Re: advice for those starting the journey...
Aikido=Frustration. This is something I have learnt in my 4 month training. It took me almost three weeks to understand something (now as simple as breathing) like moving with the center doing a technique. After that I felt the most powerful man in the world, I thought from now on Aikido will be easy...it lasted 2 days, till next class. Even now Sensei keeps stopping me on every technique finding things I do wrong that I don't even see.
Yesterday we tried a new technique that I had never done (I didn't catch the name of it). All the times we did it not only I have never had Uke tap, but he would stare at me like saying when you start??
Aikido is a continuing chasing. Everytime you think you placed a piece of the puzzle in the right spot here come the next one to figure out. Sensei always tells me that each technique is made of many single parts and it takes time to do them all right, then it takes time to do them with coordination, then it takes time to do them fluent, then it takes time to reach a good misubi (blending) and so on.
So I reached the point that I no longer become frustrated, but I take every class as it comes. I waited 35 years to start Aikido, I don't have to become a Master in 10 days nor never. I just try to sponge the more I can out of an Art that get to love...I am just sorry for my Sensei coz I am sure he must have lost patience not few times with me.