A number of people posting to this thread have suggested I get more experience and training, rather than sharing the fruits of their experience or training.
At last I have found a thread I feel like a bona fide authority on.
It just dawned on me not 20 or so seconds ago that when it comes to talking on the internet about Aikido instead of putting in the time training, I have a particularly robust experience. My experience is that you don't really progress much off the mat. Budo is hands-on work and done best in a concentrated environment with people better than ourselves.
Also, it's one thing to ask about better ways of teaching techniques for avoiding and dealing with conflict; it's another thing entirely to not address an important point many people with a LOT more experience than me (both on the mat and
Aikiweb) have made.
The following comes from the fruits of my experience and I am sincere when I say I like the general idea. I believe whole-heartedly in the idea of cross-referencing information (e.g. by mixing different practices like dance and Aikido). That said, I started teaching kids' classes after about a year of 4-day a week training (about 12+ hours a week) plus practicing off-matt very nearly every chance I could get: When my hands were free i practiced hand taiso; when I had open spaces I practiced weapons kata and ukemi; and when ever certain friends were willing, I'd play around with entering and blending ("sparring"). All in all i estimate I put in an average of about 20-25+ (being conservative in my off-mat estimate here) hours a week on and off the mat for that first year. That is my experience, and when i began teaching I felt just barely ready...I also had someone with over 30 years experience assessing me.
Of course, you could have an exceptional knack for this sort of thing. What do I know about you? Nothing, but I do know you'd be an exception proving the rule, which is why I said I think it takes years.
Gambatte and take care,
p.s. As regards the possibility of this being a trolling thread: I say let 'em waste their time...I'll even help. As regards Thomas's refusal to address these important points: as long as the discourse remains about Aikido and remains civil, I'd rather the thread stayed open...not that this is a democracy.
Take care all.