Interesting how this thread is developing. Mr. Ledyard, I believe I have met some folks like this as well (the ones who started out strong and really have taken aikido seriously throughout their training). Of the folks I know, it is about 50/50, but that usually the person would start out without any preconceived ideas on where they would want to go with aikido, but within a matter of a year or two, would be going full-swing and great guns. Everyone I know who has a dojo has gone through the 6 day a week training mania (and often still do), and still loves the art. That does seem to be a bit of a prerequiste to significant improvement. Most of the teachers I admire were not naturals at aikido, and worked really, really hard to get good at it. It seems to me that if it is too easy, it is boring and the practioner quits. Or if they stick around, sometimes they lack the requisite empathy that comes from being a slow learner (or not particularly talented). Just my observation....