The answers to most of your guestions would be my answers. The best answers you will get will be those which are yours. Try Aikido, if it speaks to you (give it a couple of months at least) it is for you, if not cool. Life goes on. As to the metaphysical and philosophical, If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. Nobody but you should answer them.
Jun already gave you the facts that answer the factual questions. Good Luck!!