Re: Letting Go of the Ego
Thank you everyone for the input, there is a lot of good advice here and it has helped me come to some realizations. I spent a lot of time in the last 24 hours reflecting on my mentality and searching within for the why to all of this.
I think the principal of trying to look at if there is something in this training partner that I don't like because I see it in myself. After consideration, this is true, I do try to help others as I train and give advice where applicable, usually only when I must but I realize that to others it is possible that I come across as he does to me (minus the gender element, which might just be my imagining). Yesterday during training I spent half the lesson partnered with the same guy and I tried to be more open and friendly, needless to say it went far better than it had when we previously trained together, he advised me and I was receptive and I gave him feedback as well.
I also spoke with my sensei, before I said anything he told me that I was doing better than expected and my training was going well. I voiced my concerns about my mindset and my speculations about if it was better to be "held back". Due to language barrier, this was difficult to explain but he did mention that he - after 17 years of training - also did not have the "aiki" mindset and that ultimately which class I wished to attend was my choice, if I wanted to stay in the Beginner class forever I was welcome to. Putting myself to a far higher standard than others would place themselves is also true, with many aspects of my life I always aspire to be exceptional which can make my expectations very demanding. It is worth mentioning though that none of this comes close to turning me away from aikido, it has brought me great purpose and I do find much joy in training, these issues are just clouds that pass over the sun for a brief moment. I think that it is perhaps irrespective of where I train and that ultimately I will always find someone, somewhere, that I would prefer not to train with for whatever reason. Allowing that to be OK, internalizing it and not dwelling is perhaps a harder step forward, as well as giving some sincere self-analysis when those moments arise.
So, in general, a more mindful approach during training and less overthinking off of the tatami seems to be the overall goal. The first I think will be easier than the latter as aikido preoccupies my mind quite a lot proportionally. So thank you once more, I will try to keep in mind what everyone has said. Regarding the class, well, surely I don't wish to return to the Beginner class forever, but I will let myself mull on that one some more - from the sound of things, the overall opinion is that it wouldn't make any difference.