I’ve only been with Aikido Kenkyukai for a few short months but already I feel quite attached to the community here. From meeting with Lia Sensei in order to help with administrative tasks and to speak with her regarding our hopes and dreams for the dojo, to rolling on the mat with all of the others and enjoying a beer in good company every now and again after. I love it all. So much of it is so new, and it brings with it the satisfaction you feel while forging healthy patterns in your life.
At the same time, much of it is not new to me at all. I practiced Aikido as a child and teenager for nearly a decade before other interests took control of my life and Aikido fell by the wayside. For me getting back on the mat feels like I’m rediscovering a part of myself, a beautiful and vital part of my upbringing and of me. This goes beyond the standard endorphin rush you get from a good workout because I’m making connections.
Whether I’m connecting to my childhood, my community, my fellow students or all of them at once doesn’t matter. I am making them and that is enough. I feel more like myself every time I hit the mat, and I am grateful for the opportunity to get involved here.