Re: Poll: How important is it for beginners in aikido to experience aikido styles oth
I'm a beginner (1.5 years) in an an Aikido World Alliance dojo (previously Aikido Association of America). I recently attended a seminar for the USAF Western region, and did feel that it helped me considerably.
The styles are similar, so it wasn't terribly confusing, except for some weapons work. Many times I thought, "we" don't do things quite like that, only to realize a few minutes or days later that it was "Tim" that didn't do things quite like that "yet". So it was helpful to get much the same feedback that I'm already receiving, but from a different viewpoint.
I also managed to go through a full case of beginner's terror, informed by over a year of aikido practice. But I practiced through it, even taking quite a few breakfalls from one of Chiba sensei's deschi. Back at my own dojo, I've been even more excited and joyful in my practice.
Finally, it's just good to experience friendliness and trade stories with different people. All in all, it was a very good experience and I would certainly do it again. I would add, however, that I feel my experience refers to attending the occasional seminar, or seeing different dojos while travelling. I do not know if regularly attending two dojos as a beginner would be helpful or not.