Forgive me if I'm misinformed about any facts here, feel free to correct me if so!
Lately, I started thinking about something. Generally, people say that it will take 20, 30, 40 or more years to Master Aikido. In fact, many say that you shouldn't really expect anything useful (in a combat scenario) for the first many many years.
But is that really so?
When we look at Morihei Ueshiba, he trained Aiki Jujutsu only 8 or so years before he started teaching it. In just 20 years of training, we already see those amazing stories of how he "sent people flying".
Likewise for Gozo Shioda, in just 9 years of training, Morihei Ueshiba told him (according to a note in Aikido Shugyo), when he was being sent off to China, "You will not lose to anyone". Even before that, Shioda had already (successfully) tested his Aikido in combat many times (I'm sure we've all read/heard the stories of their trips to Shinjuku to find fights).
The Yoshinkan (and similar programs in other styles) Senshusei course would also seem to disagree that you cannot attain a "acceptable professiency" relatively quickly.
Now granted, there is without a doubt a matter of intensity here. Shioda was a live-in student for many years, and the Senshusei course is known for it's intensity.
But still, I'm left wondering why so many Aikidoka insist that it takes such an immense and long time to get any decent at? Or is it a matter of that "It's not Aikido that doesn't work, it's your
Aikido that doesn't work"? (who originally said that anyway? I'm curious
Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!