Re: The nescessity of pain for progression in Aikido
Thank's Selin. I think Mary also stated it quite nicely in her post above with a very real and concrete example.
To Janet: I agree that those people have much more pain in their daily training regime than we do. I like to consider Aikido ka as another subspecies in the pain-afficinado family tree, but on the same main branch as those people you mention. I still think however that we are different than 'the common person' (whatever that signifies).
Also the way we learn to accept and work with pain that arises from working with other persons and their technique seem to me to put us in a different category than most others. In boxing or other offensive MA's / sports the pain is inflicted upon us by others. In dancing and athletics etc it will happen as a result from pushing your self to - and sometimes beyond - your limits.
In Aikido however I think the 'quality' of pain that we work with has similarities to a good debate. We learn to accept the other persons activities and absorb and adapt to the pain and potential pain being present between us. This - in my line of thought - distinguish what we do from what those other types of athletes do.