Re: Most Ideal Time to Start Your Training?
my brother started Judo when he was 8 years old, and then I, with 13 years refused to do the same, thinking that I was way too old and that you should start as a kid to become really proficient (like master violinists or so).
25 years later my son started aikido with 8 years, and I just joined. So in retrospective I see how stupid I was thinking I was too old with 13 years. Even 38 is not too old, and I never had this inhibition concerning ukemi, once I learnt to do mae ukemi without falling on my head, I was never more afraid of any other fall including breakfalls on all sorts of techniques.
But in some way I think it is even better to start as an adult, i.e., after having finished puberty. I see a lot of kids being assiduous aikidoka and becoming really proficient, and then, at 14, 15, 16 years, they just get involved with all sorts of puberty distractions; they fall in love, they get other friends, and they just abandon aikido.
I think as an adult you are more consistent, and if you really like aikido (or any other activity) you will pursue it more consequently, which is at long term more satisfactory. My aikido teacher started at 40, and he still managed to become 5th Dan. Maybe he would have got one or more degrees if he had started 20 or 25 years earlier, but then, where is the point?
I don't agree that you should start before having children. It's a sport you can share with your kids, and that is one of its attractions, at least for me. As a woman, I think it's even very disappointing to start before having kids. Then you get pregnant, you have to interrupt, and I suppose that would be very frustrating if you are really an aikido addict. So starting together with the kids worked just fine for me...and I still think there is a lot to achieve and to improve in the future - and hopefully enough time...