I discovered aikido during a leave of absence from law school. I choose it because I wanted to get involved in an activity that was more than lifting weights and walking on a treadmill. I was hooked after my first class.
Another reason I choose aikido over my previous childhood martial art, Tae Kwon Do, was because of the spiritual aspects of aikido. Spiritual to me, though, is more about developing a better self. I have discovered a lot about my "self" over these past 2 years. Now that I'm back in law school, I have also found myself with a clearer mind and with an outlet to deal with stress (and not to mention an ability to defend myself.)
But as someone said the spiritual side is what you put into it. Practicing the spiriutal of aikido for me has become a path of self-discovery rather than enlightenment. Whenever I find that I have a conflict in my aikido, I ask myself what I need to learn. In class, it means I'm not doing the technique right and I need to ask for help. Or it means that I need to communicate better with my uke. Or it means I need to stop over-analyzing my ukemi and just do the breakfall. Then I apply it to the real world as well. My attitude is, "if I can do it in the dojo, I can do outside of it as well." I have learn a lot about my self that I would not have found otherwise.
But the key in this whole process for me is to bring my intellectual mind back down to earth by training hard with martial intent. So, I am training on the physical side in this process and I don't think I would have made the self-discoveries that I have just with theorizing, philosiphizing, etc. Not that theorizing or philosiphizing is bad, it just I personally need to put theory into practice.
I hope this helps.
Last edited by giriasis : 08-13-2001 at 12:58 PM.