This is my first post as I am the stereotypical "newbie". At my dojo we are lucky enough to have a Shihan. While many people will obviously find this desireable, I find it a little intimidating. Therefore, I am only attending the beginners class with similarly ranked (and unranked,) people.
I have been a beginner at many things in my life and a few of them I have even quit because of the attitudes of those people possesed of more skill. Thankfully, I am enjoying Aikido immensely due in no small part to the fact that EVERYONE is friendly and welcoming.
I, like Tom (or at least like Tom was
) am worried that by training with more advanced people I am limiting their enjoyment and progression in Aikido. I have trouble remembering the techniques and am not familiar with how they should look so I end up taking ukemi in the most bizarre ways. This, I fear SERIOUSLY undermines the training of my partner.
When I read the posts fom higher grades saying that they actually enjoy and benefit from training with beginners I am thrilled. However, there is still the feeling that whereas they might be able to practice a given technique 10 times each with a similarly ranked partner, my lack of understanding drasticaly drops that to about 2 or 3 times as I will need to be corrected and shown repeatedly.
I love my Aikido training but am still worried enough to only attend beginner's classes for the moment.