View Single Post
Old 02-21-2002, 05:17 PM   #12
Dojo: Bristol University Dojo
Location: Bristol UK
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 28
Originally posted by ca
I have a few (probably unpopular thoughts on this topic. If the student in question was considering quitting Aikido over 'fear of hurting someone', I think that fear needs more exploration other than 'well, people get hurt' (and I have some unpopular thoughts on that as well, later).
It was

Why is she so afraid? Has someone hurt her on the mat? Does she have trouble controlling violence within herself? People that have that degree of fear of injuring someone, in my experience, are wither very large and/or hot tempered, and have hurt others a lot in the past (off the mat, intentionally or not),
or they've been unduly pounded as uke, or their ukemi is shaky enough that they associate training with getting hurt.

Well she is a strapping lass. She had been practiseing daily for about six months for couple of hours a day without injuring anyone . She had been injured herself in the past and brushed it off. I suspect that she was shocked that she had both injured someone and not noticed it. Her first indication being a email from the visitor thanking her for an enjoyable practise and mentioning he still had bruising.

The Victim himself had pretty much brushed it off as one of those things. To his credit as soon as he realised she was agonised he made a point of returning to the dojo to practise with her.

It was I suspect the first time that she realised in her gut she could harm another.
Untill then it had been a game.


I am one of the most pacifistic students around, and have sat out techniques when instructors want us to hit uke after we have them subdued,
Striking after they are subdued? how bizarre.
Perhaps you mean after they are pinned?

To strike someon who is subdued sounds both un aikido like and illegal for self defense.


but I do not worry about hurting someone. Now this may be due to the fact that I am small enough that my punches don't mean much, and I feel like I can control my technique enough (poor that it may be) so no one gets hurt.

I practised with a woman of about five foot last week Her yokumenuchi was capable of harming me. fast and hard I narrowly avoided biting me tounge countering her was dificult as delicate as a bird. If you are anything like her I suspect you will one day realise in your gut that you also are capable of injuring someone. and pacifistic as you are you may well respond similarily


As for the inevitability of training injuries---yes, people may occasionally get hurt, but it is very very rare, or else a dojo is not stressing appropriate ukemi enough. Ukemi is what saves us when things go wrong, that and training at the level of our partners. I think that part of Aikido is an understading
of our partner, and sensitivity to them as well as caring about them. If all those things go into training, it should prevent most training mishaps. So rather than take the view that 'well, if you train you hurt and get hurt' I'd take the view that 'if you train with sensitivity and connection, and if you have to, go really slowly, no one should get hurt'.
Shrug personally I think accidents should be about as common as in a badmington club.
I am sure the student is practising more safely than previously. As I dont usually practise in her club I cant really comment on their safety record.

I do note that injuries are common and accepted in many sports and MA where they are not signs of animalistic savagery.


  Reply With Quote