Re: effectiveness: experience on learning
IMO it's just a matter of training with some honesty and seriousness. Honesty in that you're not just going through the motions. You're actually working with some level of resistence and there are consequences to the training. If you don't move, you're going to get hit. If you don't break my balance and keep it, i'm going to counter you or hit you. That's how I learned and IMO the only reason I think I was ever able to use aikido to defend myself in a fight. I think the psychological aspects, awareness, etc, come naturally with that type of practice because everything slows down as a result.