Re: What did spark your interest with Aikido?
Thanks Lari, my other friends say I tend to be too long-winded,
especially about Aikido.
Right now we are dealing with the aftermath of a blizzard
here in New England, so I will have to make this short. I'm glad
so many have liked this thread, so thanks again, for starting it.
It's true our reasons for continuing may change. As for myself,
ukemi was something I always had to work at, but it was worth
it, it was indeed the closest thing to flying for humans.
About the magic part, when NY Aikikai didn't have very many
students on the mat at one time, we were instructed to go
help out any spectators who might have questions, especially if
we had arrived too late to take the class and had to wait for
the next one. One day, I turned to the spectator sitting next to
me and said, "Don't worry, it's all done with mirrors." Then
I let them know I was just kidding. But it does look like magic,
I found when watching and it was hard to believe I also looked
a little bit like those practicing on the mat.
In later years, by the way, Aikido became more well known, and
by the seventies, I thought people better bring a shoehorn
when visiting NY Aikikai in order to manage to get onto the mat.
Aikido to me has great diversity, it can be very strong, it can
be very gentle. And as Tony Wagstaffe pointed out in another
thread, people can adapt their practice to fit their physical
situation, like oldtimers like me, going back to practice after
many years. Aikido is still fascinating, even after all this
time has gone by.