Ian Dodkins wrote:
I think to deepen their understanding in aikido a practitioner should try or have some understanding of other 'styles'. I put 'critically important' - partly because I think you must get to a point in training when you can question what you are being taught; but to do so effectively you must experience the benefits and drawbacks of the alternatives to what you are being taught. Too many students just say exactly what their sensei says, with no true understanding from testing this with their own experience.
I don't disagree except I would want to know what you qualify as a beginner. IMO, it's critically important to the development of someone at 2nd or 1st kyu to experience other styles. Someone who has trained for several years is not IMO a "beginner" except in the sense of a lifetime of training that we are all beginners.
Any sensei that lets a student parrot what they say needs to be bopped on the head. :-)