This post originally appeared on my AikiWeb blog…

I have experienced for the first time just plain anger toward instructors.

In the kenshusei course, we have only 3 breaks–Golden Week, Obon, and Christmas. Last Monday, we came off the Obon holiday, which meant a total of 10 days of rest and recovery. So we came back with relatively fit and pain-free bodies.

Was this used as an opportunity to get in some great strong and injury-free training? By no means.

The very first class on Monday morning was 1 hour of koho ukemi. That’s one hour of back into breakfall, roll forward and stand up, back into breakfall, roll forward and stand up…

Needless to say, it is exhausting to the muscles in your upper legs and torso. It also takes a toll on your knees, hips, and back. There is the worn off skin that leaves bleeding open places along your spine, but there is also the impact of the fall, which is nominal if you do 50-100 koho ukemi, but quite significant after about 300.

It’s now Thursday. I trained on Monday with absolutely no strength and for the next three days with delayed onset muscle soreness, as well as a tight and sore lower back and knee and hip pain.

What was the purpose of this experience? As far as I can tell, just sadism. Yes, there are lots of rationalisations, and it is true that this sort of endurance event is part of the course. But why do it on this day of all days, when it can do nothing but undermine your holiday recovery? There is no point to that.

Based on previous experience, I recon it will be a week before my muscles recover and maybe 2 weeks before my back recovers. As far as I am concerned, we just ruined a week of training, and a week that could have been a very productive and high-intensity one otherwise.

All week, every time my legs fail in kihon dosa or my back momentarily seizes up when I do ukemi, I just get angry.