Re: Poll: Is enduring physical pain necessary in getting better at aikido?
Without a certain dogged willingness to come back to class day after day despite bruises on my shoulders, I would never have learned to forward roll. I was *awful* at this, and it took me five months. My family looked at the bruises and wondered what on earth I'd gotten myself into. But I enjoy the skill tremendously now that I have it, and I'm glad I decided it was an acceptable level of pain.
That said, I left my previous martial art because it seemed to value pain in and of itself, as a test of character, rather than regarding it as a sign of something that needs improvement (like my dratted rolls). This was too grim for me. I see enduring pain as a step toward doing things in a way that doesn't hurt, not a destination in itself.