Here is an insight story from a 59 years old person posted on a forum in 2008:
"Hello everyone, my name is Nelson. I started training karate in Venezuela when I turned 16, and did it for a few years. Once I became aware that I could seriously harm or kill another man with one punch, I quit. Since then I have been wanting to practice Aikido. I wanted to have another option than to kill another guy. I just wanted to be able to put him down without hurting him too much or not at all. On 09/11/2007, I went to the local Subway shop to get a sub on a Saturday afternoon and noticed that in the dojo next door there were two men dressed in white top and black pants. I saw how one of them "touched" the other one who ended up on the floor. I stopped on my tracks and kept looking. They did it again. At this time I decided to check it out and went to the door which was locked, but immediately one of them opened it. I asked: "Is this Aikido?" Yes, he responded. My second question was: "Do you do any type of kicking?" No, no kicking, he said. I though "Oh, good". Since I have bad knees from my karate days, I didn't want to start kicking again. I asked if I could watch one class. The next week I went to the dojo to observed the class and signed up. It has been a year and I wear a green belt. I train two days a week and practice at home almost daily. I love it. My only concern about Aikido is that I'm now 59 and don't have the same energy I had during my teen years. Sometimes I wonder: "Why am I doing this?" I respond to myself saying: "As I get older I need to keep moving to stay in decent shape and better health". This keeps me going. I'm also very determined and competitive; this helps too."
As Dany Nofal points, there are also workout options to keep your body healthy, lean, flexible. Yoga, Pilates, Karate, Tae-Bo, etc.,etc. In addition there are several meditation and breathing techniques to keep the mind healthy: Buddhist or Vipassana, Transcendental meditation, even meditation in motion like Tai Chi, etc. But Aikido is a a practice that can help people balance body, mind and spirit:
- It can be practiced from the age of 6 until very old age, if you do it continously.
- There is no competition in Aikido. No tournaments, no points, no separation of levels, no fighting.
- Aikido movements are very natural and enhance mobility and flexibility, as well a strength and precision.