Let’s start by having a quick look at how and why we “hurt”.
Although we are not aware of the process, the experience of pain involves a complex series of biochemical and electrical processes that starts with tissue damage, followed by transduction, transmission perception, and modulation.
Actually – depending on the type of injury (tissue, stomach, bones, nerves, etc.) causes a chemical reaction that starts the brain into action to stop us from doing what has caused.
Now, for the martial artist, this is a problem. In the system of most martial arts, especially those based wrestling, workout routine involves the application of some form of pain or discomfort as a defensive strategy – we are all familiar with the “tap if sick” routine I’m sure.
As aikidoka, we considered the promotion of universal reconciliation and love, and follow the most natural way, as one of our major physiological systems have consistently told us that “serious injury”, then surely it’s not as though handing Nikkyo tomorrow contrary to those goals ?
Some Aikido styles (including much of the “Ki” focus) does reject the application of traditional engineering company.
There is of course the opposite opinion as long as the practice will be controlled and properly verified claim, no one can really “hurt” and that “inconvenience” is all part of the process of self-defense – after all, as a defense technique depends on the function of pain, then with a soft non-functional exercise to be of any use.
Placed in a position where they have to defend themselves, we assume both the attack and the high risk of pain. Aikido principle of “Focus on the Center,” entertainment “and” Extension ki “is highly dependent on the ability to maintain peace and unflappability when faced with this situation.
If you experience a sudden blow to the nose out of the blue, no matter how sincere fellow human beings to love or desire for global unification, it will still bleeding wounds! Then kick start the body’s natural process of rushing to the brain chemistry and said: “OUCH me out!” And we would really natural fight-or-flight response.
All this makes it very difficult to maintain the traditional Aikido “unite the mind, body and soul.”
So how can you prepare students for this?
Some of the more “percussion” martial arts puts great importance on “conditioning” and seems to spend hours bashing the living daylights out of themselves in an effort to build up calluses and resistance to pain. Indeed, this style looks some very tough fighters, but also produce ex-students are full of arthritis that age prematurely.
My feeling is that there should be a reasonable middle ground, where the ‘natural’ body’s reaction to pain can be studied and used to not only improve us as a martial artist, but also our own self-awareness.
I was fortunate to have started my training at the age of about 9 or 10 in the dojo “traditional”, with a fairly rigorous practice and an excellent instructor. Even the children’s class, though very safe, structured the same tatami straw mats used as adults (which, of course, is quite cruel), but after a few weeks most of the students who used to roll on them and settled without any problems.
I clearly remember the first time I ever got ai hamni Nikkyo (“bird with drinks” technique as it teaches our children that time ..). I fell to the ground and screamed, even though the little girl I coached, it’s simply not being rude. And yes, after a few dozen times, and I began to relax and realized that yep, it’s uncomfortable, but I’m not going to die, mind and body begin to process of “re-tuning” of the pain, so, although admittedly, it is not causing panic throughout the system, and I was able to continue my practice.
So it should be paying closer attention to this?
I can draw a lot of examples out dojo to support this theory. A few years ago my body decided to diabetes, and the first shot I had to give myself a painful and traumatic. Three years later, when I want a cookie, I jumped out of the site, and continued to jab themselves – sometimes with three meals a day and snacks can mean 5 or 6 jabs per day. To be honest, it’s really not a big deal right now, just something that is part of my life, but there is a measurable period of adjustment, while my brain is used to the discomfort. I can refence some other cases where the inital “mild” pain or discomfort disappears into a routine with familiarity.
If the body can provide a solution, of course we need to hear? Is not “natural”? If one day someone, for whatever reason (maybe they’re just not my style of writing …) decided to hit the nose, I hope that the years of training, with the occasional accidental blow to the nose, over-enthusiastic wrist-twist and slighty-hard -from-it-needed-to-be to throw would mean that the mind, body and soul will say “it’s sick, but do not panic”, and there will be an opportunity for a resolution to the inconvenience of the situation it is better to avoid the participants.