Re: Hello from Tennessee
In a nutshell, the spiritual and practical elements embodied by Aikido are what draw me to the art. I consider myself a compassionate and peaceful person, but I also believe that a person has to be prepared. I'm a professional songwriter/musician and several years ago, an acquaintance of mine was killed in Cincinnati as he was leaving a club after a performance. I feel safe in Nashville, but I'm sure my friend felt safe that night probably, too.
In general, I have a lot of "irons in the fire" (as my dad always says) so I never really felt like I had time to pursue some things I've always wanted to do, like Aikido. Having the kids involved has spurred me as well, and although, like I said, I was originally joining the karate classes, I'm very happy the opportunity shifted to Aikido since it is what I've longed to study for years.
With my kids expressing interest, I felt like my doing it at the same time would help them practice, and so far it has. My daughter's Jujitzu class is at 5:00 and my Aikido at 7:00 - she likes to stay around to watch me in the Aikido class. Then when we get home, we practice techniques on each other that we learn each night. And Cassidy sensei teaches Jujitzu with an "Aikido approach" as far as movement, etc. I'm very impressed by his approach and his friendship.
It's been a wonderful experience and I just wish I would have started sooner.