View Full Version : Aikido and Arthritis

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09-06-2001, 02:51 PM
I recently had a friend ask me about how good aikido training is when the person suffers from arthritis.

May people please provide:

1. any anecdotes of their own experience in training in aikido with arthritis;

2. sources of information (websites, books, magazines); and/or

3. which styles of aikido would be more beneficial training with arthritis (if there is a difference, I assume harder approaches might be tough on her joints. She has tried karate but found it too rough.)

Anne Marie

09-06-2001, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by giriasis
I recently had a friend ask me about how good aikido training is when the person suffers from arthritis.

Anne Marie

KAMI : You will find useful information in this site
Hope this will help you and your friend

09-06-2001, 07:50 PM
I don't have arthritis, but my job requires me to be on the computer 8-10 hours a day. The result of this was constant pain in my wrists and back. (probably caused from incorrect posture) After taining in Aikido for about 3 months I noticed a substantial difference in the way I felt. The pain became less frequent, and after about 6 months it all but dissapeared. In my opinion this is due to the constant stetching and manipulation of my wrists and back. I'm not sure if that kind of activity would help to ease arthritis, but it deffinitely worked for me.

Best Regards,


09-07-2001, 06:30 AM
I think the only way to find out if your friend can do aikido or if it helps her arthritis is going into a dojo and try.
We have a girl training with us who has arthritis, she trains regularly and is a 4th kyu. There are things she doesn't do (yet) and we respect that. Everyone has his/her limits, you have to accept that and work on it. Maybe next week someone is ready to cross that limit, maybe it takes a year, maybe it will never happen. That doesn't mean we cannot work with each other, we just go sofar that both of us are comfortable with the exercise. I work with her regularly, even did my 3rd kyu exam with her. However, I am always careful with her and make sure she doesn't has to breakfall too roughly but that is more on account of the fact that I am over a foot taller and am 50 pounds heavier ;).By the way we train aikikai-style and regularly attend national seminars, arthritis hasn't stopped her from coming along. So bring your friend with you to a class and see what happens. After all, your friend is the only one who can decide if aikido is something for her or not.

09-07-2001, 09:44 AM
I suffer from a very bad type of arthritis (basically a rheumatory type that effects my spine) and do practice aikido. My Doctor after seeing the positive impact it has had for me, insists that I do it.
For me aikido really helps in dealing with it. When I am training regularly, I feel great and have a great deal less problems with the arthritis. The biggest problem is that when I am having a hard time and start to miss classes, my arthritis GETS ALOT WORSE (I am going through it right now). At that point it becomes harder to motivate myself get on the mat. But once I get through a couple of weeks of classes, I start to feel good again.
I take aikido at an ASU dojo and try to push myself to do everything that the rest of the class does. I don't advocate that for everyone who has arthritis. You just have to know your body. There are times when I do have to say "I can only go this far with this technique." But that is because of a flare up more then an all the time issue.

I hope my reply will help your friend.


09-08-2001, 03:55 PM
I just want to thank everyone for their comments. They are very helpful and I will definantly ask my friend to check out this thread.

Anne Marie

09-09-2001, 12:23 PM
Thanks guys! I'd asked giriasis about this. Heh, I'd tag along to class, but we're in different states... and yes, I've found karate over the years to simply be too high on joint impact. Not so much the sparring (though that's part of it!) but the techniques practiced in other manners.