*snip* It's perfectly okay to be both a "student of Aikido" and an "aikido student," but if you rely on your understanding of Aikido when it is time to learn Aikido, I don't think it works so well.
For example: even "cultivate an empty mind" can simply be another voice in my head that I drag onto the mat with me, that keeps me from seeing, feeling, and doing what really is being shown.
I get it! I never thought of it that way before. Thanks.
Mr. Janczuk briefly touched upon this subject as well earlier in the thread.
I like this site...it keeps me on the straight and narrow.
I almost wish I hadn't taken those other MAs in my life because they do
interfere, (and book learning Aikido too I now admit).
I envy the youth in class. (Especially the females, because of the inherent lack of testosterone (good as any word) and ego (as opposed to most males), that have brand new cups to fill and natural flexibility).