Re: Article: ...With the Body You Have by "The Mirror"
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Your article reminded me of an older gentlement in our dojo is is a liver transplant recipient. He definently has some limitations, but he does strive to excel to the best of his abilities. He started two months after his sugery and is is 2nd kyu now. He can't train as much as he would like, but he does train as often as he can. He has always had my admiration. He doesn't have the prettiest technique or the prettiest ukemi in the dojo, but I believe he has the best spirit in our dojo.
Regarding Jean's comment. I didn't see AJ putting all or most of the responsibility on the instructor. I believe the article did address much what the individual could do, but an instructor does need to know if their students have any limitations and what are the best ways to help them through their struggle. In the case with the above gentleman no one looks down on him if he has to sit out and take a breather. There are times he can make it all the way through class and there are times he can't. A sensei being aware of a student's limitations and how to work within those limitations can only help the sensei and the student to learn aikido. It's knowing how to provide corrections to that particular student or knowing that they might forget.
For me it's like working with our kids who have ADHD in our kids classes. ADHD is a mental condition. It's knowing the proper things to say to them instead of just "pay attention". It's telling them that they are not focused and teaching them to be aware of their behavior and how it might be affecting other people. It doesn't take too much effort to do this and just falls right into place when your helping them learn a technique. And it's not special attention that takes away from class time. It's just knowing the right words to say to help them learn.