I love Iowa.... but......
There are only like 3 Aikido dojos in the whole freakin state! Arg! None of them are within 80 miles of me either, and I live in a metro area of about 140,000 people....
What makes this such a problem is that for years I have been practicing freeform of my own style, but then recently I discovered Aikido and came to the realization that it's basically in essence a much more advanced and mature version of what I have been doing on my own. So now I want to learn, but alas, no dojo. I'm definitely also interested in the spiritualism aspect of it, or the brocoli of the Aikido dinner, as someone on the aikido faq called it lol. My own freeform practice I've been doing for years has mostly been motivated by spiritualism that I have had, that matches strongly that of O Sensei. I've had a strong belief in being a warrior and yet also being peaceful. Honestly, I don't see any martial arts that embraces this anywhere near what Aikido seems to.
So I'm not eager to take up Karate or Tae Kwan Do simply because it's all I have to choose from. I don't want to learn how to hurt people, or do fancy flying kicks, I want to learn to feel confident and balanced, and to feel in control of myself, and Aikido seems like a great path to that goal.
Any skilled high-dan-ranked person anywhere in this area(North-Eastern Iowa) feel like opening some formal or informal classes?
If not, are there good visual descriptions of various katas online, and are there some practice moves that can be done reasonably without an uke? I do some tumbling practice when I am able, any suggestions on this?