I'm 50 years old and started Aikido 2 yrs ago. I'm 6th Kyu and, hopefully, if asked, will be taking 5th Kyu test in a month or so. 13 months into training I had a rotator cuff tear (not entirely due to training)...Supra Spinatus 90% tear, cartilage tear, bone spurs, acromium reshaping...and lot's of rehab. That was was 11/04. I was able to start back in early April after rehab, strength and stretching. During that whole time, 8 weeks of being in a sling, gradually adding more strength, I could think of nothing but Aikido. Though I was restricted (even from walking briskly while in a sling), I took this opportunity to work on my seiza. I've had knee surgeries and it's difficult to make the back end touch the heels. I gradually worked from 5 minutes in seiza to 25 minutes. Mind over matter. Though there was pain involved, mostly from lack of circulation, I looked forward to this routine everyday after work. I would take several books on Aikido and read them until the physical discomfort made me concentrate on my breathing.
Before going back to the dojo I wanted to make sure that I could take ukemi, thus, living in Florida, I "rolled" across the St. Augustine grass in the back yard. Wonderful! I still do it when time permits. Stretching, ukemi, exercises for movement, 5th Kyu kata and weapons, all in the late afternoon sun.
I do not have previous martial experience. I knew philosophically the tenets of Aikido and thought I would try it out. The first time I entered the dojo I joined. The ranking sempai, a 2nd kyu, whispered, "Do get frustrated. It will take you a year just to learn to walk right". He was right. I'm still learning to "walk" and will continue to learn. I have a background in endurance sports. I know about time on the water, time on the bike, time on the road, now, time on the mat. I am amazed, enthralled, and hooked. I used to long for the "runners high". I get this in training and more. A connectedness. In my relatively short experience, I never tire of the repetition of the most elemental fundamentals. Obviously, I could go on.
Hello all...hope everybody is doing well on their journey...