Budo training is research, not performance.
Injuries, whilst to be avoided at all costs, can be some of the best learning curves had in life. Aside from the fact that an injury provides a unique opportunity to conduct Mitori Geiko for the full duration of a class, injuries also provide EMPATHY. In other words, what it would feel like to be damaged by such a technique.
Some people like to imagine unscathed fighting capabilities, to be able to dish it out without receiving a scratch. Fiction. You must be able to take it as well. To absorb the opponent’s attacks enable safe “taking it.”
Injuries in training usually come from inflexible mental attitudes which cause resistance instead of flexible absorption and are an opportunity to discover oneself. Only you have the power to make an injury a wall or a steppingstone.
You will learn little or nothing unless you become able to absorb a technique. To do so you have to train and explore the basics often to develop the Aikido Body. What is Aikido Body? Aikido Body is a unique level of fitness and personal transformation that produces increased levels of relative immunity from attack. This in part comes from ukemi. Later henkawaza and kaeshiwaza.
Nothing sorts out the sheep from the goats like a training injury. Whereas some simply disappear, sulk, blame and simply give up, using endless excuses to justify complacency of spirit, others find a way to persist.
The quiet persisters continue to continue against all odds.
Over the years I’ve noticed that the loudly ambitious soon burn out. The naturally gifted often get smug and become remiss whereas the clumsy, the klutzy, the uncoordinated continue to persist usually achieving great heights; and then continuing to persist again.
In any endeavor, if you are serious you will find a way. If not, you were never truly sincere.
Particularly in the case of the aikijutsus, training is research and refinement, not performance showing off. We train to IMprove, not to prove.
Nothing gets in the way of genuine progress and refinement than the lust to win or to appear good. In training, winning, losing and looking good is irrelevant.
The only required real win is when life is at stake.
As for training injuries, whilst they should not be sought, sometimes they are inevitable. For the instructor and seniors, this is an opportunity to change the way they participate and adjusting to become able and safe whilst handicapped. Training thus will improve skill exponentially.
For all participants, an injury can be an opportunity to engage some serious MITORI GEIKO. Watching is free and most teachers are happy for you to watch classes, since a good sensei knows and understands the value of watching whilst recovering.
90% of the warrior is within, overcoming your own limitations without acrimony or excuses. In most cases, external battles will be relatively few in a lifetime. Internal battles will be many.
Although the external is a reflection of the internal and vice versa , it is the heart that reconciles these that enables the power of harmonious reconciliation in the world.
In any training, recovery is everything. The unique strength developed in the Aikido Body is a natural progression, an evolution that can only come about through regular training. The daily bumps and thumps, micro injuries and facing attrition, plus good sleep and diet produce secretion of natural repair chemicals such as Growth Hormone, DHEA and others which increase the speed of natural recovery also building the biological immune system. Equally visible but not as beneficial, lack of sleep, lack of appropriate training and poor dietary habits and too much sitting down will remove those latent gifts of recovery and spirit.
Going through what it takes to learn from injuries how to absorb attacks flexibly with Aikido Body-Mind, will reveal how serious you are in your attitudes about just about anything in life. It will also transform your body, mind and spirit to understand the nature of the universe and its magic potentials to overcome what to the average person are considered limitations.
Last but not least: Every advantage carries a disadvantage and ever disadvantage holds an advantage. If you are truly serious about your Budo, it is your business to discover these and to know them well.