Re: back pain and aikido
One of the things that attracted me to aikido 20 years ago was the idea that age was not an issue. Indeed a friend of mine referred to aikido as "old man's judo"!
Since then I have learned a few lessons:
- if you keep on studying you can keep getting better
- your responsibility for your own body remains yours - don't abdicate it to anyone else. This is a hard lesson, and most of us learn it a little too late!
So, at the grand old age of 45 I am in generally reasonable shape, but do have a dodgy knee - (ligaments stretched during suwariwaza ikkyo ura - I pivoted but portions of the knee didn't). Since then I have no problems sitting out suwariwaza or generally looking after myself - and rather wish I had paid more attention earlier.
Back pains for me have occurred from time to time, but in general I have actually found practice, and in particular warm up via gentle stretching is actually better than rest. But not always. You need to become sufficiently aware of your own body to make a judgement call.
Look after yourself - this is a long term game!
One thought - the more sensitive you become the more you can look after your own body, but also the better your aikido is likely to become.