I am an admitted newbie, but I have a good friend that is a Shodan and he was the one that suggested I join Aikido.
Admittedly, I had the same concerns when I started as Edward seems to have voiced...why in the world would an advanced level student?
Wasn't there another class that I should be going to?
The answer is no, and I am beginning to understand why. Aikido isn't just a combat technique...it is a philosophy. The circular motions, flowing with your opponents movements...it all make sense. Even the name AIKIDO--in harmony with the other person's ki.
How good are you really going to be if you can only flow with a professional's ki?
And as far as newbies who can't even do a proper ukemi practicing with the other students, all I can say is...DUH! Look, most instructors are not idiots. When I first started outI was the ONLY beginner in my class. My instructor, Kobayashi-sensei led me to a corner of the dojo and had me doing the basics..stretching, ukemi, etc, and he'd check up on me every now and then while he was conducting the regular class (we do not, by the way, have beginner and advanced classes. I think that goes contrary to Aikido philosophy as well. How can you be in harmony with the rest of the world if you are separated from it?) It wasn't until he felt that I was ready that he had me practicing with the other students.
Pardon me for saying so, but you sound like the typical western-minded martial arts practicioner. I KNOW. I took JUDO when I was a kid, and took it for 7 years..believe me, I KNOW what it feels like to be thrown at full force, to be thrown so hard that you get the wind knocked out of you. Martial Arts has to be competetive and rough.
That's not what Aikido is. It is a paradox in that its probably the gentlest technique in practice but the deadliest in real life.
Here in Japan we don't often have to use self-defense skills in real life, and perhaps that is not reality either. But I don't think I'd like to learn Aikido your way.
P.S.--in my class there are black belts who have--literally--been doing this for 20-30 years (I kid you not) They have the same philosophy, and have no problem working with new students. Just something to think about.