My name is Nick Hentschel, and I'm a new-fledged aikidoka in Austin, Texas. I have recently (5 weeks ago) begun my studies at the Austin Aikikai
, under Damir Jamsek and his fellow instructors. So far, it's going quite well... but my ankles hurt like all hell from sitting in seiza!
My decision to study aikido marks a return to the martial arts after and 8-year layoff, following the closure of my old school in 2004 (previously, I had studied Hapkido). I also took some Japanese in college, but ma badly out of practice, as it was almost 15 years ago! Regardless, I look forward to absorbing everything that my school can show me.
I have intended to pursue the martial arts ever since I properly learned what they were, more than 30 years ago. And ever since I learned what aikido was, I was certain that this, or something very like it, was the one I wanted to study. At last, here I am.
I'm 37 years old, just under 6'1", and in very good shape from riding everywhere on a bicycle, my entire life. I have a BA Theater Arts from Northern Illinois University, with upper-division honors, as well as a degree in CAD from ITT (neither of which has helped me much). I'm currently self-employed as a dog-walker, although I'm looking for better opportunities. And I have Asperger's Syndrome, which may explain my quirky interests (see below), tortured career path, and need for aikido as a form of discipline and therapy. I hope to offer much to any discussions involving disabilities & aikido, especially as it pertains to the autism spectrum.
My favorite technique is the forward roll, which I seem to be doing very well.
I like bicycles, animals, reading, music, survival/camping skills, sci-fi/fantasy, cooking, and above all else, NATURE in all its forms.
I'm interested in many aspects of aikido practice, but will always have a bit of a bias towards martial technique. I say this, however, not because I feel it's the only valid aspect, but because that's simply the kind of personality that I have. I'm all for tolerance and diversity in the martial arts, especially in aikido, and am no big fan of partisanship or sectarianism. People who bash the martial arts, or aikido, I won't even pay attention to; they always regurgitate the same old lines, anyway.
So, I'm glad to meet all of you, and eager to join the conversation!