In aikido the problem is I think that we all just practise together in one big jumble and there aren't that many places where someone could go who wanted to practise with the goal of getting to an elite level.
Hi Pauliina :-)
When I read over this thread I was wondering, why a teacher would or should demand a certain amount of "how much" or a certain way of "how" some practioner cares about aikid˘. I was asking me that because I don't experience such "one big jumble".
Sure, at a first glance it seems so. But when you take a closer look you may detect a lot of differentiation. At least this is true in my experience. It's clearly not comparable to the world of teaching and studying music.
... there exist different classes ...
Mostly they are accessible for every member of a d˘j˘. But you have to meet certain requirements for advanced classes. You have to do more to participate in the classes which are preparing for dan-gradings. And there may even be classes to which certain students are invited by a certain teachers / the teacher of the d˘j˘.
... and different seminars.
Seminars do have a special charakter, they are "more than" the daily practice. And some people are going very often, others go seldom, some never do.
And while most seminars are free for everyone to attend, there are a whole lot of seminars which are restricted. Be it by a certain grade like shodan or even sandan. Or you can take part only by invitation. Or only certain students of the teacher are allowede to attend. ...
... aikid˘ is taught in a teacher-student-relation.
So during class everybody practices. But only the "declared" students of the teacher are taught in the proper sense. This is true at home in the d˘j˘ and it is even more true during seminars. You can go there and practice but the teacher will not teach everyone but only his students. The others "only practice", they only take part and have to watch, to steal.
... finally both aspects come together.
There are students of a teacher who are following him more to his abroad seminars than other. Only few attend the international seminars in his home d˘j˘ (maybe in Saku in Japan) regularly or visit him there (maybe in Paris, France) once a week.
And only a handfull lives in the d˘j˘ as uchi deshi for some years, or at least near to the d˘j˘. This may only be three or seven students.
This is at least how I experience the structure of the student body in aikid˘: To me it is clearly a pyramid.
And maybe living and practicing directly with a shihan for some years, even living in the d˘j˘ as a uchi deshi, is a little bit like being student at conservatoire.
So I have to admit I didn't really understand the point of this thread.
I think everyone can care about aikid˘ just the way he or she does. That's fine. Because everyone hast to choose his or her own way through one's life.
I myself never experienced a teacher to make demands of a student where there was no relation and who only wanted to practice and nothing more.
Demanding to overthink the way one cares about aikid˘ I only know from situations where the practioner has to care "enough" to become a declared student, or to care "enough" to take part in a certain training or seminar or to be graded. Or to fulfil whatever to reach a certain aim.
I never experienced a teacher to accuse a student to not care enough, when the interest of this practioner only was to just practice.