For myself I had a spectators interest in martial Arts from an early age but never had the confidence to believe I could do it myself. I did go once to a karate class with a friend when I was about 10 but never followed it up!! Now I am almost 30 (December this yr!) and had for some time needed to get into some form of exercise. I had always liked Seagal's films, although I knew the moves are carefully choreographed etc. but had never thought about doing Aikido myself until this year just after Christmas. I had come to the conclusion that yes I needed exercise, but I also needed something to learn at the same time. After all, how mind numbing is the normal gym workout? Especially when you are probably the most unfit guy there!!! So, I looked up Aikido on the web, found Aikido FAQ, read lots and lots and lots of info and searched on the British Aikido Boards web site for a dojo near me. Somehow I managed to get drawn to a Yoshinkan dojo about 7 miles from home, got in touch and ended up going along to see what it was all about!!! Now i am hooked, going twice a week and have bought about 8 books on the subject, loined the List and practically done Aikido FAQ and Aikiweb to death in my thirst for knowledge, stories, and general info on the Art.
I can't comment on what makes me stay as I have yet to get over the beginners enthusiasm. However, I am going to make a real effort not to fall by the wayside!! After all, even now my Sensei and Club mates have invested a lot of time and effort to teach me the little I know so far, and I feel it would be rude or ignorant to just disappear into the sunset after such a short time!! Besides which Aikido seems to fit well into my whole life and at present can't see myself doing without it!!
sorry to ramble!!!