I took her to various local dojos to get her opinion, and she thought Aikido looked cool.
[Softer, not as violent, etc.]
Personally, at the time, I was not into 'touchy' arts.
The closest I felt comfortable with being was to a glove to someones face, etc.
But I tried it out anyway.
I started in Hungary with very poor Hungarian language skills.
It was at Aikiweb, and using Aikido 3D, etc. that I was able to make heads and tales of what was what.
And I started, and really relied on, feeling the techniques work.
To this day I still see confusion with people, who speak the native tongue here, Hungarian, when three different instructors go around and give conflicting advise based on theory vs. letting them 'feel it' as it were.
This is not to say their techniques are not effective...
Anyway, I have, as mentioned, and still rely on taking the time to feel the technique work.
I have people try to spin out of a technique, roll out, etc. I want to see control throughout the movement.
A lot of times the beginner help me without knowing. They naturally roll as there body has no resistance, whereas other higher ranks have their bodies conditioned to move in the correct position and dont even think of an 'escape'. [A big potential downside with Aikido if your not careful.]
After three years of training, I stopped.
I found the training sessions to be very disorganized, etc.
But its not just this dojo, its the general structure in many dojos.
[Personally I get along better with a map/plan like with the Gracie Combatives, etc.]
I stopped after my live training at the local Thai Boxing dojo.
Part of my new requirement for Aikido was to watch another art... [of course better to try it out.]
And after 3 years and some dialogue with other Aikidoka who had a similar experience as mine, I realized that Aikido took me about as far as it could without some, substantial, shift in mindset with how it was being taught.
[At the time I had three or four people come to me to train them for their exam as the course had been so random after a year they still did not grasp the basics, but quickly caught on.]
Anyway... due to health reasons. [Long cold winters here, and I was not doing anything] I did not feel the energy or desire to take up Thai Boxing again, so in Jan. I started back.
Same issues as before, and I still do what I did before, instead of chatting about right or wrong I merely show a technique and ask if they feel it. [Rhetorical, the point is they do and the light goes off]
In the process I came across BJJ. [If I did not like touchy feely arts before, I would never have given BJJ a go years back] Times change, Im getting to be an old man... or so it seems, and I have started to play with BJJ and it just 'makes sense'.
I would love to take BJJ and Aikido and mix them. [To the best one can.]
In theory I have it like this:
Aikido for distance, Judo to toss to ground, BJJ for ground and Thai Box for atemi.
This is not a new idea - its jiu-jitsu before it got split up.
For me, Aikido is a missing part of a whole.
The atemi should be replaced with something like Thai Boxing, etc.
[Now dont discount weapons, but so many dojos do very little if no weapons work, that any connection of strikes/weapons and technique are lost]
I have seen two views in Aikido and two ways of practicing.
Those who have dan rank in nothing but Aikido seem to be, from my observation, the ones who will stop someone mid progress and say "thats not right as they would do such and such". All theory.
Those who have dan rank in Judo etc., as well, are more 'realistic' and tend to be viewed as harder.
But we must all remember that the guys who were at the start of the art, pretty much had a black belt in Judo, etc.
What may have been broken down could have had certain things lost to those who did not train in anything else. Its easy to forget to teach essentials that we take for granted.
[Like those who argue that those who train in Gi Jiu Jitsu are better at no gi, etc.]
So that is the long and short of it.
Aikido was a path that led me to BJJ, and really to seeing that these arts are not really separate.