Re: ?? Exaggeration in Aikido ??
I mostly agree with that Michael. Having a really good teacher and access to several others is the best approach.
In the absence of a really good teacher, (maybe just average joes) then I also think the order in which you learn martial arts depends on what level of emotional maturity you are at when you want to start as well. For the majority of the young bucks starting out (again in the absence of a really good teacher), I would like for them to start out in any art that stresses taking it before learning how to dish it out. Aikido is a good one, but there are others like Goju karate. [A really good teacher can of course teach anything and help you learn it in a way that is good for you.] I would like to see more people develop a strong mind of choice to not to harm (meaning they actually have ability to do harm and make the conscious choice not to do so). If we just turn out martial artists who only know how to do maximum damage, you have to wonder if you are sending these people out into the world with a foregone conclusion (justified by something like: 'but only if they push me to far').
My hope is that the people training aikido to continue their martial arts development slowly but surely continue to work towards more and more resistance training and more sophistocated attacks (in a level appropriate way of course). I'm playing around with such things and it's darn difficult to keep my posture, maintain the space I want, and know when to abandon that approach. I don't (personally) wish I learned such things in a different order.