I have been interested in martial arts for a very long time but have never went to any classes. I have always loved Japanese culture, samurai's,bushido,art, zen, psycology, the mind etc.... I am looking into taking Aikido because I love the philosophy behind it and the mental fitness you gain from it. The art of Aikido amazes me!. However I dont know if Aikido is effective in a random street encounter.
I was wondering if theres any Aikidoka's that can tell me the mental side of aikido? ( i am interested in the psychology of aikido self - actualization, Harmony, respect, finding more about your self, confidence etc )
I love the philosophy and ART of aikido but is it effective on the street or am i better of taking something like Judo? (There isn't really any close judo schools around me) likely i probably wouldn't put my self in a situation to put my self in a fight nor probably ever have to use self defense but if something were to happen would I have the tools to defend myself with Aikido
I came to Aikido because of the philosophy I perceived in it. I think it's good to understand there is no one concise philosophy though. Aikido has had several leaders who often interpreted things in different terms...including issues of effectiveness. In general, if you're looking for "street effectiveness" then you probably want to hedge your bets and take something like judo. This isn't to say Aikido isn't effective, but I think "fight" ability is usually lower in priority for many schools.
Perhaps it's better to check out several schools and observe the practice to see what might suit you best. Even if the first school seems exactly like what you want, I'd still make it a point to check out a few more just to get a better idea of how they compare...and I'd make sure to base my decision more on the school than on the style.
I also recommend reading the columns in aikiweb to get a better idea on the philosophy/etc.