I like reading what you write...and yet, if you'll excuse my picking a nit (or perhaps a bone?), I wonder if one day we will be able to go beyond the dismissive labeling of other styles as "the bashing arts". I find it ironic that you use a term that perpetuates willful ignorance in this post. It's not that there's nothing worthwhile in comparing your prior experiences to what you know now; but it strikes me that the difference is less in the style than in the student, then and now -- the student who could only see "bashing" vs. the student who can see something more. Aikido has enough of a sanctimonious superiority complex already; it doesn't need to be fed.
Thank you for reading and responding.
Nitting and bones are always welcome and well taken.
When I refer to my past in the "bashing arts" it is only meant to be descriptive, not dismissive. My mind and technique were focused on "bashing".
I neither see/think of bashing or Aikido in judgmental terms of more/less, better/worse, good/bad, inferior/superior. I simply see/think of them as different.
BTW, I totally agree with you on the "sanctimonious superiority complex" common in Aikido. I often think its a compensation for the opposite.
Thanks for nitting and picking bones with me. Its how we learn and train to improve.