Re: Letting go of thinking through techniques
I feel ya. My husband and I both train, and we both tend to overthink things.
Some things that help me:
Not talking on the mat. To talk, you must think, which distracts from learning and doing the technique. If I have a question, I try not to ask it right then. If I still remember the question at the end of class, I may ask it then.
Realizing when I am overthinking, and then taking a deep breath to clear my head, helps a lot, too.
Being patient with myself. I am still fairly new at this (~ 2 yrs) and so I know I'm still going to make a lot of mistakes. If I beat myself up about them, it doesn't help and takes my mind away from training.
Was at a wedding recently, and it was pointed out to me how seamlessly I did some of the line dancing involved. Now, I've been doing the hustle a lot longer than I've been doing aikido. But the dancing metaphor has been very helpful to me to try to smooth out my technique, get the right rhythm to certain techniques, and work on flow.
Ultimately, you learning how to work through your struggles, whatever they may be, is part of the "fun" of aikido. Aikido is one of those things that is both wonderfully exhilirating and maddenly frustrating, often at the same time.