Originally posted by Edward
As usual, in this forum, I have to take a radical position, which might not completely represent my real point of view, but that I consider to be a counter-balance to all the bulls**t and the hypocrisy that I read every day in the posts...
Hypocrisy? On an Aikido forum? No way! It just can't be.
<this would be a straight face smiley but I can't use a straight-faced icon after typing that>
More seriously, I've gone through the beginner issue twice. In both cases, the advanced students were tremendously frustrated at a lack of training time with advanced students. There is truth to the idea that you need to work with people who can fall and challenge you. Beginners just can't do that in the same way.
In one of the dojos, I was driving an hour, each way, to the dojo and it was not unrare that the entire evening could be spent with 5th or 6th kyus some of which could barely roll or even backfall. Now, I'm happy to work with beginners, I'm helping a dojo right now where all I do is work with kyu ranks, but this dojo met twice a week and when the driving time was added in, well, it sucked! I started going to other dojos as my solution.
Eventually, this became enough of an issue, for several of us, that we altered the classes. The first half you worked with beginners or anyone who bowed to you and the second half you worked with whomever you wanted. It was ok to say no at that point. Eventually, a beginners class was added.
While I think you are making an extreme point, you do have a point. If you don't work with peers, sempai, or at least people that you can bash any which way, your technical skills will diminish.