Great googly moogly did I let this thread die. Due to scheduling issues (i.e. life, fatherhood, etc.) I am stepping away from Aikido for the time being. I have not take it lightly and wish to rejoin the training in the future. The %&#! price increase has not helped *grumble*.
Thanks to my association with several Russophiles in the airsoft and military-reenacting world, I have become aware of the Russian Systema martial art. At first I thought it was going to be a “modern” combat/self defense oriented martial art developed by/for the military (a la Tae Kwon Do), as it is primarily taught by practitioners with a Soviet era KGB or Spetznaz background. Au contraire – it has more in common with Aikido than you might think. And probably qualifies as the only Christian martial art that is on par with the finest the far east has to offer. Passed down by Russian Orthodox monks for centuries, it was outlawed under Soviet rule, and offered only to government special forces. Now available at a strip mall near you. Who knew. Article Article 2