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TheU2Fly
03-05-2003, 09:33 PM
Ok, so I'm having trouble with the manner in which my body is behaving since I've began learning ukemi. Mainly my joints are all sore, more specifically my shoulders, my left one mostly. See the very first time I tried a forward roll on my left side I lost control and landed on the top of my shoulder. The pain has since subsided buy not completly, it still feels sore, mind you this has only been a week and I'm no doctor. Since that happened I've kept going to the dojo, just trying to be careful with my left side. I was just wondering if anyone else had ever had similar shoulder pain and if so, how long it took to vacate the premises.

Also I was wondering if anyone had any particular excercises or anything to help build up my knees. sitting in seiza for a couple of minutes makes my knees feel like they've just come back from hiking and forgot to tell me they where going.

thanks in advance...:)

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2003, 09:52 PM
Sorry you are having a rough time starting...we all seem to go through that too.

My advice...take it easy, you are probably watching experienced students who are going full bore and trying to do the same or similar.

I would go real slow and get down on your knees and do "baby rolls" etc. until you build up conditioning and skill to do more and bigger ones.

as far as sitting in seiza....well the only thing I can tell you is sit in seiza for practice! Just do it for a few minutes then take a break, then do it some more. Never sit until you feel pain, after a while you will be able to sit longer and longer.

I've been doing aikido for about 6 years and I am now approaching 40 fast....I can tell you and from others I have talked to, that typically the way we do aikido...Aikido is not the easiest thing to do to your body.

I am finding that as I do get better though, it does get easier and less "jarring". (I am also going slower and more easy going)

Advice: Take it slow and easy...in the long run you will get better!

TheU2Fly
03-05-2003, 10:00 PM
Thanks for your kind words....come to think of it that makes sense. I think maybe I'm just so enthusiastic about learning AiKiDo that I'm all reved up and trying to get ahead of myself...

I guess it's just that it's been a while since I've felt passionate about something...so when I stumbled upon AiKiDo and all it's wonderful entrapments i got overzelous...I should follow my own advice and just breathe...

it's funny how it's the simple things that we make so complex...

aarjan
03-06-2003, 02:00 AM
Advice on rolling: take it slow and make yourself as small and round as you can.

When I started aikido some 4 years ago, one of the senior students gave me this advice and I pass it on to new students. I worked great for me: Every day when watching television or reading the papers sit in seiza. First for a few minutes (or one, or less) at the time. If seiza feels to painfull (as was by me) put a pillow between your heels and your bottom. This reduces the stress on your legs. When feel you can relax with the pillow and stay seated for a few minutes, remove the pillow or use a thinner one.

Come to think about it, I should start praticing it again. Tamura sensei's seminar is in April and he usually does his warming up in seiza (half an hour or so...)

erikmenzel
03-06-2003, 02:39 AM
Relax and enjoy what is comming towards you. Everything you will learn in aikido will take time. Dont ruine your good time by being very focussed on doing everything right from day one, because that is a very unrealistic goal. Do your best instead and remember to enjoy it.:D

Advice on rolling is very hard to give on a forum such as this. It is easy to give wrong advice but one also cannot control the way the advice in interpretted. Maybe some small pointers can be given to people who already mastered rolling in some degree, but for people who don't have any experience (and frankly first time rolling one week ago means no experience) should be taught how to roll by their teacher or sempai. As with all other things in aikido, one learns by doing, not by knowing.

My advice on rolling would be: go to the dojo and ask someone to help you and then practice practice and practice.

As for sitting in seiza, that is just getting used to. If it feels to painfull just go to the dojo again and have one of the sempai wacht you when you sit in seiza, just to elliminate the possibility of you sitting in a really funny way.

ian
03-06-2003, 06:34 AM
Watch out for that sore shoulder - give it plenty of rest. However don't be discouraged about doing ukemi. Do more backward ukemis, and when your shoulder has healed do forward ukemi from kneeling - making sure you really tuck your shoulder under.

Unfortunately fear of rolling is one thing that stops people tucking their body underneath, and is one of the main reasons for injuring your shoulder.

Build up gradually and don't worry - it will come and it is painless when you do it properly.

TheU2Fly
03-06-2003, 08:07 AM
Thanks for all the advice, I will definately take it to heart.

Qatana
03-06-2003, 09:24 AM
Is there numbness at all?

I did the same thing to my shoulder in the same way in my third week of training.The parts of my chest that weren't in agony went totally numb, no muscle control. nothing until I saw my chiropractor 24 hours later.Five hours after that the bruise showed up, covered most of my torso.

Have you had it looked at since it still hurts? Nerve damage is a possibility...

Its been two months now & I am once again doing baby rolls. On my good side anyway...

For seiza, yes a pillow under your butt keeps the weight off your knees. Also play with where you put your knees-maybe too far apart or close together.

Now if i could only stop dropping things on my feet right before class...

Q

www.knot-working.com

Jonathan
03-06-2003, 10:03 AM
May I suggest rolling up your arm to your shoulder? Your shoulder should not be the first thing that contacts the mat as you move forward into your roll. Begin at the outside tip of the little finger of your lead arm and from there begin to roll up to your shoulder. Extend your lead arm in as circular a fashion as possible. My teacher told me to orient my arms as though I was hugging a barrel. If you do this correctly your lead elbow should be pointing forward along the line of your roll, not to the side of your body. As you do all this lower yourself to the mat by lengthening your stance. Don't topple forward like a felled tree (at least not as a beginner still learning to roll). Done slowly and correctly, this way of moving into your roll should alleviate any shoulder impact. There is alot more to a good roll than I have stated here, but I think these few things I've mentioned should help get you on the right track.

Normally, I don't let new students do standing rolls until they can do kneeling rolls with some proficiency. As some have already said, this is probably the course you should follow.

Welcome to Aikido!

Bronson
03-06-2003, 12:04 PM
I'm with Erik on this one. It's too difficult to try to give ukemi advice on the forums. Ask the sensei/sempai for help...that's what they're there for.

As for the shoulder I'd have it looked at if possible and definitely let it rest. A month or so after I started I seperated the AC joint in my right shoulder because I THOUGHT I had a good handle on kneeling ukemi and tried one on a hard floor. Slammed my shoulder into the floor and injured it. I lived with the pain (and there was a lot of it) for a few months. Finally after re-injuring it several times I sucked up my pride and went to the doctor. After x-rays and such he told me what I had done and that the remedy was to immobilize it for a week. I had lived with months of pain because I was too stubborn to take a week off and let my injury heal. I'll never do that again. Now when I get an injury I take the time to let it heal properly before jumping back in. Aikido training is great and all but it's not worth a lifetime of limping or not being able to raise your arms over your head.

But that's just me :)

Bronson

Qatana
03-06-2003, 04:15 PM
When I was i karate i got so fed up with the Instructors coming to class taped up I put a sign on the dojo wall:

If It Hurts Now, Ice It

If It Hurts Tomorrow

Get IT XRAYED

TheU2Fly
03-06-2003, 11:08 PM
THe shoulder is feeling much better and I'm not doing any rolls on my left side, just back falls until i feel 100%

I can't afford the possibility to have chronic pain for the rest of my life.

Oh yeah and the pillow thing for seiza works really well, what i was doing wrong here was sitting as long as i could stand it, (no pun intended) sometimes i couldn't even feel my feet...now i'm building up as Aarjan mentioned, little by little....

Has anyone ever seen the movie What about Bob? "baby steps...baby steps.."

TheU2Fly
03-06-2003, 11:13 PM
Is there numbness at all?

I did the same thing to my shoulder in the same way in my third week of training.The parts of my chest that weren't in agony went totally numb, no muscle control. nothing until I saw my chiropractor 24 hours later.Five hours after that the bruise showed up, covered most of my torso.

Have you had it looked at since it still hurts? Nerve damage is a possibility...

Its been two months now & I am once again doing baby rolls. On my good side anyway...

For seiza, yes a pillow under your butt keeps the weight off your knees. Also play with where you put your knees-maybe too far apart or close together.

Now if i could only stop dropping things on my feet right before class...

Q

www.knot-working.com
There's was no numbness as you mentioned, there wasn't even a bruise, just an achey feeling like if the muscles where swollen or something, anyways its much better now. thank heavans....

Jermaine Alley
03-10-2003, 12:58 AM
Hey,

It is funny that you posted this..i recently injured my shoulder at my winter camp. Alright, i did it warming up trying to test my flying roll capabilities. I didnt keep unbendable arm while rolling over three individuals and slammed into the matt shoulder first. The doctor said that i had a bruised rotator cup...hurt like hell. In any event he told me to take four tablets of aleeve a day for a few weeks. Definitely take it easy on your left side.

If youare still a "newby" at rolling, you might want to stick with taking your forward rolls from your knees. Then move up to standing rolls after you got it down all the way...take care of that shoulder...

j

Jermaine Alley
03-10-2003, 01:00 AM
oh, almost forgot.

try doing leg extensions from time to time to build up the cartiledge (sp?) in there. Since we spend a lot of time on our knees, you might want to do something to keep them nice and strong....

j

TheU2Fly
03-10-2003, 11:34 AM
I'm difinately taking it easy on my left side, making sure to tell anyone i take ukemi for that it's injured so they can watch out for me. Funny thing is that at the end of class i feel it less, guess it's cause of all the streching. Oh, and as for the leg extentions should i do heavy weights with low reps or light weights with high reps??

thanks for the help..

Jorge

paw
03-10-2003, 01:01 PM
Oh, and as for the leg extentions should i do heavy weights with low reps or light weights with high reps??

Forget leg extentions. Instead perform lunges, squats and squat variations (box, hack, high bar, zercher, dumbbell, overhead, etc....) If you're new to these movements, keep rep ranges in the 8-12 range, and have someone who knows what they're doing coach you until you have the form down.

Joseph Huebner
03-11-2003, 07:47 AM
Greetings Jorge:

I'm a newbie too, having problems with the left shoulder in particular. After my first attempt rolling forward on the left side, my awkward attempt was followed by a generous supply of pain and discomfort. By not knowing how, I allowed my body weight of 235 plus the forward momentum to force a collision between the mat and my left shoulder! This is bad.

To keep from hurting myself further, I am resting my shoulder, and putting alot of concentration in breaking down the movements at home. This is what I've learned:

My left arm was naturally extending itself out to break the fall. As I sit here and type, I can see how my elbow is extended too far out. Second, my head is not tucked to the right side. My first attempt caused pain, so subconsciously I am looking at my left shoulder. You can't tuck properly and look at the same time. This sets up the left shoulder to "plow" into the mat. OUCH!

Third... Hmm... I am hesitating when I roll. I should let the momentum flow, instead I am performing ukemi in two, sometimes three periods of momentum when there should be only one.

Although awkward, I am slowly getting better. I keep telling myself "I'm a beginner! I'm a beginner!"

Hope this helps you, from one newbie to another.

Joseph Huebner

TheU2Fly
03-12-2003, 10:26 AM
Hey Joseph, it's nice to know that i'm not the only one banging my shoulder into the mat...i was wondering how your shoulder was feeling and how long ago the injury was...this is just so i can use this as a reference to my own since i still feel discomfort in my left shoulder....there's another interesting side effect, when i wake up the pain is quite prominent forcing me to do some streching in order to loosen it up...i messed it up about 3 weeks ago and am wondering if i tore something and if i should get it checked out...mind you the pain isn't unbearable, it just gets in the way...

thanks again...

Jorge

Joseph Huebner
03-12-2003, 08:34 PM
Jorge:

I plowed my left shoulder the first time in early February. Right now I am pain free without any limits on my range of motion.

I am still favoring my shoulder to assure that everything is alright. I quit working out for two weeks to avoid any further injury, and have asked my nage to allow me to walk through a left-sided throw, or do the right side.

My recommendation is to favor the shoulder. If you work out, either quit or limit any reps that involve the structure/muscle groups involved. Second, if you are having persistant problems I implore you to see a doctor. You really don't want to let any joint injury go un-treated and cause further injury. Please don't ignore what your body is telling you.

Paramedic's orders...

Joseph

TheU2Fly
03-12-2003, 09:42 PM
I am definately watching out for my left shoulder, and if it does persist i will get it checked out...but for now i enjoy going to class too much so i'll just either backfall or only do right forward rolls.....don't get me wrong i will go to a docter if this persists...i mean i don't want to jeopordize my shoulder and my training.....

Jorge

Qatana
03-12-2003, 09:53 PM
Hi guys

Well I don't know about the side dominance thing- I'm right handed & hurt my right shoulder. it was badly subluxated & all I did was put my shoulder to the mat...clearly not correctly!

I did these exercises for several weeks, didn't work out for about three and now 9 weeks later have almost full range of motion- but i was really flexible in the shoulders to begin with.

http://www.sportsmed.buffalo.edu/info/sublux2.html

Now I am taking backward ukemi on both sides, having to ask nage to pin me if they are being "too"gentle & forward rolling on both sides comfortably.

It really doesn't take all that long. And I'm in my forties, you may be much younger- be careful now!Your shoulders have to last. And yes, you should get it checked.

Q

knot-working.com

DaveForis
03-21-2003, 11:16 AM
Jorge,

I'm with Jo on this one. Sounds like your shoulder HAS been hurting for a while now. I was taking ukemi before class once. My sensei threw me for a breakfall, and unfortunately I had a massive migraine, so I was all tensed up and couldn't concentrate (This is a lesson in itself. Practicing while in pain does NOT help your concentration, technique, or ukemi.) I ended up landing square on top of my shoulder. I think if I'd been 100 lbs heaver, I'd have broke it, but instead I ended up getting a shoulder stinger, or a compression of the nerver (I think.) It obviously sucked. But I continued training for the next two or three weeks trying to take it easy (even though I couldn't raise that arm above my shoulder.) It wasn't until a friend told me how a friend of hers had the same thing, but continued training (this person was a dancer and she was practicing hard for a recital or something that was coming up in 6 weeks.) After it, she had it looked at, and it turned out she ended up with scar tissue on that nerve. She was still in physical therapy six months later.

After that, I stopped training for a while to let my shoulder heal completely. Guess what, though? Stingers heal in about a week if you don't train for a while. Because I kept training, mine took TWO.

I dunno what you have, but it's a good bet that the best thing for it is to sit out for a bit until you don't feel any pain and have a doc look at it.

Gabriel O'Brien
03-21-2003, 01:47 PM
Hi Jorge!

I too experienced some shoulder problems when I first started doing forward rolls. For me this was mostly a sign (and I didn't realize it at the time) that I was rolling badly and putting way too much pressure on my shoulder. What worked for me was to begin to visualize it more as a flip onto my back than a roll over my shoulder. Now when I roll the first part of my torso that touches the mat is the back of my shoulder blade.

Of course what works for me might not work for you, I learned this the hard way by trying to emulate one of my instructors' ukemi (she's an average sized woman, I'm a big man -- probably 1.75x her mass).

Unfortunately the way I learned this was by doing about about 100 forward rolls in a row and by the time I was at 50 or so my shoulders were so sore that I started "cheating" and flipping over onto my back instead of over my shoulder. Right around then my Sensei goes "Hey, your rolls aren't looking so bad now!" I was in pain for a week, but I haven't had any problems with front rolls since!

As far as the joints being sore and so on, I think that's just something that goes away with time. When I first started I couldn't sit in seiza for 30 seconds, now 10-15 minutes can go by while my Sensei tells an anecodte or explains a concept and I barely notice. If find a really good pre-stretch (even before your formal warm-up) really helps a lot.

Best of luck!

cheers,
Gabe

TheU2Fly
03-21-2003, 09:27 PM
Jorge,

I'm with Jo on this one. Sounds like your shoulder HAS been hurting for a while now. I was taking ukemi before class once. My sensei threw me for a breakfall, and unfortunately I had a massive migraine, so I was all tensed up and couldn't concentrate (This is a lesson in itself. Practicing while in pain does NOT help your concentration, technique, or ukemi.) I ended up landing square on top of my shoulder. I think if I'd been 100 lbs heaver, I'd have broke it, but instead I ended up getting a shoulder stinger, or a compression of the nerver (I think.) It obviously sucked. But I continued training for the next two or three weeks trying to take it easy (even though I couldn't raise that arm above my shoulder.) It wasn't until a friend told me how a friend of hers had the same thing, but continued training (this person was a dancer and she was practicing hard for a recital or something that was coming up in 6 weeks.) After it, she had it looked at, and it turned out she ended up with scar tissue on that nerve. She was still in physical therapy six months later.

After that, I stopped training for a while to let my shoulder heal completely. Guess what, though? Stingers heal in about a week if you don't train for a while. Because I kept training, mine took TWO.

I dunno what you have, but it's a good bet that the best thing for it is to sit out for a bit until you don't feel any pain and have a doc look at it.
I think i'm going to take your advice and sit out a week, even though i really don't want to, but still i can't deny that my shoulder still feels sore and that as you mentioned it i can only raise my shoulder above my arm with some dificulty. this really sucks but i don't want to mess with my body like that....then again i could always not only not take ukemi on my left but not do any techniques with my left...in other words how about if i pretend that it's out of commission for a week and not use it...not even to scratch my head???.....i know, i know... it's just that i don't want to stop...but i probably should...at least for a short while...stinger eh??? you bet it does....

thanks for the info, dave...and gabriel thanks for your advice as well...i greatly appriciate it..

best of luck

jorge

Bronson
03-22-2003, 12:55 AM
Jorge,

HAVE IT X-RAYED!!! Ok, rant mode off :D

Seriously though, have it looked at. Soft tissue damage can last a lifetime if you don't treat it properly. Missing one or two weeks of aikido, hell a few months is nothing when compared to a lifetime of pain and immobility. When I had to immoblize mine the doctor gave me a sling that had a strap that went around the body. It held my arm close to my body so I couldn't move it from the shoulder. If you absolutely refuse to get it looked at get one of these at least.

I just keep thinking of one of my training partners who dislocated his thumb in class. He "sucked it up" for a couple weeks then when the muscle at the base of his thumb swelled up like a baseball he decided to have it looked at. He ended up needing surgery because of the tendon damage he did by not having it taken care of immediately. He still (4 years later) doesn't have full range of motion or strength and probably never will. His doctor told him if he'd had it taken care of the day after it happened they would have put it back, immobilzed it for a few days and he'd have been back to normal.

Please don't let this happen to you :(

Bronson

TheU2Fly
03-26-2003, 11:12 AM
Ok..so I'm gonna get it checked out.

I know, I know...I got the sling just like you said Bronson and the discomfort is all but gone, yet sometimes it'll peek out and say hi and i'll say ouch...so i'm gonna get it checked out...i just hope it doesn't hinder my training...i'll keep you posted...

till then

Jorge