Ian Dodkins wrote:
Unfortunately I believe that many aikido clubs do gentle aikido because they think 'aikido is being gentle', whereas other clubs think 'aikido has to be hard to be effective', whereas really the point is just being effective and blending with their attacker.
However, do not despair! The main thing is that you are critically appraising aikido and developing what is effective for YOU. Aikidoka must be like thieves - we just steal that which is useful to us and discard the rubbish (although we need some degree of faith in our instructor initially to have the time to understand their training method).
I'm at two years, also, and I think this is a great condensation of my attitude. It took me a long time to accept the idea that "cherry picking" my own Aikido was acceptable.
The more willing I have been to be selective of what I learn, however, the broader my needs and interests have become. Trusting your sensei and sempai, especially when they seem to be going completely off-track, has led to most of my improvement.
Wantospeak, if you stay with Aikido long enough you'll see the value in "fruity" Aikido. You may not want to use gentler techniques but cross training with other styles is like using new condiments on your hamburger. In my oh so humble opinion.