Recently I have been feeling that my progress in aikido is being limited to some extent by those whom I am training with as well as my instructor. So, here are numerous questions:
What if I have decided that I like a different sensei's aikido better; i.e., I want my aikido to be more like his, should I leave my dojo?
What about not liking the aikido that the other students in my dojo are doing; is that a reason to leave?
What about loyalty issues, in that we are talking about changing sensei within the same organization so we are liable to run into each other again?
I believe that a lot of my aikido is self-motivated by what I want to work on, but some things I can't learn on my own, like paired weapons.
Well, I am just a little frustrated. Sometimes I feel as if I could have progressed farther in my aikido if I was training with more talented sempai and/or sensei. Any thoughts?
In my eyes, the question isn't about which instructor has the better technique or which school has students who you believe to be better. The question is "Which Sensei do you want to be like?"
If you want better technique, it'll come with research and practice and the occasional prod from your Sensei. If you want better students to train with, you can go out and solicit them.
Even if you want harder or softer techniques, you can adapt them to fit your demeanor. (My experience is that as long as you're not hurting anyone, no one really minds if you adjust the way you do them.)
However, the thing that is beyond your control is the nature and personality of the Sensei. That, in my experience, is the most important thing. This single issue in my life has had more profound effects than I could ever express on a single page.
When I've been lead by someone who was arrogant, I became much more arrogant. When lead by someone who was humble, I've knashed my teeth in shame. When lead by one who was oppressive, I've become resentful and resistant.
However, in all cases, my technique was improving dramatically. Pick the person, not the technique. (At least, that's what I'd do.)
BTW: sorry if anyone's already said this. I didn't have time to read it all...but of course, I've got time to give my opinion