The last thing is, what are the thoughts on which is more effective in the learning process, painful waza's or painless wazas?
Personally I like to experience both
I also love to train in different styles under different instructors, and have done a lot previously!
I think it's unavoidable when one first begins to learn about Aikido that pain will happen - my first dojo was a University club where there were a lot of new students compared with experienced students, the instructors were shodan and 1st kyu, and we were often pretty rough with each other due to inadequate supervsion by the instructors. I ended up with very painful wrists which forced me to take time off training, then I eventually switched to another dojo where there were more experienced students than newbies. After that my wrists got better, but I sustained a bad shoulder injury from an overenthusiastic 3rd kyu who pulled me down almost through
I like to think that these days supervision is better, and that people are taking more care with their ukes, but injuries are still occurring
This is a more extreme example of pain (pain from injury) than say feeling the nerve point during the application of yonkyo. Feeling pain from an application which is not
causing injury does teach you something (whether that is Aiki or not I can't say) - it teaches you that you can cope with pain, toughens you up, and in the case of nikyo and sankyo will actually strengthen your wrists if applied enough (not enough to damage!). I consider it part of my own training to allow myself to receive nikyo and sankyo to a level where it is strengthening my wrists. OTOH if tori whacks it on at a million miles per hour I will
move quickly to avoid injury, as I can't use it to condition my wrists at speed! So from a body conditioning perspective I'd say yes, some pain (but not the injurious sort) is good
However, it is also very useful to learn the application without pain. A good example is when training with juniors (under 18s) who we do not apply wrist or arm locks to in order to protect their growing joints
If you learn to apply by attacking their centre (rather than the joint) then that to me is Aiki, and is also useful against adults who do not respond to joint locks
I'm also thinking that perhaps we need to emphasise the duty of care tori has towards uke a bit more - newbies are often under the impression that they can do anything to you at any speed and you'll be able to 'take it'. This is simply not true - the posession of a black belt does not make you immune to injury from an overenthusiastically applied joint lock
The same applies to everybody else as well. I like the idea that people are taught control primarily and how to cause pain later. I feel more pain and less control from our 5th kyu and under students, and less pain and more control from our senior students. Is this due to my ukemi or to their application?