What made me start?
Well, there were several factors which collided all at once for me... I searched far and wide for a martial art to challenge me physically as well as mentally. I had looked into Taekwondo and Karate and didn't like what I was seeing there. I also had one little problem... I had shattered my right ankle twice and had it rebuilt once already, so a kicking art was out of the question (anyone with a keen eye would see my scar and target that joint).
In my post-surgery time, I had many hours to fill. I read all I could find on martial arts... everything from Pencak Silat to Iaido to Judo. In the midst of my reading, a friend at work who knew of my quest recommended that I watch "Hard To Kill". That was it. I had to learn more about this apparently devestating self defense system. Lo and behold, no kicking!!! And no offensive manuevers to speak of, mostly defensive. I fell in love.
Unfortunately, my ankle reconstruction surgery was a failure, and I continued to "break" my ligaments and cartilege for the next 8 years. Because the joint was so weak and I had repeated injury to it, I was always hesitant to begin anything that I could not finish.
My ankle was rebuilt again 15 months ago. 9 months ago, I began taking Yoseikan Aikido from a 3rd dan who was an acquaintance from my church. In fact, my drive to learn Aikido and his 25 years of experience were the beginning of the "Huffman Aikido Club".
I failed to mention that in my down time when I couldn't practice (9 years), I studied all I could... especially "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere." I am still an avid Seagal nut and would love to get the chance to learn from him one day, and my ankle (thank God) is stronger now than it was 15 years ago before the first break. I especially love swordplay, am studying Iaido on a personal level, and could talk forever about Aikido and how it has helped mold my adult years from frantic and undirected into peaceful meaningfulness. I am a yellow belt Aikidoka, I am extatic that I can even walk, much less be a belted martial artist, and I take it very seriously.