Re: Brown Belt Syndrome
I went through the brown belt syndrome for three years. Was stuck in a plateau at first kyu where I wasnt getting any better and I was wondering if I was better off just leaving. So I would disappear from my dojo for weeks or months at a time. There was always a work reason I would cite, but really it was as if aikido—my aikido, anyway— had lost all flavor.
Then for a number of reasons, I seemed to break through a wall in early 2004 as I trained for my shodan exam. My progress since then surprises me still (I have video, so I know how I used to move). Which is not to say that aikido is no longer hard. I still get frustrated. But now I'm working on very different problems.
For me it was a question of faith and commitment—was I willing to put in the time and effort to (maybe just maybe) get the breakthrough to the next level? For years it was easier just to blame the art itself or just disappear. I was sure that the next level called for more than I had.