We have a student testing this week for nikyu. At the end of class last night we were talking about what Aikido means to us.
He pointed out the difficulty of talking about this with co-workers and friends. What it is to practice every week, to prepare for testing, to stand out on the mat and perform the 50, optionals, katas, and randori, and to care deeply about how you do is hard to explain. It has no context in our society.
I know he is thinking about Aikido today. I understand what it means to him and am anticipating cheering him on tomorrow night.