Recently I was chatting with a friend and told him I was taking Aikido lessons. He responded negatively which surprised me some but I tried to explain to him why a man my age, 47 , would want to do this.
There are many reasons:
One ~ It has been a lifelong dream of mine to be an expert martial artist but one I have failed at achieving so far and I want to rectify that failure.
Two ~ I like the discipline that it brings to my life when I am part of a Dojo and practicing on a regular basis. I leads me to be more responsible in my eating habits as well as exercising and keeps me in much better shape.
Three ~ I have always been a big proponent of self defense, especially in such a violent culture as we live in today. The wife and I like to travel and we often find ourselves in places we have never been. Over the past several years we have been to Memphis, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, Sedona, San Francisco and many other places. I have been in situations where I was not totally comfortable with my surroundings as we explored these cities. If I were to be attacked I want to be able to protect my wife and myself from harm. It would be easy to just not go places that might be dangerous but I am an explorer at heart so this is really not an option for me.
There are other reasons but I will leave it at this for now. Aikido is a very effective art from what I can tell. It is so much different than the other forms I have seen and participated in and I really enjoy the sense of camaraderie at this Dojo. With me getting close to 50, this seems like the right time in my life to try and kick things up a notch or two and be more active and healthy. I am looking forward to some day achieving the goal of black belt and then progressing even further in the art. Wish me luck!