Hello all from St. Louis, MO!
I am new to Aikido (again) and to Aikweb!
I originally began studying back in 2000 while in graduate school, lasted about a month. Like a lot of folks, I got busy with school & work and needed to take a couple of weeks off. Well, two weeks turned into a month. A month turned into a year, and a year turned into seven years...yikes! Finally, I have the chance to begin studying again, and have been doing so since early February. Will be entering my third month here shortly. My personal goal is to NOT become a statistic. Many of you long-time Aikidoka know that well over 50% of newcomers quit within 3 months. Not me! Not this time!
A little about what brought me to Aikido. My involvement in Aikido began as a matter of causality. I'm a Generation Xer (born in '72). As such, the defining imagery of the warrior ethos during late 20th century American culture was, of course, Star Wars. Yes! I admit with great embarrassment that I was one of those "Star Wars guys" that darkened the doorway of many a dojo in 1999/2000 when the Star Wars prequels waddled onto the widescreen. I wanted to be a Jedi! Of course, I never articulated this desire, but years of reflection have caused it to seep to the surface. How embarrassing! But, at least I now have the courage to admit my puerile fantasy of so many years ago!
However, that's not the only reason why I was attracted to Aikido. Here enters the chain of causality. At the time, I was in seminary preparing for the priesthood (but later decided it wasn't for me and left). I had always desired to study the martial arts, but had problems reconciling the more aggressive aspects of the various martial arts with my religious convictions....that is, until I found out about Aikido. The more I read about O'Sensei and his teachings, the more I became fascinated. I quickly read every book & website I could find in English about Aikido (history, techniques, application...everything). I cannot count how many hundreds of pages (both print & electronic) I have read!
Now, after a long hiatus, I am back in Aikido! How else am I going to become a Jedi?