Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
My advice would be the opposite of Chris's -- not that I think it's bad advice, but it's not the only way to understand this dilemma, and I think it might be counterproductive for you. With the caveat that different people learn things different ways, I question whether reading about aikido can produce understanding unless you've got a fair bit of practice behind you to provide a framework for the theory. As a beginner, your goal should be to practice, not to seek to understand the art. Training with two different teachers who take two very different approaches is difficult, and probably counterproductive for a beginner, so choose one -- not necessarily the one whose approach seems to make sense to you now (chances are good that whatever you think you understand now, is at least partly wrong) -- and stick with him/her for a while. Set aside your need to get it, to figure out what aikido is, to find the answers. Just train. If you don't like the training, then don't do it. But I think that ultimately, the harmony in your aikido (for lack of a better way of saying it) comes from your training, your practice -- not from some abstracted ideal that you like the sound of. The sense of it comes within your practice, if it comes at all.