After my previous thread on "is this Aikido?" I had a chance to go down to the home country of my old dojo and experience first hand what they were doing. I found that my current school was only teaching a minute example of what was out there, and yes there is an Aikido-like program but what I was doing at home was nothing like it. So I did the smart thing and sent my teacher an email stating why I was quitting, listed the reasons, and then went in search of a traditional Aikido dojo. After many trials and tribulations I started class last night at my new dojo.
After one class, I'm confident to say "WOW what a difference!"
The class is very laid back, mostly folks in their early to mid 30s. All easy going with one or two "hardcore" folks that like to get rough and tumble. That's fine with me coming from being the ONLY "aikido" student. There's 3 people of Shodan rank or higher with 8 other students. It feels so good to have others whom I can talk to and gain feedback from instead of being a 1 on 1.
The teacher is the genuine article as I traced back his teachers who is only 1 removed from O-Sensei. The man knows his stuff, he's patient yet firm, and very easy to talk to. The school is USAF certified with backing on the web to prove that it is legit. He's listed in their register which is another promising sign.
I'm still learning all the Japanese lingo for the moves, forms, and rituals. It's a ton to take in. The only thing I carried over from my previous training was how to fall and roll, he said that saved several months of work right there.
I'm glad I took the time and effort to post my queries to this board. Y'all answered, mostly, in a reasonable and informative fashion which allowed me to form a better opinion on what I was doing and how it didn't suit my progression as a Martial Artist.
It was heart breaking to leave my old school as I made allot of friends there, but the teacher said I am welcome back any time.