View Full Version : "High" after Aikido

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Roman Kremianski
09-23-2006, 09:39 PM
And no, I don't do any of the substances, so whoever clicked this hoping to hear about Aikido cocaine binges should just hit the back button. :D

I wanted to know if anyone's experienced this or has an official explanation for it. This has happened aprox 3-4 times already. I would do a one hour Aikido class, and then I'd do another one hour class. So after 2 hours, I'd feel pretty tired already. A friend asks me to be uke for his 1st kyu training, so I half drag myself back on the mat.

After being thrown around by him for 8 minutes, I'm exhausted. At this point, just as I think I can't do any more, I get a burst of strange energy and keep on getting up and attacking him harder with each time. He throws me around for another 8 minutes after that, we stop. I've completely out of breath. After changing and heading out towards the subway station, I get this wierd feeling, like a huge dose of coffee, only minus the shaking hands. I feel really light and optimistic and pretty much happy with everything around me. I get wierd looks from people I randomly smile at on the train. Definatly "something" there, and it's more then just the usual good feeling after practice.

The interesting thing about it is that I'm extremly tired, but not from something like running a billion laps or punching a bag for half an hour. During the practice, even though I'm completely out of breath and energy, I still commit to my attacks and know that despite the fact that my body's tired, I still have to take the ukemi safely. So that's the cycle. Get up, strike, follow and fall properly, get up, repeat. And all while trying to keep enough breath in me to do another shomen/yokomen/tsuki at nage. It just feels so different from a usual intensive sport.

So has anyone gotten something like this before? How did you feel about it? This has started happening to me only after my ukemi reached higher levels and I could get up quicker after breakfalls. It's almost like some kind of secret adrenaline reserve that is released at will by my mind when it knows that even though I've not officially in any danger, I still need to finish training. :uch:

Mike Hamer
09-23-2006, 09:52 PM
I know what your talking about man........in fact im having an aikido withdrawl right now............

Edwin Neal
09-23-2006, 11:07 PM
don't know how to explain it... maybe KI... lots of 'internal' arts cite this type of feeling or energy... i have experienced it from yoga, and soccer too...

09-24-2006, 06:37 AM
endorfines (painkilling substance produced by your body that connects to the same receptors as morphine, heroin and other opiates) in combination with the feeling/experience of flow during keiko?

Roman Kremianski
09-24-2006, 07:04 AM
Haha, found this online.

Blood levels of beta-endorphins have been found to increase to as much as five times their resting levels during a prolonged bout of aerobic exercise (over 30mins). This measurement varies from person to person and is affected by how much regular exercise you take part in.

The more regularly you exercise, the higher the body's natural tolerance to endorphins. This means that as you exercise more, you require a higher intensity of exercise in order to produce the same endorphin release. As with opioid drugs, exercise can become addictive, as athletes begin to require the analgaesic effects of the endorphins. This analgaesic effect is sometimes referred to as "the runners high". Like any addiction, exercise addiction can result in dependence, tolerance, and continued use or participation despite adverse affects, leading to the sacrifice other activities to devote more time to exercise.

I've heard of this before, dunno how I didn't link it. And no, it wasn't "ki". :p

in combination with the feeling/experience of flow during keiko?

I think that makes some sense, because I've pushed myself this far in sports like soccer, but the after-effects of darting around a field after a ball simply weren't the same as the consistant and smooth feeling of ukemi.

Janet Rosen
09-24-2006, 02:12 PM
the endorphins, besides making you feel wonderful!, I suspect are also why we sometimes don't notice minor injuries til we've gotten off the mat, changed, gotten home....

09-24-2006, 03:51 PM
How long does the endorphine enduced high last?

09-24-2006, 04:12 PM
How long does the endorphine enduced high last?Not long enough... :D

09-24-2006, 07:01 PM
I know what your talking about man........in fact im having an aikido withdrawl right now............

Ditto, my back is out and I have missed two weeks...

Robert Jackson
09-24-2006, 07:06 PM
For more information do a search for "Runners high". Endorphins are a great motivation for excerising :)

Mike Hamer
09-24-2006, 10:32 PM
Ditto, my back is out and I have missed two weeks...

Ouch, I have a hard enough time waiting a week between classes.

Mike Hamer
09-24-2006, 10:34 PM
Some old japanese man in our locker room (at the wellness center, not our own) Was talking about a friend of his doing research on runners high. He says it is not endphorins....that it is actually some tpe of cannabanoid!

09-25-2006, 08:16 AM
Dude the human body cannot produce cannbinoids. It can only absorb them.

Janet Rosen
09-25-2006, 11:02 AM
There ARE endocannabinoids in the brain actually--that's why we have receptors that fit pot--the weird thing is according to an article in "Scientific American Mind" Aug/Sept issue, these endocannabinoids do not jump forward to act like a regular neurotransmitter. They cross the synapse in reverse, to the axon. So they are an inhibitory feeback loop saying "I heard you -- stop transmitting now!" and so it is speculated that they protect neurons from excessive activity. Nausea, parkinsons, pain, spasticity, anxiety, epilepsy etc which may be why marijuana IS found empirically to be helpful in so many disorders.
However AFAIK the runners high is very much endomorphins. I know the feeling I've gotten sometimes in intense pracrice in aikido seminars is much more like opiate than like pot. And the way it wears off in a half hour or so and you feel the pain, yep, opiates :-)