I've reciently relocated up to Northern California, and having shrugged off a large portion of my life, finaly have some free time, which I am hoping to once again fill (at least in part) with the study of Martial Arts. :)
Aikido at all?
I'm only conversationaly familiar with Aikido. I come from a Kempo background, but am looking for something that flows, and where my small size won't be too much of a detriment. I've generaly shied away from Japanese and Korean systems because most of them seemed a bit hard for me (hard as opposed to soft, not as opposed to easy) but it looks like that definately doesnt apply to Aikido. I was looking at Gracie Jujitsu after being (briefly) exposed to it in the Army, might still look into it further, but I'm realy intreaged with Aikido. I was talking with a friend of mine who's a much more experienced martial artist, and he said that he didn't like it because while he found many of the techniques usefull, and believed it was benificial for many people, he disagreed with the fundimental premise, that being that it is possible to defend yourself without intent to cause serious bodily harm to your opponent. He believes that while this might be true, if someone is seriously out to hurt you, then your goal should be to end the threat in the most efficient manner possible.
While I understand this logic, it just makes me more intreaged by Aikido. First off, I've not been in a fight on the street since I was in school. I don't generaly get in fights. I do do alot of friendly sparing with a host of people of various ma backgrounds. I've also spent some time behind a rifle, and this gives me the following perspective. From 800 yards I can drop a deer. Not a problem. Clean Heart/Lung/Liver shot every time, the deer wont feel a thing. But there are deer that walk over my new property up here all the time, which I can not control. It seems to me that being able to manage a person who's upset without hurting them could be much more usefull to me than just the ability to stop someone. I have often been in situations where people were out of control, and might hurt themselves or others, and if I had the ability to tie them up, bring them down, and without hurting them just make them stop, THAT could be a positive thing in my life. Which is why I think that Aikido or one of the Grapeling arts might be more appropriate for me.
If any of you could offer your oppinion on this, and possible directions I could take, I'd apreciate it.
Grass Valley Aikido in Specific
Given that Aikido would be apropriate, I live outside of a small town in in NorCal called Auburn, and the nearest Dojo is Grass Valley Aikido ( http://www.usafwr.org/grassvalley/ ) does anyone know anything about this Dojo specificly, or the United States Aikido Federation? Is that the single body that governs Aikido? are their multiple competing bodies? I was hoping to stop by yesterday after work and check it out myself, but I got held up putting out fires, so I'm hoping to visit their next class on Tuesday.
Any feedback greatly apreciated. Thanks :)