I don't know how a person could possibly learn anything about aikido with out regular bumps,bruises and strains! How can progression be possible without pushing your personal boundaries to the limit and knowing what your body, spirit and mind are capable of dealing with? Learning to accept resposibility for these injuries and how to protect yourself from serious problems as well as learning to protect a partner is an integrel part of aikido! Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven. Injuries have taught me more, quicker, than any other experience I've probably had. Even tho I will probably go to my grave with worn joints and stiff mornings, I am glad for what I've learned about myself through them. It is worth it to me!