PDA

View Full Version : Hard to Stay in Seiza


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


felipe_3
02-15-2010, 01:10 PM
Hi to all, I have 3 weeks practicing aikido and is great, I`m practicing to be 5to kyu, but I have a problem, is very hard to me stay in seiza, somebody can help me????? a tip.

PD:sorry I don`t speak very well the english, and excuse me if I did a mistake.

Janet Rosen
02-15-2010, 10:27 PM
Welcome, Felipe.
Assuming you don't have an injury, but are experiencing tightness & discomfort in feet, ankles or knees - give yourself time to let the muscles get used to it. Make sure your muscles are warmed up (by walking, moving) before class, and do some gentle stretching after class.
What I did to practice at home the days I was not at the dojo was to kneel on a soft carpet and do some little task (for me it was brushing the cat) just for 2 minutes...when it was comfortable for 2 minutes, make it 2 1/2 minutes... etc. only increasing it by a little bit and only when it had become comfortable.

aikishihan
02-15-2010, 11:36 PM
According to Wikipedia and certain Japanese dictionaries, the definition, role and advisability of proper seiza varies quite a lot.

Seiza, per Sanseido Dictionary, literally means "sitting quietly", or "sitting upright".

According to Wikipedia, seiza is normally performed on tatami, although done on wooden floors for such cultural occasions as martial arts training, tea ceremony, flower arranging, etc. In other words, it is a cultural phenomenon, practiced in Japan, and often adopted by cultural groups and systems outside of Japan.

I believe that "pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional". If one can avoid unnecessary pain and suffering, the correct choice is to do so. It makes little sense to injure or cripple oneself for a concept that has an apparently arbitrary and dubious applicability, simply because it "has always been done this way".

Even in the Japanese culture, options are both available and encouraged for those who have physical limitations, medical conditions, and for the aged and otherwise uninitiated, such as non-Japanese persons.

Seiza stools are widely used, especially for those in meditation groups, and similar cultural programs requiring sitting in seiza. Depending on the circumstance and permissibility, there is the option of Agura, sitting crossed legged, or for Kiza, sitting on one's raised heels in any otherwise seiza position.

Those folks who are raised with horses, have little problem with riding them, with or without saddles. For those who first attempt to do so as teenagers or adults, will probably have quite an adjustment to endure. For such people, it is their choice to expose themselves to such challenges, and judge for themselves if it is worth the effort and risk of permanent injury and embarrassment.

For those who wish to adapt and fit in to a cultural bias towards maintaining such seemingly arcane traditions, I can only wish you good luck. Choose wisely, as the consequences may be severe.

I personally leave sitting in seiza as an optional exercise in my dojo, even as I do knee walking, hanmi handachi training and suwari waza. The student is never required to knowingly and reluctantly subject themselves to the potential of injury, suffering or embarrassment. It remains their choice to try it, and judge for themselves how much of such challenges they wish to accept.

I have no argument with instructors, and stewards of those systems that continue the requirement of such practices as seiza. It is their right to maintain whatever traditions they are comfortable with, and believe are necessary for themselves, their students, and their organizational goals..

I guess it is my commitment to maintaining a "No Harm" policy for those I supervise in training, and in determining for themselves what works best for them.

Mark Uttech
02-16-2010, 05:10 AM
Onegaishimasu, I agree with Janet Rosen's practice of sitting in seiza while doing something else. I used to practice sitting in seiza while watching televison. Bit by bit a practice builds itself.

In gassho,

Mark

felipe_3
02-16-2010, 07:48 AM
thanks you to all for the contribution, I`m going to take your advices

Shadowfax
02-16-2010, 09:07 AM
Those folks who are raised with horses, have little problem with riding them, with or without saddles. For those who first attempt to do so as teenagers or adults, will probably have quite an adjustment to endure. For such people, it is their choice to expose themselves to such challenges, and judge for themselves if it is worth the effort and risk of permanent injury and embarrassment.
Also their choice whether to expose their horse to prolonged exposure to weight over a small area, potentially creating pressure points and damage to the horse. Hence the invention of saddle trees to distribute pressure over a wider area, increasing comfort and saftly for both horse and rider. ;)

As to Seiza. I have soem knee issues so I can only sit seiza for short periods of time. If it seems that sensei will be speaking or demonstrating for more than a few minutes I sit cross legged. Fortunately he encourages us to sit comfortably rather than risk injuring ourselves for the sake of tradition. I have noticed that my tolerance for that position is better now I have been training for a while than it was at first.

trademark8806
02-16-2010, 09:41 AM
There is in some dojos always the option to sit with your lags in a cros laged postion. People in my dojo do this , they bow and then change to siting croslaged.

felipe_3
02-16-2010, 10:31 AM
in my dojo my sensei asking me that I have to stay in seiza when we are doing exercise for stretch my muscles

ninjaqutie
02-16-2010, 11:16 AM
Practice bit by bit at home if you can. Your hips and quad muscles may not be used to that yet. In addition, some people feel pain in their ankles and feet. If it is quite painful, then maybe you should ask your sensei for an exception. There are a few people in my dojo you just cannot sit in seiza long if at all.

lbb
02-16-2010, 11:27 AM
If you have a specific injury that is aggravated by seiza, tell your sensei.

If you don't have a specific injury, but you find seiza painful and difficult, and your sensei wants you to sit in seiza, try some of the off-the-mat exercises to increase your tolerance.

I understand and agree with Takahashi Sensei's reasoning re: the possibility for injury, and why go there. At the same time, sitting in seiza is the only way to get over the discomfort of sitting in seiza, or being able to do it for longer periods of time. That doesn't mean that more is better, but on the other hand, I know people (without injuries) who always switch to sitting cross-legged at the first sign of discomfort, and I observe that as time goes by, they are not "able" to sit in seiza any longer than they were at the beginning. So, if being able to sit longer in seiza is a goal for you, I think that you will have to endure some discomfort as you build up your tolerance.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-16-2010, 12:35 PM
Hi to all, I have 3 weeks practicing aikido and is great, I`m practicing to be 5to kyu, but I have a problem, is very hard to me stay in seiza, somebody can help me????? a tip.

PD:sorry I don`t speak very well the english, and excuse me if I did a mistake.

Hola Felipe,

Bienvenido a Aikiweb.

felipe_3
02-16-2010, 05:42 PM
gracias por la bienvenida espero aprender mucho aqui y al fin alguien que habla espaņol

Aikidonewbie
03-08-2010, 09:14 PM
you may want to stretch your quad muscles, and make sure your weight is is more forward and not on your feet...

me32dc
03-15-2010, 04:15 PM
Amen!
Make sure the weight is even over the part of the leg in contact with the mat. So the weight is 50/50 between your feet and knees.

Also, seiza is a a pain, everyone hates long seasons of seiza and it hurts everyone sooner or later, you just have to learn to deal/cope with it.
Sorry to sound harsh but once you conquer seiza it isn't a worry even for those times when Sensei decides to talk for 30 minutes.