Re: Poll: Is enduring physical pain necessary in getting better at aikido?
Pushing through the pain of sore muscles from general training, pushing the pain of exhaustion after an hour and a half of hajime training or pushing through the pain of yonkajo applied against the same bruise again and again are all ways of "building character" or "developing spirit".
It's probably more accurate to say successfully going through the above are ways of showing your character or showing your spirit rather than developing it. In any event, physical pain in any prolonged, difficult and physical training is to be expected.
I am not advocating training while injured with a joint or some other debilitating injury, but training through exhaustion (physical and/or mental) and with muscle soreness is one way of gaining self-confidence.
I wonder how many people out there have ever been too tired/sore to go to class, but because of whatever reason they went, trained and came through that pain feeling better and understanding more than before. I know I have.