Re: Training, Training, & More Training?
We have open dojo on Fridays; no Sensei. There are days in our dojo when the mat is often all Sempai and we decide to "practice" rather than "train." Instead of receiving instructional pointers from an instructor we do as many responses to an attack as we can think of then on to the next attack. Sometimes partners share observations but often we are satisfied to explore moving and manipulating a partner. Afterward I always fill my notebook with observations and often later classes will illuminate things lucked upon in those free sessions. I guess I'm repeating my message that "Aikido teaches." Finally, I looooove weapons. The bokken screams lessons about posture, movement balance etc. and can be practiced with or without partner.
All the best.