Re: Poll: How important is "courage" in your own personal aikido practice?
I think that when we first start practicing Aikido, we face some fears. Since my first class was 2 months ago, I remember them perfectly: ukemi was (and sort of still is in some cases) the biggest of all. I was so afraid of hurting myself, I did it wrong. Because that's what courage is to me in Aikido; the way to do things right. I only succeeded in ukemi after some serious and long sessions of thinking. Yes, thinking. I was really afraid of falling, since I've got a back problem, but I finally did it, and it took some courage, I can tell you. Other fear (and that one I still have), concerns the more advanced students. I'm just so scared that they are going to hurt themselves when they fall without using their hands while being uke. And I know that will be something that will require some courage when I have to do it.
I am also afraid of other things, like hurting my wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees... and hurting others. There's an easy explanation for this: we are just not used to this sort of things. At least the ones who aren't japanesse nor close to that culture. So at least a little of bit of courage is needed to let go, trust your instructor and sempai, and try and overcome yourself.