Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido
I find myself frustrated to no end at aikido seminars these days. They're often overcrowded, many people are trying to quickly determine a pecking order by figuring out what rank you are and there's rarely time to work on much stuff at any kind of indepth level.
I've attended a few seminars of late with names that I really respect and would no doubt more greatly enjoy were there time to actually train stuff with them that wasn't based on just the "Try this combo" or "This is how I'd deal with a tackle/punch/kick" (nevermind training the body skills and delivery system is where it's at to gain those skills).
In many cases, if there were a few of us around to try these things against progressive resistance, especially in an aikido context, once we got past the "rank doesn't equate to skill" nonsense, I think people would really begin to learn something. Sadly, without such training, it's reduced to lots of people going post-seminar "Oh yeah, I've always done it that way" or "Yes, my skill is much better", even when demonstrated next-to-squat when they were on the mat.
So, I think for the time being, I'm done with seminars. I'm going to continue to train with the people that I enjoy in smaller settings. People that will test me, not let me get away with things because of perceived skill or "teacher" status. I'll go visit and play with the rough guys from other styles for periodical reality checks, because unfortunately, I am one of those guys that needs to be able to test my aikido to make sure it will work on SKILLED/TRAINED people from other systems that don't necessarily know the correct/acceptible ukemi.
I'm gradually accepting my own status as an elitist/snob, which is probably not good for my character or "spirit", but I'm getting less inclined in my advancing years to maintain the "training as group hug to support the existing status quo" that I see becoming more and more the norm.
Best to everybody . . .