Hi Anne Marie. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree then. I think this quote verbatim from one of David's posts sums it up:
What I can respect is someone that trains at the hobby level or the desire level and is TRULY fine with it -- I mean, TRULY FINE WITH IT. Someone that can say, "Man, Aikido is just a hobby for me, and that is cool. As a hobby, I don't expect it to do more than a hobby can do." We have folks that train like that at our dojo -- and they are a great part of the overall community.
He pretty much spells it out that this is fine, there are people like that at his dojo, and that is fine. I really don't know how much more he can do along those lines.
I have seen other people react to David's writing style. I believe that he is an academic, and that influences his writing strongly. As such, I find it no surprise that it turns some people off, and maybe even makes some others feel inferior. That happens with A LOT of academics. Peter Goldsbury is one fine exception to this rule. When I first began reading David's posts, I too had something of that feeling that he might be 'looking down on us from the ivory tower'. But I stuck with his prose, and found so much gold
it was worth whatever effort
it took to figure out what he was saying, and where my own perspective and or emotions got in the way.
Let me sum this up this way...by David's definition I am more of a hobbyist than I would like.
So I am taking steps to get my body into better shape to withstand the assaults that serious aikido training make on me. In my case, this means physical training outside of aikido, something that I never had to do before. But if I am really committed to aikido BEYOND THE HOBBY LEVEL, I MUST start doing that. In my case, yoga seems to be doing the trick, but ask me again in a few months.
There is nothing wrong with my current level...except that I am not happy with it. I want to go deeper. That will take commitment, and there's nothing wrong with challenging myself to do that, or being willing to call a spade a spade. I can't say for sure if David's message applys to the original poster, or if it applies to anyone else but me. But I do think people who react to the message strongly should take a long, hard look at themselves. Before they start with the name calling.
Ron (hobbyist currently, looking for more)