At 8 years old my mother gave me a choice between gymnastics or Tae Kwon Do. Well, I choose Tae Kwon Do. I trained in the style for about three years getting to my brown belt. But I left the school and went into competitive baton twirling.
As I got older, I always wanted to get back to the martial arts. I first heard of aikido when I got into college. My friend said that it was kind of spiritual and that they wore these long black skirts. Well, with that description I did not exactly jump in and join a class. I tried out a Goju-Ryu Karate class on campus a couple of times but I did not get hooked.
Before I found the school I started in, I had done some research on which martial arts would be best. I have had the traditional punch, block, and kick style so I was not really interest in karate. I looked into Kung Fu, but it did not just jive. I bought some books on aikido and they just clicked. So when I noticed that my health club started offering aikido under the direction a local martial arts school, I decided to try it out. I approached the sensei who instructed, and he was real open and easy going. He had a good philosophical approach that included a good balance between self-defense and self-awareness.
Well, needless to say I have been practicing aikido for a year now and do not plan to quit.