Your old chum Joe here, How are you doing? Mark, while its good to imitate someone you respect and admire and you try to emulate their waza, the hard facts are that imitation is good but really one cannot do aikido in the manner of someone else.You have to find your own way.Lots of newbies/and experienced guys try and be clones of some other person.I think everybody is different and each person has his /her own unique way of doing aikido. As a young guy I was a bit of a ruffian [so I am told ] now I am just a pussy cat [curling up near the fire on a cushion is my main target ].So comfy.
Good to hear that you are doing well. Been a LONG year on this end..... All and all, things are still afloat.... Shu-ha-ri really says it all. We do try to learn thru imitation and if we truly make the expression of an art our own, it has to be expressed uniquely through us as individuals. Like you, they say I am a lot calmer and nicer.... Who knows... Just trying to get as much enjoyment out of each day as I can.