Re: Poll: Is inducing physical pain in others necessary in getting better at aikido?
I voted "no" but now I'm not sure.
I figured that a sufficiently more-skilled partner, coupled with a careful student, could avoid inflicting pain on the skilled partner while still allowinng the student to learn. But on consideration, I have hurt my fourth-dan sensei once or twice by accident, usually with koteoroshi or nikyo. I think I'd now say that there comes a point where you must risk inflicting pain in order to progress.
I don't believe it's necessary to deliberately inflict pain. I wouldn't regard someone whose aikido was otherwise excellent, but who didn't practice pain-causing versions of the wrist controls, as "not an aikidoka." Conversely, I wouldn't regard someone who learned and used the pain-inflicting versions as "not an aikidoka." It's a choice.
As soon as you put two equal-rank novices together as partners, some pain's going to be given and received, and there's not much to do about it but try to treat uke compassionately. (And I'm getting more and more convinced that, because of individual variation in pain tolerance and injury vulnerability, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is not a good guide to the specifics.)