Greetings! I'm new to the forum and sort of new to martial arts. I studied Goshin Jutsu as a teen for about two years and earned up to my purple belt (yon kyu). I also studied Aikido for a little less than a year, as there was a class offered once per week after our Wednesday classes. I really loved it at the time and got into great shape. I was a fat kid basically my whole life, and karate completely reshaped me. Regrettably, my first year of college didn't mesh with the dojo schedule, and being young and dumb, I prioritized other things and never made it back. People joke about the freshman 15, but I gained maybe 5 pounds. However, my second year of college (coupled with working at a fast food place) resulted in about 40 - 50 pounds. It only got worse from there, although I did a lot of yo-yoing over the years. I'm now in graduate school, and extremely overweight. It's been about 15 years since I was last in that dojo. I've been looking at the martial arts schools around me for about 2 years. I've been really nervous about returning to the martial arts because of my size (I'm over 300 pounds) and lack of fitness (although I'm actually more flexible and fit than I look). Now and then I'd send out an email asking about a place, but I somehow managed to pick all of the ones that wanted $20 drop in fees or for me to commit to a contract before starting (that's a hard pass from me!). However, I emailed a Shotokan school a little over two weeks ago and they told me to come see how I liked it. So the next day I summoned all of my courage and walked into that dojo and prayed they wouldn't tell me to get lost. The sensei was super friendly, chatted with me about my past training and told me to take it easy so I don't burn myself out, and allowed me to take a break no questions asked when I thought I was going to pass out. I came to the next class with a different sensei (there are two who alternate) who was also really nice. I made it through that class without stopping, although I felt like I was going to vomit part of the time. At this point, some of my past training was coming back to me. The other students told me I was really coordinated for someone in their second class, and sensei told me it was obvious I had trained before. Granted, I still struggled with a lot, but apparently not as much as a true beginner. So it has been two weeks since my first class. The classes push me close to my limits, but I no longer feel sick. I get frustrated sometimes because I know how a technique should look, but I can't quite get my body to do it. However, I do enjoy it! I was also invited to a college class that one of the black belts teaches at my university. I started that this week and it's been great extra practice. It's also interesting because there is a teaching assistant who does Kenpo, and this changes things up a bit, particularly for sparring. So yeah. Hi. I look forward to chatting with you all. I don't have any martial arts friends (yet) and my husband is baffled by what I'm doing, so it will be nice to have people to talk to about it!