John Powell wrote:
So, on John's quote, which I absolutely loved, "Sometimes, the proper response is to drop your partner on her butt, then explain that while her obstinate attitude is not a problem in application, it is making the current exercise more difficult."
I actually don't exactly agree with the above, as it implies that the uke is on purpose trying to make it difficult for the nage to execute the technique. To me, it is important that the nage (if in position to do so) or sensei show at some point to uke that there is always an appropriate response to any attack (quantitative & qualitative) but it is equally (if not more) important to understand and question why the uke performs this way. The easy way is to say (or write on a thread) that he is a jerk and stop thinking about it. But there might be some more noble reasons why uke behaves like that.
The thing you need to understand, as a less experienced student, is that when you act this way as uke people will think you are being a jerk. That's because there are a non-trivial number of people who let their ego get away with them and behave like this intentionally. So if you keep it up, you will get a reputation for being a jerk. Your choice whether you want that or not.
Most Aikido practice is basically kata. Predefined attack, predefined response. What you're saying comes down to that you don't like kata training. Your privilege, and you do have good company in that, but if you don't learn why kata training is useful, you're going to be frustrated a lot on the Aikido mat. Consider that essentially all koryu teach their arts through kata training. These are arts that were developed to keep people alive on the battlefield--yet most of the teaching is through staged interactions. Why do you think that is?
My teacher says, "If you train chaos, you learn chaos." Until you've burned in the right movement patterns, all you'll get from free sparring is chaos. Think about that.
As for whether nage has the responsibility for helping you through this, he/she does and did. Nage's only other real option at this point was to show how your uncommitted attack left you open to a different technique. That could easily result in you either being hit, or having to take a fall you're not ready for. We try not to do that in most Aikido dojos.
Sure, it's nice for the instructor to show you all the different variations in how a technique can evolve depending on what uke does--the basic 17 kata of Tomiki Aikido is structured just this way--but you can't depend on that every time.
On the subject of trolls, meh. Maybe, maybe not. I'm in it for the discussion.