Re: Is it ok to step back from training for awhile
An abdominal surgery led to me taking a break. I started to do some bokken cuts in the back yard, and I was surprised that I finally healed a chronically sprained wrist.
I love my job in cancer treatment, and I love Aikido. To be good at both, I find I sometimes need to flip a switch and run in another direction for a brief while.
Taking a break from a dojo is different from taking a break in training. I developed an inflamed Achilles' tendon three weeks ago, and found this site for the first time. I feel I've been educated in several directions these past few weeks! Reading and interacting counts. Some insights come on the mat, some need study.
Missing part of a lung? Breath control, controlling emotional responses that cause rapid breathing, helping your chest wall to comfortably inflate again, getting past the common reluctance to take a deep breath - meditation, physical therapy. Injured shoulder? Standing meditation, swimming, light weights, gradually increasing weapons work, learning about the structure of your shoulder and how it relates to your ukemi.
Being part of a dojo means there are many influences and many other people and they might not be at the same point that you are now. What you might need for your own development might not be what they are working on now.
Training with a torn rotator cuff - you might make it worse if it hasn't healed fully and that's an injury that can affect your entire quality of life. Same with knee injuries. Katherine has good advice here.
The shoulder injury you got from Aikido - a guy I didn't know well broke my arm ten years ago. A hundred times a day, the residual paralysis reminds me of the event. I would be lying if I said I don't get cold every time I see the bastard. Had he not quit the dojo, I probably would have gone elsewhere. Maybe some of this is familiar to you too? Constant pain, sleep disturbances for weeks, reduced ability to function in your daily life and at work - it's a bitter pill to swallow and the dojo will be associated with that in your psyche.