I have been interested in the Martial Arts since I was a small boy, however, my father felt that learning MA was the same as owning a gun. While this is a truly ridiculous, I was never allowed to study. I still remember the day I heard about Aikido... I was 16 and visiting a Karate Dojo and was observing a class and there was a group of people discussing Aikido. When I inquired about what Aikido was I received the very basics and not all true. First I was told that there were no strikes in Aikido and it was a purely self-defense, and that if I wanted to see it in action I should rent a movie called 'Above the Law'. Well, my first reaction was perfect ... a non-violent Martial Art, dad will go for that... then I saw the movie!
None the less I always wanted to study Aikido. Well about 5-6 years ago I decided I was going to finally do it. I did a limited search for a dojo and selected one that had an introductory offer. I took five or six classes and really enjoyed it, then my schedule changed and I never went back.
Now, I am quickly approaching 30, getting married in September, and working very hard to succeed in my professional life. Needless to say I feel pretty stressed. So I began to search for something, anything, for me and just me (selfish I know). I had already started the year on a health kick with the standard ‘Quit Smoking, eat better, and workout more' lecture to myself. So I began to research Aikido again. I did more research than ever before and learned a great deal about what O-Sensei had intended. I think that I am beginning to learn what Aikido really is both physically and spiritually. So I am back out there and looking for a dojo again. I think that I will go back to the one I started at several years ago and think that there are some many things that will make a whole lot more sense having studied as much as I have.
What I really wanted to say, sorry for making the drag on, is I think the final push for me has been this website and the members of the discussion threads (note: Special Thanks to all who posted on the question ‘Why Aikido', that was the final straw for me). I have spent countless hours reading this site and www.aikidofaq.com
. In fact I make it a point to read one of the sites at least once a day to continue to keep me excited and focused on what I want and to increase my knowledge about Aikido. What I find incredible and moving about this site is that from my limited knowledge O-Sensei set out to develop something that could create a universal peace and bring everyone together. I believe that I read somewhere that in O-Sensei's final days he told his son that ‘Aikido is for everyone in the world', well this website shows that his wish is coming true.
I look forward to getting to know everyone in the community and can hardly wait to begin classes.