08-05-2005, 09:19 PM
Nice site here, just wanted to say hey and tell you why I started training Aikido.
My reasons for taking up a martial art are really for self-development - to increase my focus, to have a physically demanding activity that is also mentally demanding, to have a physical activity that I can also conentrate some of my meditation studies upon (manipulation of Ki), and admittedly - I would very much like to have a Dan status in some art during my lifetime.
I also like the fact that I get to utilize some of my self-taught Japanese language skills (not in school, but with CDs/books/web).
Originally I really wanted to take up Kendo. There is no Dojo nearby that would facilitate this, however, seeing as I am in arizona in a medium size town only. I am very attracted to the sword arts, and while I was calling various Dojos around town i was referred to an Aikido sensie who "might know" about sword teaching. His wife is a retired Iaido instructor.
Decided to check out a class, and it's been a blast. I have only a dozen hours of training or so, still tripping over my own feet mostly, but it is enjoyable.
One of the reasons I wanted to take Kendo was to increase my reaction time, and to learn to read other peoples movements better. Aikido has so far very much been not what I expected in that regard, since there is no unexpected movement of sorts. Then again, I am new and I am thrown very gently and slowly.
My sensei also relates what he shows us in technique back to the bokken quite often, and that does help quite a bit. I have found that it made Shihonage make so much more sense when visualized with a sword.
On that note - I am enjoying the art, it's very graceful and beautiful to see. Perhaps in due time the speed of the moves will come along and be a bit mroe to what I was seeking in the beginning.
Take care all
Eric :ai: :ki:
Thank you for your introduction and welcome to AikiWeb.