View Full Version : Injuries

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08-04-2000, 08:33 AM
I recently, about 3 months ago, injured my thumb on my left hand very badly. Just one of those things where I took ukemi the way I normally would, but for some reason my left hand got under me and all my weight came down and poped the thumb out and resulted in a very serious sprain. It is still tender and I have been taking it easy like the doctor says, but I am still very nervous about the thumb. The result of taking this bad fall is that I am hesitant to take ukemi on that side now. The same happened to a friend of mine who took a very nasty shihonage from a shodan at a seminar and resulted in a hyperextended right elbow. He is now nervous about taking shihonage on that side. My question is, has anyone ever been hurt like this and how have you gotten over your fear of taking ukemi from a throw that resulted in injury? Hope you can help.

08-04-2000, 09:45 AM
I've experienced a very similar injury in June just grabbing 'morote dori' (katate ryote tori). I couldn't even move my thumb.
Even now I'm afraid being called to the centre.

My advice is:
If your thumb's OK now, just try to forget that breakfall, but be careful next time you are making ukemi! If you are practicing Aikido for a short time, please tell your tori to apply a technique slower.

08-04-2000, 09:50 AM
i'm more clumsy than most, with a broken nose from an incorrect block/movement to shomenuchi, and a broken rib from (incorrectly)anticipating a backfall, and needing to take a breakfall. each time i did the other side (but with correction) right away to at least remind my body it was the mistake, not the action, that gave me a painful lesson. i guess i'd suggest keeping in mind that it was not the correct nage/uke actions that caused the injury, but a mistake, and tell yourself you know how to avoid that now. then get a partner you trust, who is willing to go slowly, and just start building your confidence back up on that side, like when you first started to roll/fall. and end that kind of practice on a positive note, like when you've taken a roll and it was OK, don't push until it hurts and then stop due to that. anyway, that is what i do.

08-05-2000, 03:12 AM
I've had my share of injuries, the most severe has been a hyperextended elbow from a hijikime (hearing my elbow clicking thrice), I wasn't able to practice for 2 months, but I guess that's part of it, no pain no gain! But the important thing is that both the uke and nage learn from these "accidents", I can say that now I'm a better uke because I'm more sensitive to my nage's movements, and in turn my nage is more cautious because he knows the damage/consequences that comes from such carelessness at my expense, tough luck! :eek:

How to overcome your fears? I guess you first have to acccept that in this line of training it's impossible to avoid such "accidents", then the next step is to face your fear, it doesn't get any simpler than that. :D Like CA said: "...get a partner you trust, who is willing to go slowly, and just start building your confidence back..."

Best of luck!


08-05-2000, 10:05 PM
The two worst injuries I've gotten in aikido have been a minor concussion and a seriously jammed/hyperextended elbow. The first came from an elbow in the forehead during morotedori kokyunage and the second came from my inadequate ukemi skills for the version of iriminage we do in our dojo.

The first injury took about a week to get over its "physical" symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness, and nausea. I'd say it took about six months before I was able to resume my "normal" ukemi routines, though, as my mind and body had become wary about taking ukemi.

The second injury took probably close to a year to heal. I was off the mat pretty much completely for three months after it happened. The elbow would send sharp pains for such simple movements like closing a door behind me or reaching behind to get the seat belt. Mentally, I'm still unable to take iriminage ukemi as well as I used to due to this injury and it's been over a year.

-- Jun

08-06-2000, 01:29 PM
Thanks so much for the feedback. I will keep it all in mind while my thumb recovers. Cheers!


08-07-2000, 11:25 AM
I gave myself a very similar thumb injury a couple of months ago when I came down on a breakfall with my thumb under my torso. It's healed fully now, and I kind of think of it more as a learning experience on awareness of my hand (and other body parts) placement and positioning during ukemi. I also had my elbow start to hurt during shihonage, and it's almost healed up (seven months later). When it occasionally bothers me during training, I tell my partners I have a sensitive elbow and to please take it easy on that side. Everyone has always been sympathetic in that regards.

08-07-2000, 01:09 PM
no matter how advanced or injured one gets, it seems to me that solo ukemi work is a good way to gauge if one is ready or to get ready to train with others

Russell Davis
09-04-2009, 07:39 PM
hand injuries are made all the more problematic because its not only the muscle that has to recover, but also the tendons and ligaments, because the blood supply to these is poor it often takes much much longer to heal, If not allowed to heal fully, you will develop pains to remind you of that fact, if ignored you may well require surgery, at worst you could end up unable to continue in Aikido.
Im all for realistic training, but do we really need to hurt people to execute good skills, I dont think so, do you?

09-04-2009, 09:53 PM
I'm guessing your injury may have been a second degree sprain, but I'm no MD. I had one of those, and it took a long time and careful attention to heal. It's the kind of injury that can become chronic if you don't do the right thing while it's healing. I had physical therapy which was great, not only for the treatment itself but because the therapist could say to me, "You're overdoing it, back off." Once I was past the initial healing period (and it probably was all of three months), I taped it every time I did something that would involve heavy lifting or repeated motions with that thumb. For kayaking, I would tape it with 1" sports tape, and then duct tape over so the sports tape wouldn't come off -- and I did that every time I went kayaking for two years. I had learned my lesson with other injuries -- I think I did the right thing with this one.

As for the psychological aspect...I dunno. I've seen so many "how do you get over your fear of" questions, here and elsewhere, and I don't think that other people's experiences really help all that much. There is no magic pill, for anyone, when it comes to fears -- there is no "do this and it'll fix it," you just fumble your way, and sometimes it never does get fixed. That's the reality with stuff in your head. I guess I'd say just take care of the physical, because that's something you can do something about -- and I don't see how you ever would get over fear of an injury if the injured part isn't fully healed.

tim evans
09-04-2009, 10:23 PM
Being new I ask myself will my hips ever quit aching! I pop like rice krispies when I get up in the morning.Relaxxx.and GO!:D

Eva Antonia
09-05-2009, 07:25 AM
Dear all,

I got lots of smaller and bigger injuries; some of them due to clumsiness, others due to tori giving more of a technique than I could take, and again others because I'm too wild and have a psychological block against things like "slow down", "take it easy" etc.

Two years ago I trained in a guest dojo and the teacher wanted to make me do a breakfall out of a blocked shoho nage; it did not work and the elbow got very badly...not overextended but turned too much in the articulation; I couldn't use it normally for 8 months or so (but continued aikido as always).

I got a rupture of the cross ligaments in my left knee due to a very awkward tai sabaki when doing irimi nage on someone; as I continued to do aikido the knee went in and out until I got a serious auxiliary structure to hold it in place. But next week I have to be operated on that, and that will seriously immobilise me on the mat...:grr:

Then once I did a breakfall and fell on my fist; once I got hurt by a Jo and got an enormous hematome which still does not go entirely away; none of these ever affected my attacks or ukemi.

BUT during the first year, I had a HORROR of mae ukemi because I fell once or twice on my head. Apparently the head either hurts much more than the rest of the body, or I'm more afraid of it getting hurt, so I was quite blocked on mae ukemi and had to go back doing it on my knees and so on. Some day the block went away, without any effort required from my side. But there are still attacks when I fear falling on my head, for example violent techniques like direct irimi nage or ushiro kiri otoshi. There you are thrown backwards so rapidly that it's hard to buffer the fall, and even if I didn't yet fall on my head I'm always a bit apprehensive in my attacks when knowing that tori has to do one of these. Wish I'd be able to do the ushiro otoshi fall on these but I don't manage to learn that :dead:

All in all I don't think you get more injured in aikido than you do in other sports. My father broke his arm three times, once skating on ice and twice when having a bike crash; in comparison my aikido injury history is quite small.

Best regards,


09-05-2009, 02:09 PM
Fear is often a natural reaction that we cannot really control. I once had a very bad accident while horseback riding. The h9orse went up and fell over backward causing me to land on my back across a horse trailer hitch. I was fortunate to only have severe bruising but after that accident I started to experience panic and anxiety attacks when I came near the barn or even thought about riding a horse.

The brain has the self preservation instinct hard wired to avoid something like this that has caused the body major injury in the past so you really are dealing with an instinct that needs to be desensitized.

The best way to do that is to continually put yourself in the situation that causes the fear. Starting out easy so you would want to work on Ukemi on your own low and slow until you no longer fear it. Then ask a partner you trust to help you work on ukemi again very slowly until the fear recedes and as things go along continue to push your comfort level until you reach your goal.

It took me 5 years to work through my fears of horseback riding and it took me 5 years to get back on that horse in particular. But I did get past it and got back to training again. The funny thing is there was always just a bit of nerves there until the one fateful day 6 years later. I fell off that same horse again. Horse slipped and fell in the mud and I went off into a forward roll over his shoulder and dislocated my shoulder. Once I put it back in I got right back on and kept riding and have not been afraid of falling off since that day.

So I guess I'm saying the best way to get over something you are afraid of is to just do it until you stop being afraid. ;)

Janet Rosen
09-05-2009, 04:19 PM
This is a 9 yr old thread and the OP has presumably healed? Maybe we should try to start new threads to pick up new topics related to current injury related stuff?

09-05-2009, 08:19 PM
LOL totally missed that it was old. Yeah would be better to have started a new one but hey whats done is done.