Cassia Rose Heatley
No individual reason really. I wanted a place to meet more people, to improve my balance, feel a little safer in the city and following the "samurai martial art" sounded fun. And hell, the hakama makes everything look cool, I liked what I saw at my dojo.
Anyway, ultimately I would probably try both BJJ and Judo to see which felt better, both seem to fill the gaps where Aikido lacks. I have always enjoyed strength-based sports so grappling would likely be refreshing.
Then i will put it like this. If you wish to feel safer and add something useful to your Aikido training, boxing with a touch of knees and elbows for close encounter situations (not Muay Thai but something in the sense of Dutch kickboxing with a bit more defense oriented mind), is the best option. You will see that certain Aikido techniques have openings for elbow hits (kotegaeshi) and knees hits (Kaitenage, Ikkyo) so they are a good trait to add. Also the footwork in Aikido is similar, some movements are identical, to boxing footwork because they both come from sword/fencing movements. The whole point is that you have to learn to take a punch and how to deal with timing of attacks/defense and distance, which are all equally important in Aikido as well as boxing. Once you have established that then you can try adding bits from any other type of grappling art although i don't recommend them as self defense for women, the best would a couple trips from Judo and the BJJ defenses and escapes on the ground, full mount especially.