View Full Version : How to train during recovery?

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Erik Young
03-27-2003, 09:51 AM
Well, It's been two months since I started training again. Truly a wonderful time...my body and soul were like " Ahhhhh...this is what's been missing."

However, in a cruel twist of fate, my body has sabotaged my efforts. Well...sorta.. (I'm feeling a little melodramatic this morning, dunno why.)

I have an arthritic condition called "gout." Have had it since I was about 16. Wiht this, I get inflammation in my joints 9originally in my right toe...but has moved to other joints over the years) perioducally. The inflammation is painful and at its worst will sideline me for a few ays until it clears up.

Here's the problem. Right when I started back with Aikido, I got a really severe attack in my left knee. First time for that joint. Generally, a bad attack lasts about 3 days. No more than five.

This one has been going on near 3 weeks now. I went to the Dr. we did some tests, took some xrays...ruled out lyme's disease, rheumatism, etc. Went to an orthopedist (sp?) and had lot sof fluid tkaen from knee along with steroids injections (gotta tell ya, not th emost fun thing I've ever done.) Hell, had to do it twice.

Anyway, it looks liek we're finally getting throught he gout attack, but now there is a new problem. Because I was unable to fully move my knee (it was only marginally comfortable in a few set positions), my tendons have contracted in that knee...so I can't fully contract my left leg nore fully extyend it.

This means I need to go through a month of physical therapy to regain range of motion and strength.....NO aikido. By the time I get back, it'll be almost two months out.

Here's my question (sorry for the long set up...just had to vent a little I guess).

what can I do as far as training while I work out my knee? What can I do to improve...even if I can;t do a lot of physical movements?

Or...am I up the creek without valid means of navigation and transit?

Anyway, thanks in advance for whatever help the community can provide.


03-27-2003, 11:20 AM
I find practicing stillness a useful complement to physical movement.

03-27-2003, 12:51 PM
Talk to your therapist. A lot of times they can work with your existing physical activity to get you back to where you want to be.

Good luck to you.

03-27-2003, 01:37 PM
Talk to your sensei and tell him what's up. Ask him if you could practice techniques from a chair for a while. You won't be able to move around but it will probably do wonders for teaching you to lead uke's center. Failing that see if the sensei/sempai can work with you on finding a way to modify the technique into something you can do. Heck, you could even just practice getting the proper hand grip for the techniques... something is better than nothing. As long as it doesn't aggravate the condition. If it bothers your knee it's better to take the time off so you can practice to the level you want later.

But that's just me ;)


03-27-2003, 03:36 PM
Perhaps get hold of some nice videotapes you can watch. I never can find the time to look at the tapes and clips I've got, but if I HAD to sit still like you have to do, then I guess I would spend some time looking at those.

However nothing beats mat-time, so I hope you get well soon.

03-27-2003, 10:24 PM
Disclaimer: Lots of ki crap to follow. If you feel the need, you may avert your eyes now. Consider yourself warned. :)

Ah, a subject dear to my heart...

I just got back on the mat a month ago, after breaking my clavicle in a bad roll at the end of July, then rebreaking it a month after stepping back on the mat in October (I came back a bit too soon, and my clavicle didn't like that :disgust: ).

For all of this time (in total, a period of six months off the mat) I came to nearly every class (2 hours, three nights a week) and watched, which kept everything fresh in my mind. For the two-month period after the first break, I could think of nothing but getting back on the mat, and didn't do much in the way of finding things to work on off the mat. After the second break, however, my sensei leant me a book on ki training (A Road that Anyone Can Walk: Ki (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0870407996/qid%3D1048824298/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/104-7154506-7403909) ) that had excellent descriptions of breathing and meditation exercises, and just some great concepts to think about (at least in the first half. At one point it gets a little high-and-mighty and preachy *shrug*). I worked on posture, breathing, relaxation, ki extension in normal activities (eg walking down the street and connecting with the people walking around me), keeping weight low, and a host of other things, just taking a moment to pay attention to them once in a while. I also started running through jiyu waza in my head ("All right, so from this attack, if I enter inside deep, I can do this and this and this..."), doing something like the visualization training that some athletes do. And when I got back on the mat, not only was I hardly rusty at all (just a little atrophied), I was actually better in technique than I had been before (less muscle, more flow, better timing). I didn't do so much as a single ki exercise or tai sabaki while off the mat--no physical practice at all--and still I had improved through all the other things I was doing.

Technique isn't the only way to practice Aikido... but I'm sure you already knew that. ;)

Good luck, and feel better!