Re: No suwariwaza techniques at Nippon Kan
Interesting article that depicts a very pragmatic view of the evolution of Aikido practice outside of Japan. I agree that early Japanese students of Aikido were much more capable of handling suwari waza due to other life style conditioning then the more modern Aikido students both in and outside Japan.
In our small independent dojo our youngest member is in his late 40's and the oldest in his late 50's. We all have issues with doing any extensive 'on-the-knee' movements as well as high breakfalls. Since our focus is on the aiki principles and their relation to energies within movement, we have found there really is no need to subject our bodies to the physical abuses associated with suwari waza and hard breakfalls - once the attacking energies of Uke are received and blended within the sphere of Nage's control, the technique is essentially over because it is obvious to both Nage and Uke that the attack has failed and that Nage is now in control of Uke's destiny. For training purposes, this is all that is required to understand the technique principles. Granted, the capability of performing suwari waza and taking hard breakfalls is very beneficial, but it does not have to be performed extensively to the point it causes medical problems.