowd. I had always been interested in martial arts as a kid (and just about everything else girls weren't supposed to do) yet my parents had given me a hard no when it came to it. I got placed soccer instead and it worked (kind of). When I hit college I was just so ready to be free although I didn't know exactly what to try. I got involved in some clubs and the company was great but something was missing.

I was at our college gym (its soooo huge) climbing the rock wall; the one that was featured on all freshmen tours. But that took one try and bam. Over. So was I sitting back relaxing, trying to figure out what to do next and I noticed that behind the rockwall was a room. Inside were three guys in what looked like anime outfits and one was talking. Then all of the sudden that little guy (actually he turned out to be average height- the other people were freakin' huge) gets attacked by another guy and just bats his attack out of the way and tossed him across the room like he was just a cat or something.

Now, I was (and still am) a science student on scholarship to this school. I had always been too smart for my good. Basically, I was in college to figure out some magic formula for how the world works and here was some physical system that was spitting in the face of my logic. I just /had/ to figure out the secret to how it worked.

Well, here I am two years later. I haven't' figured out the magic yet but it's still there. To quote Sensei, "Eh. Give it 30 more years."