Michael Fooks wrote:
Hey Dirk - I know that that comment was made toungue in cheek but still feel it should be pointed out that there is a difference beween suwari waza and fighting on the ground.
I am a big fan of suwari waza. I think it's a great tool for improving tachi waza and learning body alignment. But it should always be pointed out that suwari waza is not newaza.
And of course there is the injury question. Not the "hey look joe just hurt his knee doing that one suwari waza technique" type injury but more the "I've been doing Aikido for 15 years, how come my knees feel like crap" injury.
for me there are two reasons to train suwariwaza/hanmi handachi.
1.) If you pin someone (in seiza) and you are unexpectedly attack by a second person it is a typical hanmi handachi situation (traditionally rather being trapped in a japanese house).
2.) Suwari waza is a way to fight on groundlevel and avoid lying on the ground (newaza), being unprotected against additional opponents.
OK the other arguments are accepted, too.
The injuries are to be taken seriously and I still wonder, how millions of Japanese and other Asian folks can sit for hours in seiza over 70 years without having these problems and our knees degenerate after a few sessions of suwari waza on soft aikido mats.
Are these genetic differences or should we only force our children to move more on knees in younger years?