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I took an Aikido class the first time since college on September 16th, 2018. It did not go well.

This is certainly not because of any of the people there. The were are all very helpful and welcoming. If you are interested in Aikido, I would have no reservations in recommending Capital Aikikai in Silver Spring, MD.

The main problem was my shoulders. I call my right shoulder my bad shoulder. It balances out with my bad knee on the left. I don't know how it happened, but one day I found that I had a limited range of motion on that side. In certain configurations (I haven't quite figured out exactly which ones) I can't lift my arm above the shoulder, and even lifting it that high hurts. You do a lot of tumbling in Aikido. Aikido rolls really hurt my bad shoulder. They also make my good shoulder feel like my bad shoulder.

The second problem was a total lack of interest. Doing Tai Chi is what made me think I might like martial arts. Tai Chi came naturally to me. I felt I could easily understand how I should be positioned from how the instructor was positioned. This did not translate to Aikido. I found the Aikido moves very confusing. And again, I don't think it was because the instructor was bad. I had a clear view of what was going on, I could shift to view from a different angle, and I was able to work through it with people who had experience with it. I still found it really confusing.

If I had felt an affinity for the practice, I might have been willing to work with them on the should issues. But given the lack of interest, the shoulder pain killed the whole concept for me. In terms of the Bucket List, I don't see this as a failure. The idea was to get out there and try something new(ish). I tried it and decided it wasn't for me.