View Full Version : Poll: Are serious injuries a necessary part of aikido training?

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AikiWeb System
08-25-2002, 12:01 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of August 25, 2002:

Are serious injuries a necessary part of aikido training?

I don't do aikido

Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=128).

08-25-2002, 12:18 AM
I don't think serious injuries are necessary to training, but they are sometimes unavoidable -- especially when training very hard. I've had torn wrist tendons, broken fingers, dislocated toes, fractured molars, and countless bruises and lumps from hard-style training in Aikido. Just goes with the territory, I think.

Gotta' love this Aikido stuff!

Anat Amitay
08-25-2002, 07:37 AM
I think what Jonathan wrote is true. I'm not certain the word necessary is in place but sometimes injuries are unavoidable.

The other thing is that maybe sometimes getting injured is 'good'', if you hope aikido will ever help you in a real live situation. Our sensei always tries to relate techniques to real life situations. Many times he said- there is a chance you will get hurt, but what is important is to continue and not close in on the pain.

I think that is true and important for any MA.

though I hope never to actually need to use aikido in a real fight of any sort (verbally I use it all the time), I think it's important to except the possibility of getting hurt and learning to deal with it.

"What happened to you?!"

"Forget how I look, you should have seen the other guy..."



Bruce Baker
08-25-2002, 08:10 AM
Brawling or training?

If you are continually getting injured or those you train with are getting injured, I would call that brawling, or an all out tumble down the hill pray you are alive when the other bodys come into the pile.

Hard physical training, does not always involve the continuous offensive/ defensive training that we often go through in class, not does it resemble the fight scenes in movies, nor does it look like a UFC match.

There are many examples of teacher and students doing demonstrations of Aikido, and the uke breaking bones or falling incorrectly with the excuse that they were not paying attention. Serious injury because of a lapse in attention? After training ... how many years?

Or are we simply beating the odds every time a full commited technique is applied to a full commited attack?

Sprains, strains, sore muscles should be the majority of injurys if you are taking the time to sense the intensity of your opponent as you twist, manipulate, throw, pin, and commit yourself to the hardest of practice in Aikido.

Beyond that, you have reached into the red zone of mental awareness and let the beast come out to play. Something that many people do thinking it is intensity, while it is merely the savage instinct of our humanity we attempt to keep under control.

Think about it?

When you are most intensely training ... are your thoughts clear, your senses heighten, and everything around you slowed down? OR ... do things turn into a blur, the moment is taken up with emotion, the movements are prompted by the survival, defense, while you ride the rage of pent up emotion?

The difference between training without injury, and causing injury of a few degrees of motion, and feeling the tension of your training partner as manipulate, or use them to do Aikido. It would be nice to know they know the difference between training in safe margins, verses training outside of safe margins?

There will allways be some bumps and bruises, maybe some strained muscles, but breaking bones, causing serious injury?

Maybe we should work on pain reception at a lower level of practice ... it is an excellent way to teach you how to not cross margins of safety.

Bruce Baker
08-25-2002, 08:14 AM
Serious injurys are not acceptable.

Train as lower levels of intensity.

Apply techniques until pain is felt.

Learn the margins of safety.

Clear your mind so you don't have a lapse in attention or fall prey to the animalistic behavior of dominance over attackers.

08-25-2002, 10:04 AM
As one of my instructors put it, "this isn't knitting class". So I would agree that a certain amount of bumps and bruises are to be expected.

Having said that, I would not train in an environment where it would be "expected" that I would suffer an injury that would keep me off the mat for two weeks or longer. There certainly are risks for any physical activity, and certainly risks involved in aikido, but to my way of thinking a training environment should be constructed to minimize any serious injury. There are certainly enough modern equipment to make such an environment, IMO (ie crash mats, general physical conditioning, protective gear --- like mouth guards, cups, and good old common sense)

While I have seen serious injuries in aikido, bjj and judo, they were all completely unexpected and of the "unfortunate once in a lifetime" event.



08-25-2002, 08:54 PM
Whoa. I'd like to see 'serious injuries necessary' in a class brochure...or briefed to the insurance company. :eek:

08-25-2002, 11:43 PM
Do mat insurance cover visitors? Or do we really put ourselves at risk when we visit other dojos since personal insurance doesn't cover martial arts.

08-26-2002, 04:45 AM
wow, your health insurance doesn't cover sports injuries, or specifically excludes MA?

Anat Amitay
08-26-2002, 05:22 AM
I don't think that one is insured when visiting another dojo. where I practice the insurance is included in the monthly payment, but I don't know about visitors.

On the other hand, this will not keep me from visiting other places.

After all, it's life. no one said you will get hurt.

You cross the street numerous times a day, do you get run over every time? ( I hope not!):freaky:

But still, some people do not like to take chances with 'Murphies Laws'... somehow, you can never beat them...!!!


08-26-2002, 08:20 AM
IMHO, "serious" injuries are not "necessary". As we train and learn, we often get injuried, recover, and return. Usually you can tell a "martial artist" over one who "studies the martial arts" by their willingness to accept injuries as part of training. Train safely.

Until again,


08-26-2002, 11:13 AM
I'm with Bruce and Lynn, and I really enjoyed Bruce's post. Fear of being injured limits your ability to train hard. Knowing that you have a chance to get injured and not being concerned is just stupid. Part of what we learn in AiKiDo is how to train hard AND safe. In part, this is because of the philosophical underpinnings (if we can't protect each other on the mat, how will we protect anyone out in the RealWorld). In part, it is just plain practical good sense. Of course, that's what I like about the philosophy of AiKiDo. It sounds like a bunch of touchy-feely hogwash, but in the end you learn that it is just practical good sense.

08-27-2002, 04:13 AM
Any injury reduces the time available for training. To me aikido isn't about 'realism in training', it's about neurological body conditioning. In any martial art attacks and defence are formalised since beneficial techniques cannot be developed by an attacker constantly changing his attack type in response to us.


Ta Kung
08-27-2002, 04:45 AM
I usually tell the newbies that if you don't have bruises around your wrist after doing taino henko, your uke is a wuss. :D

Ok, I'm just kidding. But I guess some pain in the wrists are acceptable. Especially during the first months. Or after helping a newbie correcting his nikkyo... man do they use more force than necessary! :eek:



Bruce Baker
08-27-2002, 06:12 AM
If you are not damaging the muscles or tendons but properly depressing the pressure points on the wrists, there will never be any marks ... pressure points don't leave marks or bruises.

I hate to be a stickler for grasping techniques, but you should be able to firmly control without a death grip ... just like shifting position on your jo without losing grip or control of that piece of wood.

It is comparitively the same for grasps in Aikido ... or so said in concensus of nearly every instructor who practices with jo, bokken, and translates practice into hand to hand.

Restaint is not always accomplished by brute strength.

08-28-2002, 02:11 AM
I'd definately differentiate between superficial damage (light bruising, scratches etc) and damage that causes you loss of function (muscle/ligament tears, breaks etc) - the former being acceptable in training. I'd also say that a good punch in the face is useful training since it shows you the effect it has - however the dojo is maybe not the best place to do this.


P.S. yonkyo often makes my wrists 'buzz' for a couple of days afterwards, but I don't see this as 'injury'.

Ta Kung
08-29-2002, 03:14 AM
you should be able to firmly control without a death grip

I did use the :D after that statement, you know... :rolleyes:



mike lee
08-29-2002, 04:55 AM
As far as I know, serious injuries primarily occur under two conditions:

1. The teacher is not properly qualified to be teaching aikido.

2. The student does not follow a qualified teacher's instructions.

P.S. Two of my students got serious injuries last semester; one broke his wrist and the other ruptured his Achilles tendon -- both got hurt playing basketball. (They watch too much NBA over here so they play too rough.) No aikido for those guys for quite some time and it really made me mad because they were my best uke. :mad: (I told them not to play basketball ...)

Jim ashby
08-30-2002, 08:42 AM
I've stated out of this one until I could think about various terms. I now feel that "serious" injury is one that keeps one off the mat. "Necessary" is unambiguous. I do not think that any injury that keeps one from training is necessary or even desireable. However, I feel that there should be a realisation from your training that this is a martial art. That, to me, means that there is a level of pain, tiredness, soreness after training etc etc. If you can come off the mat and believe that "yeah, it's very pretty but it'd never really work" you are doing yourself and your chosen art a disservice.

I have had injuries (broken toes mostly)but I have also had the usage of Ukemi to save my life, without training hard I probably would not have been able to fall and save myself. Sorry it's a bit rambling but no, I don't think that serious injuries are necessary.

Have fun