Oh my goodness, I had NO idea this was going to blow up into such a big thread. >.<
"Tak": ....oh lordy, it IS you. I didn't realize you were following this so closely until I got your email. So much for envying me, huh? Its okay about the personal stuff; I didn't talk about any of it because I didn't feel it was relevant to my question, which was mainly 'Is this sort of behaviour normal in Aikido?' From the responses, I see now that it is pretty normal, though dependant on the degree of care the sensei and sempai choose to invest in the newbie. As you suggested to me in conversation, my sensei probably had his mind on other things.
Peter Rehse: I dithered about whether to reply to you; you may have meant to be kind, but I picked up a certain "good bye and good riddance" tone from your posts. I'm sorry if I come across as angstful to you; I've left out all of my personal history, as it was not relevant to my question, but you bring up several valid points that make it relevant. I am very protective of my health as I had lost nearly all of it, and after five years, am still recovering. This was to have been part of my recovery; since I can walk again and am once again able to hold a full-time job in the industrial sector, I chose ki aikido as a means to recover coordination, grace and physical strength, as well as to learn more about ki, to learn jo, and to learn an interesting method of unarmed defense. I'm very aware of how quickly and how permanently one's health condition can change. Sprained wrists, ankles, twisted knees, are all familiar to me and I anticipated them as risks. If I anticipated a risk to my spine, it would have been in later stages of training, certainly not fourth lesson. You make the very valid point that classes can't revolve around beginners. These classes were packed with waza, and were to help several sempai prepare for upcoming belt exams. Having had much time to think upon the experience, I quite agree with you: Their focus should have been on their upcoming exams, and our sensei's focus should have been on helping them prepare - so why were rank newbies encouraged to participate? We could not follow the pace nor understand the waza, we should not have been there. Yet we were, we were encouraged to participate, and both of us were injured in the same waza. This is the problem, and as I have no satisfactory answer for it, consensus seems to feel it is safer for me to leave. Don't worry, I won't let the door hit my ass, and I will remember to bow.
Giancarlo DiPierro: Thank you for the link and the information about jo. Though Guelph is half the continent away from me, there is a local affiliate. I will look into it. Ki aikido offered a sort of 'one-stop' package for all of my interests, but 'one at a time' is better than none, neh?
Craig Hocker: Thank you for your kind words. Too bad you too are half a continent away, and in another country
I will email you.
Thank you again, everyone. You've been very kind (and I'll give one points for trying) and supportive. I'm sorry this didn't work out.