Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Very interesting topic, Peter.
Yeah its becoming so - I'm enjoying reading. Trying to keep my comments to a minimum.
I think that aikido practice is something very individual. Apparently one practice with various partners, is member of group, but in the end of the story, you are alone. You face alone your weakness and your forces, ppl come, ppl go, if you stay long enough, you can see how different your way is from any other oldtimer. And there are less and less those oldtimers...........you can't even compare yourself with others in any domain.
Nobody can help you. You have to go through all difficulties alone, even your teacher from certain level simply looks at you and doesn't give any advice. Ever wondered why?
Well in the case of my teacher probably consternation. Anyway I will agree that it is pointless to compare our own progress with others with the possible exception to spur ourselves to greater effort. For sure your primary drive should come from yourself and not the group even though a good group will help. However I think drive and progress are quite secondary to the question.
Generally I also want to add that I really don't think this is a Shodokan versus other style of Aikido question. The reason I started another thread was to break away from the specific issue itself but also how one style deals with it.
I have trained in a number of dojos from a number of styles - some on a regular basis. The problem cuts right across the board. The first time I saw someone excluded because of physical ability was in an Aikikai dojo I attended for a time. At that time I thought accommodation could have been reached and the sensei changed his mind after I talked it over with him. On hindsight I was wrong but luckily all parties realized it together. In this case the teacher had to spend the majority of his time dealing with a very difficult situation and a lot of students were starting to feel short changed.
I have been to dojos were the training is pretty laid back and others (again across styles) which were pretty hard driven. My own personal impression is that the level of Aikido in the latter group exceeded the former. These hard driving groups appeared to have a much higher group cohesion during training. Often afterwards also but that is another thread.