Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-16-2009, 07:14 AM   #1
Dirk Hünniger
Dojo: Alpen/Moers
Location: Neukirchen-Vluyn/NRW
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 11
Germany
Offline
Pain

In this little article I would like to discuss pain. Obviously pain is often experienced during an Aikido training. I will list different circumstances under which pain is inflicted by humans on other humans and the inflicters experience their actions as consciously willed. In the end I will try to look at the peculiarities of the situation during an Aikido training. I am a physicist, who read some introductory texts on behavior of humans, but I am definitely not an expert on the subject. By writing this text I hope to make you smile and possibly to make you rethink some generally accepted truths in a critical way, but I clearly have to leave the creation of scientific truth to others. I practice Aikido for a few month now. Since I am German I apologize for possible improper use of the English language. First of all I would like to note that pain is very often avoided in our society. You can go to pharmacy and will be offered a large variety of painkillers but people will look at you strangely when you ask for a pain enhancer. Pain is sometimes observed in medical settings consider a vaccination or a dentist. Usually people argue that they expect an improvement of health in future and experience the pain as unpleasant. So we find people accepting an unpleasant situation now, hoping for a more pleasant one in future. Pain was and sometimes unfortunately is still used in order to modify behavior. Corporal punishment for criminals has been banned in Europe, still other countries like Singapore still use it. Quite recently corporal punishment of children is being banned in Europe too. Although it still takes place, even if prohibited. We also cause a lot of pain to other humans in times of war. Here it is interesting that the inflicter of the pain will often not directly see the consequences of his/her action, such as a pilot launching a rocket. There is also violence between people without the blessing of the government, such as Hooliganism. Here the inflicters of the pain see the suffering of there victims in quite a direct manner and often become victims themselves. Furthermore we find torturing of prisoners, often with at least tacit approval of the government. It has been shown (by the Standford Experiment and the Milgram experiment as well as others) that torture was committed by sane and normal people and any of us is very likely to become a torturer himself/herself when exposed to similar circumstances. We also find pain inflicted during sadomasochistic activities. These are very often described as very pleasant for the sadistic as well as the masochistic partner. Although cases of rape do occur too. There is also prostitution on both sides, in these cases the joy maybe distributed unequally among the partners. We have seen many different situations in which physical pain is caused to us by other humans throughout our lives. There are also a large number of reasons that people give us to explain each of these behaviors. All that makes me think that our tendency to exchange pain with other humans is something deeply human and needs to be accepted as it is. One thing we can do about it is to use it in a way that is nice for each of us. And I think the situation during an Aikido training provides quite a nice lab to learn about that. There is no fighting against a particular group of people like in Hooliganism. The our partner tells us when stop by tapping out unlike in the Milgram experiment or in case of war where a social authority tells us to go on until our victim is dead. Unlike in other styles of martial arts tapping out in Aikido does not result in defeat and thus can be used without that bias on both sides. There is no money involved as in prostitution. There are many people around which makes non consensual activity very unlikely. We change roles and partners very quickly and all of us wear the same clothes. This is opposed to the situation in the Standford experiment as well as in torturing of prisoners, where prisoners were naked and guards were wearing uniforms and the rolls did not change at all. The people inflicting the pain do not carry authority over the people experiencing the pain as in corporal punishment of criminals or children. Finally there is the question if there is a good reason for inflicting this pain. You can argue that you need to learn about the defensive aspects of Aikido and thus need to learn about the pain you inflict on a possible attacker. And this is perfectly acceptable, and there will very likely much more of those good reasons. Still I also often observed people creating quite a strong pain on my body which I enjoyed. The inflicters told me that they liked inflicting this pain on me too. I also observed that I enjoyed creating pain for others and hearing them tell me that they enjoyed the experience too. I also have been told by people that I hurt them too much and shall try to be more careful, and I also have told other to be more careful with me. I also sometimes ask people if they are Ok with the level of pain I create for them and also hear others asking me if the pain they inflict on me is Ok for me.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
The author is of this text is Dirk Huenniger born on 22nd October 1980 in Moers, Germany
This text was written on 16th December 2009 in Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 836
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Dirk Hünniger wrote: View Post
... All that makes me think that our tendency to exchange pain with other humans is something deeply human and needs to be accepted as it is. One thing we can do about it is to use it in a way that is nice for each of us. And I think the situation during an Aikido training provides quite a nice lab to learn about that. ...
Hm, in our Aikido (Our shihan are Endo Seishiro and Christian Tissier) we try to improve our technique to a level where it is very effective, but doesn't use pain to control or move the partner.

So in our Aikido the dojo is al lab to learn not to inflict pain.

How does this affect your thoughts?
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 10:47 AM   #3
Dirk Hünniger
Dojo: Alpen/Moers
Location: Neukirchen-Vluyn/NRW
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 11
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

Certainly you can try to avoid pain. And very likely you can do Aikido with almost no pain if you are practicing with people who trained it for a long time and had that goal in their training. But I often see very experienced participants pinning each other down and slowly twisting their joints until there is a painful expression on the face of the receiving partner becomes visible and s/he taps out. When asked s/he will report to have felt pain. The inflicting partner will report to have consciously willed to cause pain to the receiving partner. I remember similar events in differed Dojos across different styles. I tried to list situations were similar behavior can be observed in the course of our lives outside of Aikido and to see in which respects the situations differed from the one in an Aikido training.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 06:08 PM   #4
Conrad Gus
 
Conrad Gus's Avatar
Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 244
Canada
Offline
Re: Pain

Just a friendly bit of constructive criticism: pain is reading a 1500 word essay with no paragraphs. Ouch.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 09:40 PM   #5
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

I am the pain.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 10:34 PM   #6
NagaBaba
 
NagaBaba's Avatar
Location: Wild, deep, deadly North
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,145
Offline
Re: Pain

If you are over 40 years old, get up in the morning and feel no pain, it surly means you are cold dead.
In aikido pain is a learning tool, among other tools.

In your article you are taking pain out of context(outside of Budo training) - so all this rant is meaningless. Not good article. You need much more serious training.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 01:40 AM   #7
Sonja2012
 
Sonja2012's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Verein Esslingen
Location: Stuttgart
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 192
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Dirk Hünniger wrote: View Post
But I often see very experienced participants pinning each other down and slowly twisting their joints until there is a painful expression on the face of the receiving partner becomes visible and s/he taps out.
all i can think of in this regard is the three-lettered word "why?!". sorry.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 01:42 AM   #8
Nafis Zahir
 
Nafis Zahir's Avatar
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 425
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

"No pain, no gain!"

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 02:17 AM   #9
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 836
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

Hi
Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
If you are over 40 years old, get up in the morning and feel no pain, it surly means you are cold dead.
Hi, I'm 45 now. And there is nothing better than jumping out of the bed in the morning after a wonderfull night with a smile on the face and no pain nowhere.
Stepping right into the new day totaly free with no barriers or restrictions at all. Ready for whatever life brings up to you.

If you are 45 and get up in the morning with an aching body you did something wrong. Especially you practiced wrong.
That needn't be.

Quote:
In aikido pain is a learning tool, among other tools.
No, pain is a marker that your technique needs improvement and that you don't really control uke.

Uke can't help against good atari, good kuzushi, good control of his/her center.

Pain doesn't help nothing if uke has learned to resist or ignore pain. If uke is able to tolerate pain you gain nothing by using it.

You can try it out e.g. with yonkyo: It hurts a lot but doesn't injur uke. So he/she can try an learn to resist.
After short time of practice you will face an uke who maybe has got tears in his/her eyes. But stands upright with one free hand an two free legs ...

Greetings,
Carsten
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 03:06 AM   #10
Dirk Hünniger
Dojo: Alpen/Moers
Location: Neukirchen-Vluyn/NRW
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 11
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Sonja McGough wrote:
all i can think of in this regard is the three-lettered word "why?!". sorry.
Well I think I am just addicted to endorphine, and possibly some others are too.

Quote:
Sonja McGough wrote:
Personally I quite like a bit of pain in practice.
Me too
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 04:34 AM   #11
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 139
Belgium
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Hi

Hi, I'm 45 now. And there is nothing better than jumping out of the bed in the morning after a wonderfull night with a smile on the face and no pain nowhere.
Stepping right into the new day totaly free with no barriers or restrictions at all. Ready for whatever life brings up to you.

If you are 45 and get up in the morning with an aching body you did something wrong. Especially you practiced wrong.
That needn't be.

No, pain is a marker that your technique needs improvement and that you don't really control uke.

Uke can't help against good atari, good kuzushi, good control of his/her center.

Pain doesn't help nothing if uke has learned to resist or ignore pain. If uke is able to tolerate pain you gain nothing by using it.

You can try it out e.g. with yonkyo: It hurts a lot but doesn't injur uke. So he/she can try an learn to resist.
After short time of practice you will face an uke who maybe has got tears in his/her eyes. But stands upright with one free hand an two free legs ...

Greetings,
Carsten
You'll have an uke who stands upright with one free hand and two free legs, and a wrist that'll be sore for weeks to come because he/she let his stubbornness get in the way of his/her own health. I know noone who would go that far just to prove a point. It's just stupid, really.

You do know what pain signals mean, right? Pain signals mean that something in your body is being damaged. It's your body telling you to "get the fuck out" or "stop stop stop stop".

One of the principles I have been thought is: "listen to your body".

Joint locks are meant to hurt, even to break joints, hence the name "lock". You don't disarm somebody who's wielding a knife by "taking his centre", no, you disarm him by locking his joint so he either drops or lets go of the knife, or breaks his wrist (preferably the first of course). Taking uke's centre is meant to off-balance, so you can get to the lock/throw easier, it's useless as a finishing move.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 06:00 AM   #12
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 836
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

Hi
Quote:
Maarten De Queecker wrote: View Post
I know noone who would go that far just to prove a point. It's just stupid, really.
Grin:
Well, you at least know me, at least a little bit by writing here ...

I don't think it's stupid, to increase the tolerance of pain. You get a lot more freedom, if you don't have to follow "every little pain".

About yonkyo: It's a tsubo for accupuncture and it depends on your throat, lungs ... how an whether it hurts more or less. If you have to rely on pain to move your partner you won't move a lot of people.

Quote:
You do know what pain signals mean, right? Pain signals mean that something in your body is being damaged. It's your body telling you to "get the fuck out" or "stop stop stop stop".
Did you ever try to move a drunken person, a mentaly disabled person or someone else who doesn't recognize the "stop" -signals by pain? It simply doesn't work.

Quote:
One of the principles I have been thought is: "listen to your body".
Don't only listen: Communicate. His statements will change if you answer him.

Quote:
You don't disarm somebody who's wielding a knife by "taking his centre", no, you disarm him by locking his joint so he either drops or lets go of the knife,
If he drops it or let go, the uncontrolled knife may hurt you while falling.
Take his center, have atari, control him and take the weapon gently ouft of his hand. ...
No pain, just technique. It's more efficient. ;-)

greetings
Carsten
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 06:49 AM   #13
Maarten De Queecker
Dojo: Aikikai Gent, Brugse Aikido Vereniging
Location: Bruges
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 139
Belgium
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Hi
Grin:
Well, you at least know me, at least a little bit by writing here ...

I don't think it's stupid, to increase the tolerance of pain. You get a lot more freedom, if you don't have to follow "every little pain".

About yonkyo: It's a tsubo for accupuncture and it depends on your throat, lungs ... how an whether it hurts more or less. If you have to rely on pain to move your partner you won't move a lot of people.

Did you ever try to move a drunken person, a mentaly disabled person or someone else who doesn't recognize the "stop" -signals by pain? It simply doesn't work.

Don't only listen: Communicate. His statements will change if you answer him.

If he drops it or let go, the uncontrolled knife may hurt you while falling.
Take his center, have atari, control him and take the weapon gently ouft of his hand. ...
No pain, just technique. It's more efficient. ;-)

greetings
Carsten
I have been moved around by pain, and I have moved people around by pain. Actually, I can be moved rather easily by pain. I have also experienced nikkyos that would have broken my wrist if I didn't move (my teacher is kind of good in all kind of joint locks -a side effect of also being a 6th or 7th dan in jiu-jitsu probably). Let's just agree to disagree, shall we? (Then again, you appear to be a masochist )

About the knife: the point is contolling (i.e. locking) the hand holding the knife so he does not let go. For instance: tsuki -with tanto- kote gaeshi: hold the hand with the knife with both your hand and point the weapon at uke (thus taking his balance). Then push his wrist down towards his centre. This hurts and can even break uke's wrist if uke decides to be uncooperative. It's not gentle (knife fights rarely are), but you're safe.

I still think it's impossible to do a painless nikkyo or kote gaeshi.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 06:50 AM   #14
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,816
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
If you are 45 and get up in the morning with an aching body you did something wrong. Especially you practiced wrong.
That needn't be.
I've got rheumatoid arthritis. Tell me what I'm "doing wrong".

People have pain for all kinds of reasons, and also, understand and deal with pain in all kinds of ways. It angers me greatly when ignorant people are judgmental about others' pain and how they deal with it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 07:47 AM   #15
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 884
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Just a friendly bit of constructive criticism: pain is reading a 1500 word essay with no paragraphs. Ouch.
No kidding.

Pain. I like pain. It lets you know you're still living, as my father used to say. He also said ,"what does not kill you, will only make you stronger."

I listen to what my body is telling me. Pain that says there is damage means I need to slow down and let things heal. Pain in technique that warns of impending injury I will take note of and either allow to go on a bit longer or put a stop to by tapping. Yes I like the endorphins but not enough to wish to be damaged to the point I won't be training for a while.

If I tap out as soon as there is pain I can't study the pain and see how I might counter someone who is applying it.

And as to the jumping out of bed in the morning and feeling no pain. Well if you do that's great. But not every one is so lucky. I've lived a busy life and my body reminds me of it every day. And I'm not even out of my 30's yet. Like I said. Pain just reminds us we're still living. Not always enjoyable but not necessarily unwelcome either.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 08:26 AM   #16
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

There are different kinds of pain, for different reasons and on different levels. The key is to understand it. Learning to recognize pain for what it is and then discovering the root cause of it.

Some pain we can eliminate, some we can manage, some we can't do a whole lot with except live with it (cope).

I see more people use pain as an excuse to not so something. Some people are looking for an excuse and pain gives them one.

I respect the hell out of people that in spite of pain can stand up and smile with a good attitude and not let it stand in their way!

To me this is core lesson in budo and a big part of what we do and why we do what we do in budo!

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 09:21 AM   #17
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 860
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Pain

Pain is weakness leaving the body.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 09:36 AM   #18
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,816
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I see more people use pain as an excuse to not so something. Some people are looking for an excuse and pain gives them one.

I respect the hell out of people that in spite of pain can stand up and smile with a good attitude and not let it stand in their way!
I agree with the sentiment that I believe is behind your words, but the phrase "not let it stand in their way" makes me wince. I hear phrases like that a lot, and they always make me want to say, "But it's not like that!" People like expressions like that because they're stirring and inspiring, but they misrepresent a complex, and occasionally bleak, reality. Unfortunately, they've also been appropriated by marketing execs who use them as throwaway lines to sell sports drinks, and are swallowed and regurgitated whole by the masses who want to believe that you can do anything and overcome anything if you just, gosh, well, try real hard. It's not like that.

The reality is that sometimes, pain does stand in the way and won't be moved, and saying that someone "lets it" do so is just another form of blaming the victim. Sometimes, pain does stand between where you are and what you want to do, at least for the moment. Pain (some kinds of it) often says "not today" or "not like that", and won't take no for an answer. For some unlucky people, it says "not ever again". How cruel is it to tell them that they're "let[ting] pain stand in their way"? They fought, and they lost. Sometimes that's the way it goes.

That's not to say that people do not persevere through pain and achieve great things -- or at least, more than anyone would ever give them credit for. But they persevere in complex ways, not by the stereotypical "Just Do It" that people imagine. A belief in "Just Do It" is in fact a denial of reality, and people who live in that reality know it. And they also know that what they can do now, they may not be able to do tomorrow. We are all temporarily able-bodied -- it's just that only some of us understand this, while the rest are in denial.

It's also not to say that pain doesn't serve as an excuse when it need not -- although lately I've taken to using the word "discomfort", at least in my own mind, to refer to these situations. The problem is that most people don't have good judgment about where that line is -- at least, most people in industrialized countries, where not many people do physical labor every day. I have a feeling that our ditch-digging ancestors had a much better sense of when pain meant a real problem, and when it just meant that you'd overdone it a bit or been idle too long or were new to an activity. I think the truth is that sedentary people are never going to take up an activity like aikido without experiencing discomfort that they will label as "pain", and "pain", to them, means a problem that must be alleviated, not endured. We're lucky to have a lot of new orthopedic knowledge in the past few decades, but the downside seems to be a common belief that any activity that causes knee pain (for example) must be ceased immediately and never resumed, or you'll completely trash your knee for life. Orthopedic horror stories, unfortunately, furnish plenty of excuses for people not to do something -- never mind if they have no bearing on your situation -- and if you feel pain, well, that's an orthopedic horror story in the making.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 10:19 AM   #19
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,559
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

Well... FWIW.

My father-in-law is suffering from a type of myalgia. He went from being a busy, robust, involved man into, well, an old man literally over the period of a few weeks. They still don't know exactly what happened and treatments have been sort of hit or miss. We helped, we tried to be supportive, and have done what we could. We truly felt for him and have been trying to help ever since.

Then a few months ago something happened to me. Here in the US the drug companies advertise relentlessly. Ever heard the lipitor commercials? Know the part where they say "If you experience muscle pain or weakness this may be a sign of a rare and serious side effect?" Well, that hit me about 2 weeks before thanksgiving. One day I woke up with what felt like a horrible pull in a small muscle in my right leg. Okay, I'm 46, it happens, so I take it easy. Two days later it starts in the other leg. Okay, problem... See the doctor. They take blood -- by now my legs and hips are hurting like hell. Constantly. And weak. Blood work comes in and the doctor says "Yes, the blood work confirms your muscles are hurting." Thank you Captain Obvious. We had changed the statin I was taking due to changes in insurance just a month before. Apparently my body wasn't happy with the new one.

I had trouble walking, standing, moving, sleeping, anything. One evening I got down on the floor with my daughter to watch a movie. It ended, she got up and went to bed. She said "come on, daddy, read me a story..." as she left the room. I started to get up and crumpled back on the floor -- my legs couldn't lift me from the ground. It was a combination of searing pain and simply that the muscles seemed to "not work" for lack of a better description. I end up crawling to a chair and lift myself into it. From there I could get up. As I sat there my appreciation of the condition of my father-in-law changed completely. I struggled into her bedroom and read her the story standing up. Because I didn't dare sit down on her bed out of fear I wouldn't be able to get up. I simply didn't want to scare her.

Fast forward to now. No training. Off the meds obviously. My work output plummeted (along with my income as I'm self-employed). No exercise apart from gentle walks. At this point the pain seems to be limited to what I think is the piriformis muscle (i.e., my right butt cheek is killing me). I still haven't stressed anything as it feels like anytime I do it takes forever for the muscle to recover. On bad days I'll take a pain pill or more. Sometimes at night it is a muscle relaxant and pain pill. But I just can't do aikido. Not yet at least.

For me the thing is that there is improvement and by most accounts I should continue to get better as the effects of the med clear my system. I will be back and that is an incredible motivating thing for me. That said I can't *even imagine* how people in constant pain deal with it, especially if the prognosis is more of the same or worse yet. It is a constant stress, constantly tearing you down, constantly with you, dulling everything you try. I see myself in a whole new light as well. I'm not as strong as I thought. Or maybe it is better to say I've learned how little I knew before.

Soooo... What's the point? No, I'm no looking for sympathy -- I'm blessed in that I'm getting better. But I am never saying a *thing* to anyone who experiences chronic pain other than "is there anything I can do to help". No judgement. If you want to talk about "it has to be felt", well, you really need to walk in their shoes for a while to truly appreciate the complexity (physically and emotionally) of these sorts of things.

Now I'm over checking up on my father-in-law a lot more often making sure we help out as much as we can. Even if it hurts me. Because he's hurting more.

I ain't complaining about every day stuff any more... How naive it all seems now.

Sorry for the tangent, but part of this has been really relevant to my life lately.

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 11:07 AM   #20
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

I agree -- pain and suffering are complex and different for different people at different times in their lives. I also agree that pain and suffereing are pretty central parts of the human condition, witness its treatment by different religions. Its common for people to want to avoid pain. In some ways that's natural and healthy; in others, not so much.

One of the positive pain lessons of budo or athletics generally, and especially for the young, I've called in the past "learning how to suffer."

That's a different thing from an "I'm being injured" signal, although I'm not always successful in distinguishing between the two, and its hard sometimes, especially in the middle of rigorous practice, for me to tell the difference.

In the last few years, as I've grown older, I've accumulated some permanent damage to my body. If you want to suggest to me that damage reflects mistakes I've made, I'd readily agree. But it seems kind of irrelevant at this point, and, anyway, some of that damage is just the after-effect of what I consider a life well-lived. Trying to preserve a pain-free existence as you grow older seems frankly delusional and self-limiting. Cf. Buddhism generally.

In any event, lately I think I have begun to become acquainted with a different kind of pain, which I also think relates to what Mary was addressing.

I feel like for me to do what I still want to do -- say, participate fully in a multiple-day seminar, or mix my aikido practice with other activities that I love, there's a price to be paid. Not only that, I know it will take time to recover from the debt. It's just a question of whether I want to put up with the terms of the bargain I'm making with myself.

I'm coming to think of it as "old-guy endurance."

Choosing to endure this discomfort feels different. It requires me to struggle more with the psychological urge to just stop. As Paul Simon wrote in a song, I sometimes think "I don't find this stuff amusing anymore."

It also feels like a taste of what older people face every day doing even simple things, and it feels like it takes a different and deeper kind of courage to face. It's something, frankly, I still need to learn.

FWIW

cdh
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 11:19 AM   #21
Stormcrow34
Dojo: Yoseikan Budo
Location: Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 96
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Well... FWIW.

I had trouble walking, standing, moving, sleeping, anything. One evening I got down on the floor with my daughter to watch a movie. It ended, she got up and went to bed. She said "come on, daddy, read me a story..." as she left the room. I started to get up and crumpled back on the floor -- my legs couldn't lift me from the ground. It was a combination of searing pain and simply that the muscles seemed to "not work" for lack of a better description. I end up crawling to a chair and lift myself into it. From there I could get up. As I sat there my appreciation of the condition of my father-in-law changed completely. I struggled into her bedroom and read her the story standing up. Because I didn't dare sit down on her bed out of fear I wouldn't be able to get up. I simply didn't want to scare her.

Fast forward to now. No training. Off the meds obviously. My work output plummeted (along with my income as I'm self-employed). No exercise apart from gentle walks. At this point the pain seems to be limited to what I think is the piriformis muscle (i.e., my right butt cheek is killing me). I still haven't stressed anything as it feels like anytime I do it takes forever for the muscle to recover. On bad days I'll take a pain pill or more. Sometimes at night it is a muscle relaxant and pain pill. But I just can't do aikido. Not yet at least.

For me the thing is that there is improvement and by most accounts I should continue to get better as the effects of the med clear my system. I will be back and that is an incredible motivating thing for me. That said I can't *even imagine* how people in constant pain deal with it, especially if the prognosis is more of the same or worse yet. It is a constant stress, constantly tearing you down, constantly with you, dulling everything you try. I see myself in a whole new light as well. I'm not as strong as I thought. Or maybe it is better to say I've learned how little I knew before.

Soooo... What's the point? No, I'm no looking for sympathy -- I'm blessed in that I'm getting better. But I am never saying a *thing* to anyone who experiences chronic pain other than "is there anything I can do to help". No judgement. If you want to talk about "it has to be felt", well, you really need to walk in their shoes for a while to truly appreciate the complexity (physically and emotionally) of these sorts of things.

Now I'm over checking up on my father-in-law a lot more often making sure we help out as much as we can. Even if it hurts me. Because he's hurting more.

I ain't complaining about every day stuff any more... How naive it all seems now.

Sorry for the tangent, but part of this has been really relevant to my life lately.
That sounds like a very difficult situation and I wish the best for you and your family.

By the way, I'm no Doctor so take this with a grain of salt.

Your symptoms sound similar to sciatica, mock sciatica or piriformis syndrome. The piriformis runs over the sciatic nerve bundles that run through the greater and lesser sciatic notch. Sometimes the piriformis reaches a state of hypertonicity and presses the sciatic nerve bundles into the bony notches, causing serious pain, tingling, burning sensations, numbness, etc. A good massage therapist may be able to help you, but I would clear it with your doctor first.

You probably know this already but I am just trying to be helpful. Hope you feel better soon.

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 12-17-2009 at 11:29 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 11:31 AM   #22
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

I agree Mary, and thanks for your thoughts. You are correct and you do a great job of further framing the issue.

"Not letting it" of course, is a very personal process I think. This is something I struggle with constantly as the aging process begins to take it grip on me!

I train in a very robust environment in BJJ and get on the mat with guys that are World Champions in the sport and it is very apparent that I cannot hang with them and that my Arthritis, degenerating spine are things that are limiting factors and they DO stand in my way.

That said, I try and be the best "ME" I can be and do what I can and try and come to grips with my limitations that are not mental, but physical...I simply cannot do things that others can do.

So, yes, these things DO stand in my way and eventually I know that I will not be able to even train at the level I am at today!

But I thik what is important is what you expressed above.

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 11:36 AM   #23
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,559
United_States
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Michael Crowell wrote: View Post
That sounds like a very difficult situation and I wish the best for you and your family.

By the way, I'm no Doctor so take this with a grain of salt.

Your symptoms sound similar to sciatica, mock sciatica or piriformis syndrome. The piriformis runs over the sciatic nerve bundles that run through the greater and lesser sciatic notch. Sometimes the piriformis reaches a state of hypertonicity and presses the sciatic nerve bundles into the bony notches, causing serious pain, tingling, burning sensations, numbness, etc. A good massage therapist may be able to help you, but I would clear it with your doctor first.

You probably know this already but I am just trying to be helpful. Hope you feel better soon.
Thanks, yeah, I'm aware of it. Right in the middle of all these problems my pre-existing back problem flared and that in turn also involves piriformis syndrome with me. The problem this raises with the issue I have now with the statin drugs is that the side effect affects muscular damage and healing. So although I was able to do what I could to get the back to "let go", the spasmed piriformis has been remarkably, um, hesitant to relax. I've had a couple sessions with the massage therapist, but for some reason it doesn't seem to help. Possibly due to the side effect of the statins. So... Slow but steady it is getting better. It is just taking its sweet time.

Told the wife that what I really need is a jacuzzi for the workshop... She's been a great support, but she wasn't exactly sympathetic to the "Keith needs a jacuzzi for his sore butt" idea.

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 11:46 AM   #24
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

David Henderson wrote:

Quote:
I feel like for me to do what I still want to do -- say, participate fully in a multiple-day seminar, or mix my aikido practice with other activities that I love, there's a price to be paid. Not only that, I know it will take time to recover from the debt. It's just a question of whether I want to put up with the terms of the bargain I'm making with myself.

I'm coming to think of it as "old-guy endurance."

Choosing to endure this discomfort feels different. It requires me to struggle more with the psychological urge to just stop.
Yea I talk about "Old Guy endurance" alot these days. Getting older has been a great learning experience. My BJJ dojo is full of young 20 year olds so I am definitely the old guy.

I suppose this was my perspective above in reference to dealing with pain. However, as Mary states, there is alot more to this.

From the "Old Guy Endurance" perspective that David describes so well...I see young guys stop coming to practice, not working hard, or sitting off the mat.

"Why"

"Well I pulled my X" "My shoulder hurts" etc....

It is a matter of perspective and perception alot of times for sure. I always ask them why they are not out there..."I want to give it time to heal". Of course in some cases this is true, but in many I think they simply are using it as an excuse. I have had guys not get on the mat because of a broken finger or toe!

Come on...it hurts, but you can simply limit what you do, tape down that part and drive on! There are ways to still train, and in fact that limitation will teach you alot.

Heck, if I didn't get on the mat because of injury pain, i'd be able to get on maybe twice a month! lol!

A few years ago I was in Airborne School at age 40. I had a bunch of new recruits 18 years old...fresh out of high school with me. We do alot of falling etc when we train, running, push ups etc....it just simply wears on you. After about 5 days you can't get out of bed due to the simple fact that you ache and hurt all over. I'd take some Ibuprofen, a 30 minute hot shower, and slowly make my way to formation.

One morning I get there and like 5 of my guys want to go to "Sick Call" to see the Doc. "Why" I ask...because the were hurt. I asked "Where". "All over, sir".

They were not looking for an excuse, they were geniunely concerned. I realized that they had never experienced this type of pain in their lives before and it worried them!

I assured them that they would be fine in a few days. Anyway, it was an eyeopener to me that there are people out there that did not grow up with physical work or athletics and have never experienced fatigue and pain!

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 12:58 PM   #25
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 836
Germany
Offline
Re: Pain

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I've got rheumatoid arthritis. Tell me what I'm "doing wrong".
I am very sorry for offending you!
I apoligize for being only focused on answering a certain statement and not discussing the issue in whole.

Well, first:
I myself suffer from rheumatism. Even if its not arthritis and can be helped and controlled medicinally by now, I know very well what you are talking about.

Second:
If you read my statement as an answer to Szczepan Janczuk you might get that neither he nor me talked about your or my illness: On the contrary I think, you would feel very alive even without pain, won't you?
In my case waking up and noting "no pain today" was a signal I wasn't "cold dead" but alive (And well: My illness began when I was 22, not 45.)

Third:
The pain we suffer because of illnesses like rheumathism are not what is suffered when doing budo an maybe applying nikyo.
It is a very different phenomenon: Practicing while suffering from certain injuries or illness teaches to differentiate between the pain given by my body, by myself and the pain inflicted by my partner.
aahhh I can't bring my thought into english ...

@ Maarten:
Don't know whether you know Christian Tissier, Frank Noel, Jean-Luc Subileau?
Those French teachers supposed pain to be a very usefull tool in "the old days". Aikido was considered to be good aikido, the more it did hurt. I myself was taught this way also and I practiced the first maybe 10 years or so like that.

If you listen to the same teachers by now, they tell you, that those days are gone and that they have gone one step further.

Both nikyo and kote gaeshi don't inflict pain the way they are done without inflicting pain. Hm, try videos of Endo Sensei on youtube to see how it works ...

Greetings,
Carsten
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido of Northern VA Seminars - Doran-sensei in Northern Virginia, March 2015



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pain in aikido? Sonja2012 General 34 12-17-2009 01:45 AM
Treatment to relieve joint pain during training Kung Fu Liane Training 29 01-05-2009 12:15 PM
Locking/pinning as pain submission... Colbs Techniques 52 01-19-2005 11:12 AM
Working through pain KaitlinCostello Training 29 08-07-2003 05:43 PM
Pain to train, or nudge to budge? Bruce Baker Training 20 10-11-2002 12:19 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:53 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate