i started training in Aikido the same time as another friend of mine. i have a lot of respect for him, so for the sake of his privacy, i will call him Mustafa.
our participation at the dojo was always the same, and we (more or less) had the same learning curve. even early on, we attended seminars together, practiced together outside the dojo, and motivated each other.
Mustafa, all of a sudden, simply stopped going. although it was a while back, it still affects me a lot. obviously, there's no love lost, but it was tough losing a training partner who could relate to the tremendous challenges learning Aikido. i never would have expected it in a million years.
to add to the confusion, he was getting pretty damn good. i was more likely to stumble along the way, while his ukemi was getting very respectable for a beginner, and he had no problem practicing any of the waza. i suffered a few shoulder injuries and bummed out my knee, but he never experienced such maladies.
not only do i continue to participate, but i am basically all about Aikido right now. I have not practiced in 2 weeks, and i am counting the days to when i can go again. i'm watching for seminars and making long term goals with my Aikido, while Mustafa basically stopped cold.
his explanation is a good one: "my heart was not in it - i can't force myself to go".
in my opinion, this explanation is very acceptable. why bother with Aikido if your heart's not in it? you will never be able to learn true Aikido by forcing yourself to go, so you shouldn't.
i did learn one thing: it's useless to be shown the way, if you don't want to walk it. the road is full of bumps, elevation changes, curves, and dark tunnels. if you're not thirsting for what's on the other side, you will not make it.
Mustafa will live. he's very smart, very motivated, and has his priorities straight. although it's disappointing i can't practice with him, i support his decision.
the difference between two people's ability to learn something is simply the ability to conform to its way of life. because without "do", it's just AiKi.
i am asking this community if my understanding of "do" has any validity, or if they've experienced the same things with other training partners.