Today, I’m speaking with Dan Shook, 7th Kyu.
Weiner Sensei: What led you to Aikido?
Dan-san: I was first introduced to Aikido during my time in college. The school had a diverse selection of athletic clubs and the Aikido Club was the one that resonated with me. When I found out recently that I lived close to Aikido of Charlotte, the decision was already made that I was going to join before I first stepped into the dojo.
Weiner Sensei: How would you describe class at our dojo?
Dan-san: Simply put, amazing. The instruction is very thorough when demonstrating techniques, but I feel the dojo strives for each student to learn at their own pace through repetition and guidance from the sempais. I love that moment when a few simple words from Sensei or a sempai turns on that lightbulb in my head and makes the technique work for me.
Weiner Sensei: What are your short term goals as a student?
Dan-san: This might sound selfish, but with so many commitments between work and family, I wanted something just for myself to help me achieve that sense of balance in life as well as improve my general health. I stopped practicing Aikido in 2004 and I didn’t realize something was missing until just a few years ago. I’m glad to have found Aikido of Charlotte and look forward to introducing my children to the art.
Weiner Sensei: What are your long term goals as a student?
Dan-san: To become a serious student of Aikido and make myself a better person during the second half of my life.
Weiner Sensei: What does it take to be a committed student?
Dan-san: My initial reaction was amazement at how clean the dojo is. I have not seen a cleaner dojo. The second thing I noticed was that it felt less like walking into a dojo and more like walking into an inviting, close-knit community (something that cannot be faked). Truly a great group of people that I am glad to be a part of.
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