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Buck
07-14-2010, 09:13 AM
The Yonkyo is Unbearable thread talks about techniques being too painful. We as people don't like pain, in the context of Aikido, we want to practice without pain. It is natural to want to do so. And it has been my experience with some Aikidoka that all techniques should be painless. That painless techniques are the mark of perfect or ideal execution, a sign of mastery. I am not going to argue that because I have felt less pain from experienced Aikido than a novice. That runs along the lines of the novice struggling to learn the technique. Also not all Aikido techniques are designed to be painful on contact, such as those of jujitsu techniques. And Judo throws for example, not the katas, are not painful on contact as well. With that in mind, the issue up for discussion is, does pain assist in the learning process or doesn't it. Does working technique with the idea it shouldn't be painful assist in the learning process or hindering it. I am looking at long term learning and development. Does the student develop the proper foundation, principles and structure with either philosophy? What are the end results of either over say 10 years of practice?

To define pain I am not talking about applying a force that rips the limbs of someone. I am talking about moderate pain as the median, for the sake of this discussion.

I hope with a variety of opinions and input it will provide a picture of what most Aikidoka are doing and their perspective on painless techniques and the learning of Aikido. That in turn will be a valuable resource.

I personally, feel that FWIW, and I am not an experienced teacher but as a student, I feel for new students that experiencing some pain in some techniques does help the learning process and is valuable to long term success. For instance, feedback on applying other principles used with the technique. For example, assisting in the learning proper structure, and form, positioning, tai sabaki, Irimi etc. As I said this is my opinion and looking forward to reading those of others. My first Aikido sensei said about pain, when I started and was uncomfortable about pain experienced said, "Think of it as a loving stretch."

niall
07-14-2010, 09:20 AM
Buck in a nice little piece of synchronicity just two minutes ago in that yonkyo thread I wrote

On the pain point real aikido doesn't hurt. It's not supposed to. It only hurts if you are doing it wrong. The joint techniques in aikido are control techniques which are only painful if the uke doesn't want to follow and tries to escape.

aikishihan
07-14-2010, 11:33 AM
In life, and in learning anything useful, pain is inevitable. It is the shadow that accompanies new awareness, as well as the stripping away of old and inappropriately held preconceptions of what should be.

Alas, even as omelettes cannot be started without breaking egg shells, as childbirth is not free of pain, and as new knowledge is often accompanied by the agony of realizing how wrong one was before, so is pain inevitable in learning Aikido correctly.

Suffering, however, remains optional, and should be minimized or avoided whenever possible.

Good pain is desirable, if nothing more than to avoid bad pain. Good pain is instructional and serves as vital warning signs. Bad pain means that those warning signs were ignored, by either student, instructor,,,,,, or both.

Maturity, understanding and wisdom, like all beneficial goals of training and experience, come with a price. One may find that it is far better to pay this price willingly, and avoid the greater cost of not doing so. Life is rife with choices, so we must always choose wisely.

Let us not fear pain, or the necessary lessons that accompanies it.

Let us fear the loss of not having the courage and foresight to do so.

RED
07-14-2010, 11:53 AM
Some one told me that all techniques can be performed painless, with just the principle behind the technique and with taking ballance.
But to get to that point takes a lot of pain frankly.

Taking and giving the nasty yonkyo or nikkyo might be the birthing pangs of refined technique.

lbb
07-14-2010, 12:46 PM
With that in mind, the issue up for discussion is, does pain assist in the learning process or doesn't it.
That's like asking "Is water useful?" It's a nonsense question, because there is no absolute answer: it's always dependent on the situation. Define the situation and you can arrive at an answer; refuse to define the situation, and it's just mental masturbation.

Abasan
07-14-2010, 01:05 PM
Using pain to teach Aikido is a crutch. If you've broken your leg go ahead. But if you haven't, it'll look daft.

Using pain as a lesson for other things, might be useful. Learning what type of pain is acceptable to your body, and what's not. Dealing with pain with centering, kokyu and etc. Understanding pain can be a good way to avoid injury.

Theoretically, that's what I believe anyway. :p

Buck
07-14-2010, 01:37 PM
That's like asking "Is water useful?" It's a nonsense question, because there is no absolute answer: it's always dependent on the situation. Define the situation and you can arrive at an answer; refuse to define the situation, and it's just mental masturbation.

Mary,

On another thread, from which this on was spawned, it was stated that pain will lead to incorrect Aikido technique. Therefore, it is argue on that thread, techniques should be done painlessly. Maybe I assumed that everyone would have understood where this question is coming from. What is your opinion, does experiencing pain during the practicing of a technique help or hinder learning Aikido?

sakumeikan
07-14-2010, 02:17 PM
Mary,

On another thread, from which this on was spawned, it was stated that pain will lead to incorrect Aikido technique. Therefore, it is argue on that thread, techniques should be done painlessly. Maybe I assumed that everyone would have understood where this question is coming from. What is your opinion, does experiencing pain during the practicing of a technique help or hinder learning Aikido?

In my opinion Good /Bad pain are both sides of the same coin.In life we experience bad/ good situations.Whether you have a bad/good experience or whether you feel good /bad pain during Aikido the point I think is to seek something positive in a bad situation .In a word learn to accept and neutralise the pain from a waza./see some good in bad situations.
Do we not try and do this when /if we are faced with lifes difficulties?We were never promised a cushy time in life so why complain if occasionally we receive a bit of pain during training.
Like the say -No pain -no gain.Treat pain like a friend .
Pain is you body's way of saying something isnt quite right eg your ukemi might be lousy.

lbb
07-14-2010, 02:30 PM
Mary,

On another thread, from which this on was spawned, it was stated that pain will lead to incorrect Aikido technique. Therefore, it is argue on that thread, techniques should be done painlessly. Maybe I assumed that everyone would have understood where this question is coming from. What is your opinion, does experiencing pain during the practicing of a technique help or hinder learning Aikido?

Buck,

Is water useful?

Lyle Laizure
07-14-2010, 02:45 PM
Aikido is a martal art. Being such I beleive pain is a part of it. We aren't playing with fluffy puppy dogs, we are practicing a martial art.

Aiki1
07-14-2010, 02:55 PM
To me, the "answer" depends on what you want out of your Aikido: what you want to be experiencing and what you want your partners, or even actual opponents, to experience, which then, in many ways, dictates what physical and emotional reaction they will have to you and what you do. In addition, pain doesn't work on every one, and if elements like Kuzushi occur properly, it's not necessary, and undesirable.

In my practice and teaching, there is -No- pain taught in any Aikido technique, ever. From day one. Successfully. When properly understood, it isn't that difficult to teach this, even from a purely practical standpoint, but it is more rare, and it is far more sophisticated than simply teaching mechanics and Aiki-style jujitsu waza.

In my world, pain application and/or compliance is haphazard, dangerous, and creates a situation and feeling that I do not want to foster, nor do I need to. Along with that, I have seen much Aikido practice where the "success" of a technique depends on Uke compliantly following Nage, either because that's what they are simply taught to do, or in many dojo and styles, because if they don't they will get hurt. To me, this is one of the major problems with Aikido instruction and practice today. In what and how I teach, there is absolutely no room for it. To me it means that Nage does not know how to perform the technique properly, and that proper principles/processes like Musubi, Kuzushi, and Aiki, are absent.

To some, this may seem like a fairly extreme position, but for me, it is an every day, every class thing; no pain, not necessary, and if there is pain then something is wrong, and what is going is examined and used as important feedback for Nage.

This kind of practice is based on, among other things, what we call Kinesthetic Invisibility, termed by my main teacher, Don O'Bell. Pain creates physical and emotional reference points that can then be responded to, resisted, countered, and used against Nage. In fact, to me, when there is pain, Nage becomes Uke, or, the attacker, and can be taken advantage of and dealt with as such.

In K. Tohei Sensei's writings about his first encounter with O Sensei, he describes how he felt nothing at all from him, but was effectively and efficiently thrown again and again. He points out that, if he had felt anything, he had the skills to counter it, and would have (in fact did so to the instructor he encounterd before O Sensei got there.) But with O Sensei, he didn't, couldn't. This important, valuable, and defining reference seems to have been completely lost on many Aikido instructors and practitioners.

Pain in-and-of-itself, in life etc., doesn't seem to be the pertinent issue here, but the use of pain in Aikido waza. Taking away reference points like pain in Aikido actually make it a far more powerful and effective art.

Janet Rosen
07-14-2010, 02:57 PM
My ideal is to apply a lock or pin in such a way that I've already taken balance and there is only pain if uke turns or rises against it. I may not always succeed at this! but it is definitely my goal.

Having said that....as uke, learning to breathe into and relax and sink into a nikkyo lock, was invaluable both on the mat (learning non-resistive connection) and also off the mat, in teaching my how to deal with pain that is either benign and to be lived with (arthritis) or just not going away yet (like in the ER waiting for treatment).

As nage w/ newbies, I like to aside from "doing technique" stop and just slowly slowly apply a lock, showing them how it travels up the body AND how under these condition it can lock without hurting for quite some time. I like to have them understand the feel of a final pin that doesn't hurt but leaves them immobilized, so they know they don't have to wait to "tap out when it hurts" as sometimes, unfortunately, they've been instructed.

But in training, going through the normal back and forth, yeah sometimes the lock or pin will hurt for a moment and that's just part of the learning.

Aiki1
07-14-2010, 03:16 PM
To me, a major misunderstanding in Aikido is the perspective that many techniques are joint locks - to me they're not. They're ways of connecting to center and allowing Kuzushi to happen. When it does, properly, Uke should then not even have to ability to resist and therefore potentially hurt himself. This is an important, basic teaching/skill to learn, in my style, and it works quite well.

Lyle Laizure
07-14-2010, 03:52 PM
In my practice and teaching, there is -No- pain taught in any Aikido technique, ever. From day one. Successfully. When properly understood, it isn't that difficult to teach this, even from a purely practical standpoint, but it is more rare, and it is far more sophisticated than simply teaching mechanics and Aiki-style jujitsu waza.


While I can see this in some techniques it doesn't sound right for all. How can a nikkyo not hurt? Sankyo? Hijishime?

mathewjgano
07-14-2010, 03:53 PM
Is water useful?

Maybe the intended question was more about how "water" might be useful (or not useful)?
I can see how pain can help in some things, but not in others. In terms of sensing minute details in the body, pain usually seems to wash out a lot of the signal. Also, I tend to think that if pain is present, something isn't quite right on my part (as uke); it's a sign I'm not fluid or otherwise engaged enough in some part(s) of my overall structure.
That said, though, I also pay close attention to the "shape" of my pain and have had the sense of feeling around "in" it to see what's going on and then figuring out something on how to respond as a result.
As a slight side-note I'd just like to add how I was always surprised to take ukemi for Sensei Barrish when I had an injury (i.e. mild strained/sprained joints, etc.) because I almost never felt any pain. If anything I usually felt a little stronger in the offending joint.

RED
07-14-2010, 03:59 PM
While I can see this in some techniques it doesn't sound right for all. How can a nikkyo not hurt? Sankyo? Hijishime?

I've been controlled against my will many a time with a nikkyo, sankyo and even yonkyo that was completely painless.


IMHO:
All these techniques are in the end about controlling or attacking uke's center. You don't need pain compliance if you are attacking uke's center. If you rely on the pain compliance alone you are missing a great deal of the technique.

With that said everyone will "most likely" spend a great deal of their training years giving and receiving painful techniques. Like I said above, the pain is most likely the birthing pangs of great technique. The hope is to one day have such great technique you won't have to have the crutch of pain compliance.

SeiserL
07-14-2010, 04:11 PM
Let us not fear pain, or the necessary lessons that accompanies it.
I have to agree with Sensei Takahashi here.
Life has pain.
Life is actually much more complicated and dangerous without it.
Until we really start learning from pleasure and success, the most valuable learning tool we have is the pain that motivates us to look at ourselves and change.
OTOH, I strive to control the amount of pain in the learning process.

Janet Rosen
07-14-2010, 04:11 PM
While I can see this in some techniques it doesn't sound right for all. How can a nikkyo not hurt? Sankyo? Hijishime?
I can't answer for Larry, but when I show newbies how to very slowly apply sankyo, starting at fingertips and continuing to take out slack working up each joint, if the uke is able to relax and watch me do it to him (because there was no attack and I'm not "doing technique") then once the sankyo works all the way up the arm and through the shoulder, it will click into uke's center and structure and it will be me moving from there undermining his structure that makes him move, not pain in the arm.
Having said that....when it comes to applying sankyo quickly, in training, I'm not consistently able to do this...still working on it.... :)

Aiki1
07-14-2010, 04:11 PM
While I can see this in some techniques it doesn't sound right for all. How can a nikkyo not hurt? Sankyo? Hijishime?

Nikkyo - absolutely, no pain when performed properly as a connective technique that allows for Kuzushi - same with Sankyo, although admittedly it's slightly more complicated with Sankyo. But quite possible. What is called for is the skill of connecting through to Center without "disturbing anything else" so to speak.

I don't do or teach Hijishime, it's not part of my/our syllabus, nor is it in some other Aikido styles, as, if I understand the one you are referring to, it works against the joint.

This, to me, is the evolution of Aikido, although clearly O Sensei could do it when he wanted to, so in that sense it's both "progressive and regressive."

Aiki1
07-14-2010, 04:19 PM
With that said everyone will "most likely" spend a great deal of their training years giving and receiving painful techniques. Like I said above, the pain is most likely the birthing pangs of great technique. The hope is to one day have such great technique you won't have to have the crutch of pain compliance.

I don't really think so, to be honest - I think it's the wrong path to take from the beginning. Seriously, not to be confrontive, but why practice Aikido that way if the goal (and "great technique") is to eliminate the pain, why not learn how to do that, properly, from the beginning? (Although I admit, you're right, most Aikido is indeed practiced that way....)

Aiki1
07-14-2010, 04:21 PM
I have to agree with Sensei Takahashi here.
Life has pain.
Life is actually much more complicated and dangerous without it.
Until we really start learning from pleasure and success, the most valuable learning tool we have is the pain that motivates us to look at ourselves and change.
OTOH, I strive to control the amount of pain in the learning process.

I do agree Lynn (how's it going by the way) but again, that's more of a general thing in life, not necessarily, for some, specifically applicable to Aikido technique....

RED
07-14-2010, 06:57 PM
I don't really think so, to be honest - I think it's the wrong path to take from the beginning. Seriously, not to be confrontive, but why practice Aikido that way if the goal (and "great technique") is to eliminate the pain, why not learn how to do that, properly, from the beginning? (Although I admit, you're right, most Aikido is indeed practiced that way....)

I think, for me at least, I am trying to learn how not to do that from the beginning.
However, the process involves mistakes, missteps, trial/error etc. Unfortunately, the journey of refining technique implies that you are starting off with something rough, and trying to temper it out into something refined.
Something rough in my experience sometimes involves taking a hard nikkyo. It isn't ideal to give or take a hard nikkyo, but it happens every now and then as you work to refine the technique. Everyone trips up every now and then. When we do, there's pain to show us that we aren't doing it quite right.
Babies fall down as they learn to walk.(heck grown men trip every now and then.)
Again, my opinion, its the birthing pangs of refinement in this instance.

However, IMHO, a lot of Aikido out there only focuses to train with pain. The pain compliance is a crutch for a lot of Aikido out there. There are too many people I run into that are gobsmacked when you say "Painless Nikkyo" or what not.

Aiki1
07-14-2010, 07:02 PM
I think, for me at least, I am trying to learn how not to do that from the beginning.
However, the process involves mistakes, missteps, trial/error etc. Unfortunately, the journey of refining technique implies that you are starting off with something rough, and trying to temper it out into something refined.
Something rough in my experience sometimes involves taking a hard nikkyo. It isn't ideal to give or take a hard nikkyo, but it happens every now and then as you work to refine the technique.
Babies fall down as they learn to walk.(heck grown men trip every now and then.)
Again, my opinion, its the birthing pangs of refinement in this instance.

For sure, Maggie, you're right - I guess what I was really thinking about is, I haven't seen much actual, real teaching out there about "painless Nikkyo" - mostly I see just hard joint locks that are either designed to be painful, or have to be because there's nothing else to them that would make them otherwise....

RED
07-14-2010, 07:35 PM
For sure, Maggie, you're right - I guess what I was really thinking about is, I haven't seen much actual, real teaching out there about "painless Nikkyo" - mostly I see just hard joint locks that are either designed to be painful, or have to be because there's nothing else to them that would make them otherwise....

Sometimes techniques hurt, but it has always been made very clear to me that pain compliance is a crutch, and center control is preferred above it.
I know that ever since I began Aikido my instructors and my Sensei have promoted this principle. (I have found memories of working on yonkyo with my Sensei. The Yonkyo is never painful for my fiance, because of how he's built. My Sensei threw him regardless and explained that it shouldn't matter if you can get the pain, it should work with just technique. In fact people like my fiance should be a good enough reason to learn not to rely on pain compliance.)
Also from my training experience(for what it is worth), our Shidoin and Shihan have promoted this principle as well. I frankly am very appreciative to have access to this level of teacher. That includes my Sensei, our Shidoin and Shihan.

,

Lyle Laizure
07-14-2010, 07:50 PM
Nikkyo - absolutely, no pain when performed properly as a connective technique that allows for Kuzushi - same with Sankyo, although admittedly it's slightly more complicated with Sankyo. But quite possible. What is called for is the skill of connecting through to Center without "disturbing anything else" so to speak."

Ok, I am being a argumentitive. :) To use the phrase "when performed properly" IMO states that if you are causing pain you are doing it wrong. I do not think I am doing my techniques improperly because they cause pain. Pain is a part of training IMO. I do not rely on pain as the sole motivation. Taking uke's balance is primary.

Lyle Laizure
07-14-2010, 07:51 PM
I can't answer for Larry, but when I show newbies how to very slowly apply sankyo, starting at fingertips and continuing to take out slack working up each joint, if the uke is able to relax and watch me do it to him (because there was no attack and I'm not "doing technique") then once the sankyo works all the way up the arm and through the shoulder, it will click into uke's center and structure and it will be me moving from there undermining his structure that makes him move, not pain in the arm.
Having said that....when it comes to applying sankyo quickly, in training, I'm not consistently able to do this...still working on it.... :)

I can agree with this.

Aiki1
07-14-2010, 08:39 PM
Ok, I am being a argumentitive. :) To use the phrase "when performed properly" IMO states that if you are causing pain you are doing it wrong. I do not think I am doing my techniques improperly because they cause pain. Pain is a part of training IMO. I do not rely on pain as the sole motivation. Taking uke's balance is primary.

People train differently. Styles vary. Content is vastly different sometimes. Even principles, and how they are implemented, can be very different. In the end, I believe that there are many different arts that are called Aikido and can be traced back to Ueshiba - but to me, they are very different arts.

In my art that is called Aikido, pain has absolutely no place, from the start as I said. Personal choice, inclination, and training. Not for everyone. Not right or wrong. But in my dojo, if a technique causes pain, it is being done improperly. In another dojo, that wouldn't be the case - as it might be that there, something that I do might be deemed improper.... etc. :)

RED
07-14-2010, 10:09 PM
I saw an interview with Donovan Waite Sensei, where he said when asked about his "style" of Aikido, he said it "wasn't any particular style". Instead he believed he was doing the Aikido past down by the Founder. He went on to say "...rather I'm doing my interpretation of the Aikido past down from O'Sensei."

I think everyone has their own personal interpretation of Ueshiba's Aikido. If that brings any coherence to the varied styles of Aikido out there.

kironin
07-14-2010, 10:11 PM
Nikkyo - absolutely, no pain when performed properly as a connective technique that allows for Kuzushi - same with Sankyo, although admittedly it's slightly more complicated with Sankyo. But quite possible. What is called for is the skill of connecting through to Center without "disturbing anything else" so to speak.

I don't do or teach Hijishime, it's not part of my/our syllabus, nor is it in some other Aikido styles, as, if I understand the one you are referring to, it works against the joint.

This, to me, is the evolution of Aikido, although clearly O Sensei could do it when he wanted to, so in that sense it's both "progressive and regressive."

agree with you Larry, I think of it as making sure there is no slack so I am directly connected to the core of their body structure (what we call "the one-point") and able to lead them / break balance - however you want to label that feeling.

the thing is if you really are doing it well, you are capable of creating a great deal of pain instantly if you chose to, simply choosing not to because it isn't necessary and as you point out from the story of Tohei Sensei, desirable.

kironin
07-14-2010, 10:18 PM
Ok, I am being a argumentitive. :) To use the phrase "when performed properly" IMO states that if you are causing pain you are doing it wrong. I do not think I am doing my techniques improperly because they cause pain. Pain is a part of training IMO. I do not rely on pain as the sole motivation. Taking uke's balance is primary.

yes, it's a matter of perspective. Which is fine. From my perspective it's not doing it properly if you can't move you uke without using the pain element in normal practice. Because I've been dropped without pain in nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo and I've learned to do that with others my experience makes me inclined to think of a pain as something I add since the throw can be done without it.

ruthmc
07-15-2010, 09:24 AM
I was at a seminar several years ago taught by Steve Parr Sensei of the BAF, where the emphasis was upon NOT relying upon pain compliance for ANY technique.

His reasoning was that following work he'd done with the police, it was obvious that somebody who was high on certain drugs wouldn't feel any pain, so it was a waste of time trying to arrest them using pain compliance. Instead they should rely upon taking centre / balance and immobilising without pain.

This makes perfect sense to me - how do you know what your attacker 'on the street' has taken, what his / her pain tolerance is, and how long you've got until the police show up?

Ruth

Lyle Laizure
07-15-2010, 09:50 AM
People train differently. Styles vary. Content is vastly different sometimes. Even principles, and how they are implemented, can be very different. In the end, I believe that there are many different arts that are called Aikido and can be traced back to Ueshiba - but to me, they are very different arts.

In my art that is called Aikido, pain has absolutely no place, from the start as I said. Personal choice, inclination, and training. Not for everyone. Not right or wrong. But in my dojo, if a technique causes pain, it is being done improperly. In another dojo, that wouldn't be the case - as it might be that there, something that I do might be deemed improper.... etc. :)

If I have an opportunity I would enjoy experiencing what you are explaining. It does sound interesting.

Lyle Laizure
07-15-2010, 10:02 AM
I was at a seminar several years ago taught by Steve Parr Sensei of the BAF, where the emphasis was upon NOT relying upon pain compliance for ANY technique.

His reasoning was that following work he'd done with the police, it was obvious that somebody who was high on certain drugs wouldn't feel any pain, so it was a waste of time trying to arrest them using pain compliance. Instead they should rely upon taking centre / balance and immobilising without pain.

This makes perfect sense to me - how do you know what your attacker 'on the street' has taken, what his / her pain tolerance is, and how long you've got until the police show up?

Ruth

I agree you cannot rely on pain compliance. You have to take your attacker's center. But I am thinking if you are attacked by an individual that feels no pain or feels limited pain knocking them down by taking their center isn't going to stop the attack. Pinning an attacker with or without pain seems idealistic but not probable without injury.

aikishihan
07-15-2010, 12:31 PM
How about we treat pain like we regard salt.

Can't exist without it, while too much can maim or kill.

Enlightened minds, with well trained bodies, may find the right amount of well earned compassion, to use just enough to make training that much more palatable, meaningful and satisfying.

Aiki1
07-15-2010, 01:17 PM
How about we treat pain like we regard salt.

Can't exist without it, while too much can maim or kill.

Enlightened minds, with well trained bodies, may find the right amount of well earned compassion, to use just enough to make training that much more palatable, meaningful and satisfying.

A nice analogy actually, but for me, I would have to say that there are some foods that I do not use salt with at all - in this case, my Aikido. Different palettes, different people, different restaurants.

There can be a "place for pain" in Aikido training in terms of helping people understand that in any "self-defense situation" one may very well get hit, bruised etc. in any encounter. If that experience impacts them enough such that they cannot stay present, then it can be a good idea to work with that process at a certain level so the person can get accoustomed to the experience so they can deal with it in real life. But that is a completely different aspect than what this thread is about, as far as I understand it. I'm talking about the application of Aikido waza.

Aiki1
07-15-2010, 01:20 PM
If I have an opportunity I would enjoy experiencing what you are explaining. It does sound interesting.

Maybe one day there will be another big Aikido-L internet list get-together, like in the "old days" - that way we can all share what we're all doing.... :)

Janet Rosen
07-15-2010, 01:52 PM
Maybe one day there will be another big Aikido-L internet list get-together, like in the "old days" - that way we can all share what we're all doing.... :)

(sigh)
Meanwhile, I'd recommend a visit to Larry's dojo to anybody visiting nearby; it's sadly been too many years since I"ve been down there but I was always treated warmly and respectfully by the folks at ACE, had a good time, and came away having learned something.

Mark Gibbons
07-15-2010, 02:16 PM
I'm curious about when in the course of a technique pain would be expected and legitimate.

I came up with this list.

Nikyo, sankyo and other joint locks applied faster than the uke can deal with them.

Pins cranked on after uke is immobilized to produce pain or for some obscure reason.

Throws done with lots of added energy, beyond what uke supplied. The resulting splat might hurt or damage if uke isn't prepared for it or up to it.

Atemi that make hard contact.

I see something objectionable with all of the above situations. Is there some other reason to expect a technique to hurt?

Thanks,
Mark

Buck
07-15-2010, 02:35 PM
Mark what you describe, to me that is, is someone being zealous to over-zealous in their practice. Thus, pain resulting from that action, and not a result from a painless technique and what is or isn't learned from that.

From that as well, and being a different topic, we learn from such painful experiences and people as well. I would learn and understand the greater scope and dynamic of a nikkyo etc. As well as how to defend and protect myself from the technique. Just as example.

But to keep on track, painless techniques is there something to learn from them or not. Which also is inferred to be the same for painful techniques.

chillzATL
07-15-2010, 02:42 PM
*shrug* I've always been told that O'sensei' stuff hurt, Tohie's stuff hurt. I don't disagree with any of the other stuff regarding center, but the notion that there should be no pain or that if it hurts it's wrong seems absurd to me.

None of this has anything to do with "relying on pain" btw...

sakumeikan
07-15-2010, 03:09 PM
People train differently. Styles vary. Content is vastly different sometimes. Even principles, and how they are implemented, can be very different. In the end, I believe that there are many different arts that are called Aikido and can be traced back to Ueshiba - but to me, they are very different arts.

In my art that is called Aikido, pain has absolutely no place, from the start as I said. Personal choice, inclination, and training. Not for everyone. Not right or wrong. But in my dojo, if a technique causes pain, it is being done improperly. In another dojo, that wouldn't be the case - as it might be that there, something that I do might be deemed improper.... etc. :)
Dear Mr Novick,
You indicate that in your Aikido there is no place for pain.Can you tell me how you deal with /accommodate a person who as nage cranks on a powerful technique on you?
Cheers, Joe.

Aiki1
07-15-2010, 03:10 PM
*shrug* I've always been told that O'sensei' stuff hurt, Tohie's stuff hurt. I don't disagree with any of the other stuff regarding center, but the notion that there should be no pain or that if it hurts it's wrong seems absurd to me.

None of this has anything to do with "relying on pain" btw...

The notion that pain is acceptable, "relying on it" or not, in Aikido, is absurd to me. The way to practice Aikido in said manner is available for those who want it. We all make our own choices.

Lyle Laizure
07-15-2010, 03:56 PM
There can be a "place for pain" in Aikido training in terms of helping people understand that in any "self-defense situation" one may very well get hit, bruised etc. in any encounter. If that experience impacts them enough such that they cannot stay present, then it can be a good idea to work with that process at a certain level so the person can get accoustomed to the experience so they can deal with it in real life. But that is a completely different aspect than what this thread is about, as far as I understand it. I'm talking about the application of Aikido waza.

I don't think we are so different after all.

Buck
07-15-2010, 04:03 PM
I am just curious, and find my question relevant to the thread, where did the idea of waza being painless come from?

Aiki1
07-15-2010, 04:28 PM
Dear Mr Novick,
You indicate that in your Aikido there is no place for pain.Can you tell me how you deal with /accommodate a person who as nage cranks on a powerful technique on you?
Cheers, Joe.

Hi Joe (Mr Curran...) - It depends. My style is completely dependant, and always has been, on what these days people here are calling "internal training/skills" (although trained in a different manner than what is sometimes espoused here) so unless I'm spaced out, which can certainly happen (pizza etc....), they won't normally be able to affect me in that manner. In "simple terms" my "Ki is extended" and hard joint locks won't work. This is basic stuff in (at least older) Ki Society training - although I am not Ki Society. In my style, we call it being "ACEed Up" (the Awareness of being Centeredly Extended) and for us it is a good dynamic state to practice Aikido from.

That being said, if something does "get past me" then we look at why their technique hurt. Either they meant it to, or they didn't and they performed it incorrectly. Either way, I dissect it for them so they can see how to do it without any pain (and there is always a way.) Then, if they actually meant to do it, which doesn't happen with any of my regular students, I have a talk with them.

It happens that people's techniques hurt - it's feedback that they need to be shown how to do it correctly (in my style.) It is all a learning process.

By the way, we do all the "normal" Aikido techniques except elbow locks against the joint, and Shomen ate from the chin.

Aiki1
07-15-2010, 04:40 PM
I don't think we are so different after all.

Perhaps not. :) But again, with the whole discussion about pain, I understand it to relate to doing techniques that are applied painfully etc....

sakumeikan
07-15-2010, 07:04 PM
Hi Joe (Mr Curran...) - It depends. My style is completely dependant, and always has been, on what these days people here are calling "internal training/skills" (although trained in a different manner than what is sometimes espoused here) so unless I'm spaced out, which can certainly happen (pizza etc....), they won't normally be able to affect me in that manner. In "simple terms" my "Ki is extended" and hard joint locks won't work. This is basic stuff in (at least older) Ki Society training - although I am not Ki Society. In my style, we call it being "ACEed Up" (the Awareness of being Centeredly Extended) and for us it is a good dynamic state to practice Aikido from.

That being said, if something does "get past me" then we look at why their technique hurt. Either they meant it to, or they didn't and they performed it incorrectly. Either way, I dissect it for them so they can see how to do it without any pain (and there is always a way.) Then, if they actually meant to do it, which doesn't happen with any of my regular students, I have a talk with them.

It happens that people's techniques hurt - it's feedback that they need to be shown how to do it correctly (in my style.) It is all a learning process.

By the way, we do all the "normal" Aikido techniques except elbow locks against the joint, and Shomen ate from the chin.
Dear Novick Sensei,
I am interested in your comments here in particular the last
couple of paragraphs when you say that should someones waza cause pain , you dissect it for them so they can see how to do the waza without pain.I have a problem here with this explanation inasmuch the person doing the waza might well be doing it correctly while at the same time Uke may not be respondng to the actions of Nage.
It seems to me that you are putting the onus primarily on Nage.
If Nage is a 'Bad boy' and he cranks it on intentionally you take him to one side and give him a fatherly chat.Incidentally what course of action do you take if BadBoy ignores your chat?
At the same time if Nage does a good waza correctly and Uke screeches the place down the onus for ukes pain from your perspective still falls on Nage. This suggests to me that your school seems to ignore Ukes responsibility for his own safety in the interaction between the two people.

As far as your Ki extension is concerned and your ability to be unaffected by joint locks is concerned I believe that a well executed sankyo for example rarely fails to work whether someone is or isnt extending Ki.As a point of interest why do you also avoid attacks to the chin and Rokkyo?Is this common practice within Ki orientated dojo?
I ask these points purely to glean info on how other groups see Aikido. Cheers, Joe

sakumeikan
07-15-2010, 07:17 PM
I am just curious, and find my question relevant to the thread, where did the idea of waza being painless come from?
Hi Phil,
I have been training for 40 years and I have never heard any Shihan state that Aikido is painless.When you are at the receiving end of some Shihans waza I can tell you sometimes my body was in pain.Its also a myth that you do not require strength to do Aikido.Up till now I have never met an senior Shihan who would be classed as a puny , weak individual.Incorrect use of strength is to be avoided but strength in itself is ok.Maybe its a case of Urban Myths???
Cheers, Joe.

Aiki1
07-15-2010, 07:44 PM
I am interested in your comments here in particular the last
couple of paragraphs when you say that should someones waza cause pain , you dissect it for them so they can see how to do the waza without pain.I have a problem here with this explanation inasmuch the person doing the waza might well be doing it correctly while at the same time Uke may not be respondng to the actions of Nage.

The answer is that if the technique is being done correctly, both physically and kinesthetically, which we do not separate, it will Not cause pain. It's not about Uke responding to what Nage is doing in that sense. The pain only comes from incorrect execution (in my dojo.) Proper Kuzushi occurs, without pain, and Uke, in essence, has no choice about it.
It seems to me that you are putting the onus primarily on Nage.
If Nage is a 'Bad boy' and he cranks it on intentionally you take him to one side and give him a fatherly chat.

In that sense, the onus is indeed on Nage.
Incidentally what course of action do you take if BadBoy ignores your chat?
If someone really continues to consciously hurt people, which has never happened, they would not be allowed to practice at my dojo.
At the same time if Nage does a good waza correctly and Uke screeches the place down the onus for ukes pain from your perspective still falls on Nage. This suggests to me that your school seems to ignore Ukes responsibility for his own safety in the interaction between the two people.
I just have to say again, there is no way that Uke would screech if Nage does a good waza correctly. Without "understanding that" there's no real way to explain this way of practicing/learning Aikido. Pain is not a factor in our Aikido waza. Now, this isn't to say that we don't all make mistakes. In that sense, in that situation, Uke is responsible for his own safety, and because the possibility for this is always present, Uke is therefore "always responsible" for his own safety.
As far as your Ki extension is concerned and your ability to be unaffected by joint locks is concerned I believe that a well executed sankyo for example rarely fails to work whether someone is or isnt extending Ki.
I don't know how to answer this exactly, we have different experiences. Have you ever trained in a good, solid Ki Society dojo where this stuff was taught? Maybe so, I don't know. That being said, Sankyo may be the "most difficult" to "counter" with Ki, but by no means impossible. Nikkyo, Yonkyo, Kotegaeshi…. all "not too dificult." This was one of Tohei's points early on about Aikido practice - "Attack with Ki" and maintain "one's integrity" which is what he experienced from O Sensei, and "regular execution of technique" does not work. I'm paraphrasing. Read his early writings about his experiences with O Sensei, other instructors and deshi, and how he formulated his approach to Aikido. Some of the answers are there.
As a point of interest why do you also avoid attacks to the chin and Rokkyo?Is this common practice within Ki orientated dojo?
I don't teach any technique that goes against a joint. As far as I know most "Ki-oriented" dojo don't, but I really don't know anymore. They may very well still do chin stuff, as Tohei seemed to like that in his early days (you can see him taking Terry Dobson down that way), but again, I don't really know now. I don't do it for a few reasons…. partly because, again, with a certain "use of Ki" it isn't necessarily effective per se.
I ask these points purely to glean info on how other groups see Aikido. Cheers, Joe
I'm always interested as well.

By the way, I am independant for a reason. :)

Buck
07-15-2010, 07:46 PM
Hi Joe,

Thanks Joe, I was curious if O'Sensei or if a Shihan said something about it. Or if it is something that has naturally came about from O'Sensei's philosophy. I appreciate your input.

To the general forum, I personally don't feel it is wrong to be painless or not. My concern is toward exploring the topic for the benefit of us Aikidoka.

sakumeikan
07-16-2010, 03:24 AM
The answer is that if the technique is being done correctly, both physically and kinesthetically, which we do not separate, it will Not cause pain. It's not about Uke responding to what Nage is doing in that sense. The pain only comes from incorrect execution (in my dojo.) Proper Kuzushi occurs, without pain, and Uke, in essence, has no choice about it.

In that sense, the onus is indeed on Nage.

If someone really continues to consciously hurt people, which has never happened, they would not be allowed to practice at my dojo.

I just have to say again, there is no way that Uke would screech if Nage does a good waza correctly. Without "understanding that" there's no real way to explain this way of practicing/learning Aikido. Pain is not a factor in our Aikido waza. Now, this isn't to say that we don't all make mistakes. In that sense, in that situation, Uke is responsible for his own safety, and because the possibility for this is always present, Uke is therefore "always responsible" for his own safety.

I don't know how to answer this exactly, we have different experiences. Have you ever trained in a good, solid Ki Society dojo where this stuff was taught? Maybe so, I don't know. That being said, Sankyo may be the "most difficult" to "counter" with Ki, but by no means impossible. Nikkyo, Yonkyo, Kotegaeshi…. all "not too dificult." This was one of Tohei's points early on about Aikido practice - "Attack with Ki" and maintain "one's integrity" which is what he experienced from O Sensei, and "regular execution of technique" does not work. I'm paraphrasing. Read his early writings about his experiences with O Sensei, other instructors and deshi, and how he formulated his approach to Aikido. Some of the answers are there.

I don't teach any technique that goes against a joint. As far as I know most "Ki-oriented" dojo don't, but I really don't know anymore. They may very well still do chin stuff, as Tohei seemed to like that in his early days (you can see him taking Terry Dobson down that way), but again, I don't really know now. I don't do it for a few reasons…. partly because, again, with a certain "use of Ki" it isn't necessarily effective per se.

I'm always interested as well.

By the way, I am independant for a reason. :)
Dear Larry [hope you do not mind the informality here]
By the way I am also independent [at least from the mental aspect].While I am a member of a particular group I am not a person with a closed mind.I like to challenge and explore methods of Aikido
other than my own.I am a great admirer of Tohei Sensei and I truly feel that like most splits within the Aikido fraternity a lot was lost to
students of Aikido when Tohei Sensei left the the Aikikai.
Unfortunately there are no Ki based groups anywhere near me[as far as I am aware ].By the way have you posted any of your waza on You Tube? Cheers, Joe.

SeiserL
07-16-2010, 06:46 AM
I do agree Lynn (how's it going by the way) but again, that's more of a general thing in life, not necessarily, for some, specifically applicable to Aikido technique....
Osu,

Things are well. No complaints. Thanks for asking. And you?

I have to also agree with you that the correct structural alignment, taking the center, and aimed at a kuzushi point allows control without pain (some discomfort). But to get to that level of finesse,one will probably experience some pain (not damage or injury).

Those who haven't experienced Sensei Novick, I would recommend it. I spent a morning training with him years ago and found that he can walk his talk.

IMHO, to get to the painless perhaps we need to accept and work with the pain rather than trying to avoid it. So let's walk through the pain towards the painless.

Buck
07-16-2010, 07:54 AM
For those who subscribe to painless techniques what is the advantage? By doing so what does it represent? Is it a benchmark of skill? Why is it favored over techniques with pain? And how does painless techniques enhance and benefit the learning of Aikido?

Understanding why those who favor painless technique would enrich the discussion further.

Buck
07-16-2010, 08:05 AM
For me, I would suspect that painless techniques don't provide feedback that provides information to the uke about he technique. I am thinking pain is a means of communication. That communication helps in the learning processes where verbal explanations fail. In the learning process of Aikido we often find direct non verbal communication advantageous. Whole concepts and principles are learned almost instantly communicating non verbally. Pain teaches us limits and boundaries. It provides a framework for learning principles and concepts. We can feel what is happening to the body more accurately and more readily, transference of information, than described verbally. Pain can be an instrument that enhances the learning process, it tell us what is happening as a result of a waza is effective, or isn't.

Buck
07-16-2010, 08:19 AM
The last thing is, what are the thoughts on which is more effective in the learning process, painful waza's or painless wazas. That is those who learn under the painless waza philosophy is their performance greater or less than those who learn under painful wazas? What are the measurable results from each?


It is my hope that by asking these questions and providing my opinion we can explore other areas of this topic. :)

ruthmc
07-16-2010, 09:14 AM
The last thing is, what are the thoughts on which is more effective in the learning process, painful waza's or painless wazas?
Personally I like to experience both :) I also love to train in different styles under different instructors, and have done a lot previously!

I think it's unavoidable when one first begins to learn about Aikido that pain will happen - my first dojo was a University club where there were a lot of new students compared with experienced students, the instructors were shodan and 1st kyu, and we were often pretty rough with each other due to inadequate supervsion by the instructors. I ended up with very painful wrists which forced me to take time off training, then I eventually switched to another dojo where there were more experienced students than newbies. After that my wrists got better, but I sustained a bad shoulder injury from an overenthusiastic 3rd kyu who pulled me down almost through the floor :uch:

I like to think that these days supervision is better, and that people are taking more care with their ukes, but injuries are still occurring :(

This is a more extreme example of pain (pain from injury) than say feeling the nerve point during the application of yonkyo. Feeling pain from an application which is not causing injury does teach you something (whether that is Aiki or not I can't say) - it teaches you that you can cope with pain, toughens you up, and in the case of nikyo and sankyo will actually strengthen your wrists if applied enough (not enough to damage!). I consider it part of my own training to allow myself to receive nikyo and sankyo to a level where it is strengthening my wrists. OTOH if tori whacks it on at a million miles per hour I will move quickly to avoid injury, as I can't use it to condition my wrists at speed! So from a body conditioning perspective I'd say yes, some pain (but not the injurious sort) is good :)

However, it is also very useful to learn the application without pain. A good example is when training with juniors (under 18s) who we do not apply wrist or arm locks to in order to protect their growing joints :) If you learn to apply by attacking their centre (rather than the joint) then that to me is Aiki, and is also useful against adults who do not respond to joint locks ;)

I'm also thinking that perhaps we need to emphasise the duty of care tori has towards uke a bit more - newbies are often under the impression that they can do anything to you at any speed and you'll be able to 'take it'. This is simply not true - the posession of a black belt does not make you immune to injury from an overenthusiastically applied joint lock :dead: The same applies to everybody else as well. I like the idea that people are taught control primarily and how to cause pain later. I feel more pain and less control from our 5th kyu and under students, and less pain and more control from our senior students. Is this due to my ukemi or to their application?

Ruth

SeiserL
07-16-2010, 09:43 AM
IMHO, I can easily produce pain and compliance without the application of the underlying principles of Aikido. I cannot produce a painless application without also applying the principles.

Its not better/worse (comparative and judgmental), its just what part of the Aikido waza I am paying attention to in my training.

mathewjgano
07-16-2010, 03:23 PM
For me, I would suspect that painless techniques don't provide feedback that provides information to the uke about he technique. I am thinking pain is a means of communication. That communication helps in the learning processes where verbal explanations fail. In the learning process of Aikido we often find direct non verbal communication advantageous. Whole concepts and principles are learned almost instantly communicating non verbally. Pain teaches us limits and boundaries. It provides a framework for learning principles and concepts. We can feel what is happening to the body more accurately and more readily, transference of information, than described verbally. Pain can be an instrument that enhances the learning process, it tell us what is happening as a result of a waza is effective, or isn't.

I agree completely about the difference between verbal and non-verbal cues. Physical sensation IN the body is the most direct route. Learning physical behavior is essentially a physical practice. Words can guide but when it comes to manifesting a behavior at will or on demand, it's the awareness of our body which allows for it, and that awareness is not verbal. Words are an abstraction of the thing itself we seek to be aware of...and perhaps that's why so many approaches include some form of the Silent Method.
That said, I disagree with the first sentence I quoted. Painless techniques provide feedback about the technique, it just takes more focus and attention to make sense of it. Pain gives a strong signal, which is fairly clear most of the time. The ideal of long-term serious aikido training, I think, is to learn how to read "weak" signals clearly.
...If I'm making much sense. I'm a little tired at the moment.
FWIW.

Janet Rosen
07-16-2010, 03:36 PM
Painless techniques provide feedback about the technique, it just takes more focus and attention to make sense of it. Pain gives a strong signal, which is fairly clear most of the time. The ideal of long-term serious aikido training, I think, is to learn how to read "weak" signals clearly.
...If I'm making much sense. I'm a little tired at the moment.
FWIW.

Makes a LOT of sense, Matthew. Learning to maintain connection as either nage or uke means having to feel the most subtle changes both in one's own self and in other person.

Mark Gibbons
07-16-2010, 03:48 PM
For me, I would suspect that painless techniques don't provide feedback that provides information to the uke about he technique. I am thinking pain is a means of communication. That communication helps in the learning processes where verbal explanations fail. In the learning process of Aikido we often find direct non verbal communication advantageous. Whole concepts and principles are learned almost instantly communicating non verbally. Pain teaches us limits and boundaries. It provides a framework for learning principles and concepts. We can feel what is happening to the body more accurately and more readily, transference of information, than described verbally. Pain can be an instrument that enhances the learning process, it tell us what is happening as a result of a waza is effective, or isn't.

Techniques that deliberately inflict pain tell me I'm training with someone I'd rather have little to do with. I'm sort of an activist about being maltreated and rarely cooperate with being abused by anyone ranked over 5th kyu. I highly doubt that because a waza is painful it tells me anything about its effectiveness.

I'll agree with a paraphrase of your statement that we get better feedback from feeling many things than if those things are described verbally. But I believe actual pain doesn't have to be part of that process.

Mark

OwlMatt
07-20-2010, 02:42 PM
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I am still very much a novice, so you can take my words with a grain of salt if you like, but I think pain is an essential element of the martial arts. The unique spiritual benefits offered to us by the martial arts are rooted in the opportunities they give us to face our own fear, insecurity, and pain. If we discard these opportunities, we might as well be practicing yoga.

Mark Gibbons
07-20-2010, 03:03 PM
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I....

I doubt we disagree very much. I don't expect aikido practice to be painless. Most of the people I know practice very hard and the wear and tear adds up. But generally its pretty obvious when someone is adding in an unneeded crank or slam or ignoring a tap out.

RED
07-20-2010, 03:20 PM
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I am still very much a novice, so you can take my words with a grain of salt if you like, but I think pain is an essential element of the martial arts. The unique spiritual benefits offered to us by the martial arts are rooted in the opportunities they give us to face our own fear, insecurity, and pain. If we discard these opportunities, we might as well be practicing yoga.

Aikido techniques shouldn't cause pain... Aikido practice does cause pain. There is a reason it is called "practice", not "I got it right the first time".

Aiki1
07-20-2010, 05:34 PM
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I am still very much a novice, so you can take my words with a grain of salt if you like, but I think pain is an essential element of the martial arts. The unique spiritual benefits offered to us by the martial arts are rooted in the opportunities they give us to face our own fear, insecurity, and pain. If we discard these opportunities, we might as well be practicing yoga.

Well, after 28 years of teaching Aikido and experiencing Many different styles, from Ki Society to working with Seagal and just about everything in between, I continue to practice and teach painless Aikido - but that being said, I have always said to each his own.

Aikido is much more than "just" a martial art, with unique and deep qualities behind the experience of both practicing it and "receiving it." To me, facing one's own fear etc. aren't necessarily spiritual benefits, but personal ones. The spiritual benefits and experiences, to me, are far beyond that level.

And yes, I agree, Aikido -practice- often isn't painless - because people tend to do it wrong for a while.... :)

raul rodrigo
07-20-2010, 07:32 PM
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

Matthew, I have a teacher, a seventh dan Japanese, who has a sankyo that will put you on the mat every single time, no matter how I resist. But it doesn't hurt, it just breaks your posture and you go down. If we did it for half an hour, the result would still be the same—Raul on the mat, no pain. There is the potential for pain—you know that if you do not move with his movement properly, then it will hurt. But it never actually does; he moves just a tiny sliver ahead of your capacity to follow the waza, so that the sharp edge of the technique is always present, even if it never actually cuts you.

One day, my friends and I hope to have a sankyo that's half as good as his.