Dear Ledyard Sensei,
Thank you so much for the article.
I've been training in Aikido for around 7 years now, but I just pass the exams for Kyu 5 only last week. Some of my friends are wandering why it took so long to take the exams. Sometimes I just tell them that it's because I changed around Dojo so many times and I trained Aikido unofficialy with my friend (who was a trainer for Keijitsukai Aikido) so I don't have the certificates.
To be honest, some of my reasons are true, but deep down inside I knew that there is something else. That something is 'fear'.
Yup...I have the fear of taking my trainings to the next level, because I'm afraid that I won't be as good as anyone else in Aikido (or other Martial Arts). I'm afraid that Aikido is really not the one for me (I've practiced Pentjak Silat also for a couple of years). I'm afraid that I will let down my previous Sensei (who is also my best friend). I know that it's stupid to be afraid of those things after training for years and I hope by taking the exams I have gained control over my fears. So here I am now with the understanding that Aikido is so much more just being stronger or better or trying to prove myself to others. With your article, I have found the realization of my condition in writings and I hope my resolutions also.
Peace & Respect,