I'm not sure which section to post this to, but........
I'm often accused of asking too many questions and this looks like being a prime example of that, but maybe if the good people of this forum could give me a clue as to why they started, and continue to study aikido.
Why I started Aikido:
I trained in other arts 20 years ago. I enjoyed parts of the training, but there was a definite zero-sum atmosphere. A. Everything was about completely destroying an aggressor as quickly and efficiently as possible. B. On the sparring side (which was bipolar given A.), students gained rank, which was emphasized, based on their won/loss tally. The combination of the two formed, for me, a poisonous environment.
Somewhere along in there I read an article on Aikido in, I think, Black Belt magazine (grimace) and I liked the philosophy. It formed a stark contrast with what I was studying at the time.
(15 Years Pass)
I was browsing the local university's continuing education flyer and saw an Intro to Aikido class. I took it. Myers Sensei showed up to help teach the second class. I've been with him ever since.
Why I continue to train:
Aikido is something that works for me. I enjoy the exercise, the mental stimulation, the particular brand of self defense, the loyalty, and the dedication. I particularly like the atmosphere of life-long learning that Aikido seems to be particularly embued with.
All that makes it something that makes it an attractive means of working on my personal shortcomings.
Basically, I've always had trouble relating to people. Aikido provides a framework that _ forces_ me to work on this.
Every Saturday or Sunday at church, particularly during communion, I come face to face with these shortcomings and I enter the dojo on Monday night with renewed determination and focus.
[Edited by Greg Jennings on July 15, 2000 at 05:52am]