Re: I think I'm done with Aikido
I wish you luck in your search for answers.
I can relate to some of what you say. I began practicing Aikido with an Aikikai school 15 years ago, and as a young teen, I enjoyed the spiritual side of it and the subtle defenses against attacks. After 15 years away from Aikido, I've found myself at a point in life where things were in place for me to return. I sought out the spiritual side of Aikido, and found a local dojo that teaches Fukasa-ryu Aikido and Jujutsu. At first I found it confusing and couldn't tell where the Aikido was and where the Jujutsu stopped.
However, now I've had a chance to go to an Aikikai school and have returned with a new appreciation for my dojo.
Our Sensei teaches an Aikido that is based on wartime martial arts, different from the Aikido that evolved post-war. We learn techniques that are higher level pretty much right from the beginning, and a lot of our techniques require hard breakfalls.
If my technique isn't working, my Sensei and partner will tell me and help me make it effective. In my dojo, we don't just fall because we're supposed to - we fall because the technique is working. We also train doing a lot of simple, direct techniques that will work on the street. After having trained for only a few months at this dojo, I feel confident that I can defend myself if I ever need to.
Aikido has a broad spectrum of styles. I have found myself suprisingly happy with a more combat oriented Aikido. Fukasa-ryu is very effective and I am proud to be learning it.
I certainly have no negative things to say about other styles, only having practiced one other, and having found something that appeals to another side of me....
My point is to keep searching. You will find your own Aikido that is what you seek.