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They train for skill, to perform something that is frankly amazing. It works against the common knowledge that a 100 pound women could render a charging 200 pound man helpless enough to throw him seemingly without effort. It is amazing to us when it happens. A very attractive skill indeed, appealing to most everyone. It boards having superhuman powers. Memorized by the feats of Aikido people train for this skill. Many will have their heads full of the idea they too can be this powerful. Never seeing the most powerful part of Aikido they chase after only what they know and that is the skill to defeat someone else. The reward of Aikido isn't in skill.
Many good practitioners of skill are models for the rest of us. We at some point in time say, I want to be able to do technique just as good. When overtime that doesn't come to fruition, we become dedicated to the idea there is some secret to make it all work hidden from us. Knowledge is power, we conclude. Therefore, there must be some knowledge we are lacking to equal that of the model. We chase it like a blood hound on the trail of a raccoon. When we become tired of the chase, as the raccoon cleverly eludes us, we pick up scents elsewhere on what will lead us to the skill we desire. Ever chasing and unsatisfied that elusive reward.
There are other people who look at the worth of an art based on it's skill effectiveness. Those people look for the ultimate uber art that will dominate all others. They too become disappointed with Aikido as they are always looking at flaws and testing an art. The seem not to test themselves or have the same expectation of themselves in the same way they do with Aikido. That is something Aikido when done properly will expose, such weakness in character. The weakness of not putting yourself up to be tested, to run the gauntlet of Aikido. To make snap evaluations made on observations. Observations based on lack of experience of running the aikido gauntlet. An attitude that is the reflection of not looking at ourselves honesty. Looking at all our warts, the idea that we may not have what it takes to win the race, we lack the character to survive. Overlooking or not identifying our character flaws is defeat before the fight has even begun. You may win a fight. But what is really judge publicly is the character of the winner; scrutinized for worthiness.
The perspective we have on what is truly important about Aikido goes beyond it's amazing abilities of skill. How many of us at any point recognize Aikido as something that will brake us down and build us up again? If done correctly. An art that will challenge us for years on end, and the rewards are not mechanical skill. Instead the rewards are that of character. Over the years, I have seen many chase skill, but very few who chase character; the real Holy Grail of Aikido.