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Although there are tons of people who don't understand that 'advanced training' has nothing to do with strength, because the technique of aikido is the neutralization of strength with superior movement and the accentuation of movment that circumvents the intentions of the attacker or your training partner, I do understand the physical concerns that come with hard training, or at least the idea of hard training.
Just last week we were doing something out of the old judo book of throws that was too rough if done in the same slam-bang method used in judo, but perfectly acceptable if modified into aikido. In order for me to complete the throw without taking the legs out from under my training partners, I had to use on hand and cut the throw off in the middle so my partners could roll with some control, or some sense of well being instead of being slammed on their backs.
Some techniques just work so well, they cannot be completed or they will cause injury or chance of injury, especially in a crowded mat situation, or with a new student. It has gotten to the point where I completely lose my balance in the middle of a round of practice, and simple excuse myself as I crawl or paw the wall to find a place to sit until my episode of dizzyness passes. (damn meniere's and that trigeminal neuralgia cuts off me balance)
There is no shame is realizing that your body is not able to do certain things that someone else can do, just as the most proficient of practitioners do not always get the true mindset of Aikido and they seem to rely on the physical side of practice with its strength and physicality, don't they?
The danger of men teachers, especially Japanese male teachers, is the mindset of women being deficient in having physical skills or being part of the male dominated world of budo. The old adage of "if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen" is still applied for certain teachers and certain classes where testing and the prerequesite is posted for that class. Only time and old age seem to correct this behavioral conditioning of their society.
Sometimes, it is the human factor of just not having enough time in the day, or the human problems that overwhelm even the best of us, and accidents like this subject occur... but I don't think it was a lackluster effort of the teacher or the class. I believe it was the chance of accidents, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, improper cognizance by not just the students and teacher, but victim as well. Accidents happen.
Gee, I have injured,but not badly, a number of people who wanted to show their superiority during practice as they made some kind of prejudgement that I was a beginner clutz. Big mistake ... big ... big mistake. Good thing I could feel their muscles stretching to the point of injury, but I was sorry that they decided to wrench their arms or body to increase the torque to their own bodys, like a animal caught in a trap. Lucky me, they had minor sprains or experienced a new pain beyond what they had ever experienced in class before ... it happens.
I am a pretty big guy, and although some people would classify it as beginning to be fat, with a 52 inch chest and 46 inch belly 285 lbs 6 ft tall, I can still get a good roll in with the worst of throws and botched techniques, most days. Why is that? I do what I can, then when I can't ... I stop.
Seikie ... that is all one can ask for.
Do what you can do, then sit out when you can't.
I have trained with a number of very small women who bruise easy, who are terribly clumsy, and who quit after a few sessions of aikido, but they shouldn't. Maybe we need more women's only classes so some of the training will modify itself, just like trying to put children into an adult class, no offense please, the children are not ready for this type of mindset, physicality, or interaction on this level of practice.
Don't get me wrong, there is no such thing as a higher or lower level of practice, but one needs to practice what they need, not what they want in order to gain proficientcy. I want to be a marathon runner or a great gymnast, but it ain't gonna happen ... so I get to practice what I need and can do for my size body, my skill level, and for my own martial practice needs.
Some of you know me as bruceb, and as babaker, but few of you have ever actually physically trained with me. So in reality, none of us can truly comprehend the physical practice of aikido, although from certain segments of judging the skills of certain shihans and teachers, we do try, don't we. I am sorry that the specific teacher and school was not mentioned as we could hear from the teacher and some of the students who attended this class.
We all know that certain people are not physically capable of doing certain levels of practice, and the students need to modify the throws so the practice is not so physical, or as hard/ unfeeling as if throwing a sack of potatoes, which some students believe is great aikido, but then some ki is illusion of the mind. If in fact, this Ki society is teaching its students the disconnection of feedback of the stimuli from the nervous system as the mind overcomes the body generating strength that is not felt by the practitioner but given the attacker, or uke, then this teacher needs to reteach some of this practice so the students learn how to dial it down a few notches, eh?
What the human mind, or the human body percieves as ki is merely the delusion of mind rejecting the sensory input of the body that says this cannot be done, while using the full capacity of forces and movements availble, increasing them as it were with a little push here, and little twist there. Problem is ... when the mind disconnects from the sensory input from the body, it creates a greater chance for injury if one does not dial it back when a few notches when appropriate.
Just my thoughts this morning.
I just got wind that my teacher is being promoted when Y. Yamada shihan is coming to give a seminar on March 27, 2004 at Long Beach Island, NJ (shameless bump).
With any luck, some little helpless 5 ft tall women will beat me up, and I will be laughing uncontrolably because I love it when people can do a good technique clean and smooth.
Sooner or later, that type of joy should come to your practice. If it doesn't, maybe you should reexamine your practice, your reason for practice, and what type of aikido your are doing, eh?