View Full Version : Newbie Pains

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03-31-2003, 01:11 PM

I'm fairly new to Aikido and have begun to take classes at a local dojo. After completing my first class (1 hour) on Friday I am having bad leg cramps and very tight muscle pain. I've been trying massage to loosen things up, which has helped a bit, but the overall pain is still there. My concern is that I am scheduled to have class again tonight (2 hours - 1 hour of orientation) and I don't know how I'll be able to even keep the required stances and train. Any suggestions on things to do would be appreciated. I'm assuming this is normal for someone who is somewhat out of shape and exercising muscles which haven't been used much. Does this typically go away with Aikido training or is it wiser to sit out until the muscles recover? Thanks for any wisdom.


03-31-2003, 02:32 PM
Welcome to aikido, and all its associated aches and pains, Joseph :D

I remember starting on a Monday and by the time my next class on the following Wed. happened I could still hardly move my legs. When I got to class the two other people who had started with me on Monday were in the same boat. The pain goes away as your body gets used to it and the required muscles grow stronger. Do your best but don't push yourself to the point of injury. Aikido is about learning to "feel & listen" to what is happening around you, this should also apply to what is happening IN you.

Train safe,


Kung Fu Liane
04-01-2003, 07:23 AM
well, my teacher always said there are two type of pain, good pain and bad pain. good pain is that dull achey pain that you get after a hard session, or when you first start training. bad pain is a sharp pain, the kind you get from injuries. i would say that unless you're getting bad pain, you're probably just gonna have to try and work through it, 'cos it will get better. that isn't to say you should train excessively to try and get over the pain quickly, it might just land you with injuries. if you're training 2 or 3 times a week, with a day or so of rest inbetween sessions, you should be ok.

i think everyone who's trainined in some martial art can probably tell you stories about their first six months of training...the days after you've trained really hard, and you wake up with jelly legs, unable to walk downstairs without clinging to a bannister :)

i've been told the best thing to do is some gentle streching (the same ones you do in class should be fine) about an hour before you go to bed

kung fu hamster
04-01-2003, 08:54 AM
I think our teacher would call it 'conditioning pain' or something like that. I have even noticed that I heal up quicker these days if something does happen (bruise blossoms, etc.), and my back is certainly tougher - it isn't that I can take the falls any more gracefully or correctly, but my body must have toughened up enough so I don't crack like an egg on impact. Maybe after enough 'conditioning pain' I'll even be able to grow a new finger if the old one breaks off....like a lizard...


04-01-2003, 01:36 PM
... it isn't that I can take the falls any more gracefully or correctly, but my body must have toughened up enough so I don't crack like an egg on impact.Hi Linda. I have found your back on a lot of different threads now.... :D

My teacher says that each time the body falls onto the mat, there is an intense, brief spasmotic contraction in our body's muscles, followed by a relaxation as the force of the fall transfers away from the body. Repetition of this activity would only serve to tone up the muscles that "contract on impact", so we get to feel like we're toughening up. Makes sense to me.

Add the extra exercise of Standing Up and the body becomes conditioned after a few months of class, just like you had been going to the gym two or three times a week and lifting weights. I would love to see the machine that would allow people to get this kind of conditioning at the gym. (Might look like a catapult....)

Jim Vance

kung fu hamster
04-01-2003, 04:21 PM
Hi Jim,

Yes, my back seems to cover quite a lot of territory. :D
And I believe the machine you just might be looking for would be akin to an aikido trebuchet...

John Boswell
04-02-2003, 11:13 AM
Two things:

1) Stretch. (You can never stretch too much.)

2) Cal-Mag aka Calcium/Magnisium. Muscles need calcium as do your bones and joints. A lack of it can cause cramping up. The magnisium (forgive me, I don't spell... just type ;) ) helps your body to absorb the calcium and take it in, use it, distribute it.

After a good, fast and hard class, I'll go home and take two cal-mag tablets and when I wake up the morning I find that I feel like mush. (that's good!) You can get tablets or powder forms, but give it a try. It helps!

kung fu hamster
04-02-2003, 11:47 AM
Here's a valuable tip...do not console yourself with Krispy Kreme donuts...I did this last night and woke up with pains in every joint in my body...

04-02-2003, 09:54 PM
Mmmmm....Krispy Kreme donuts.... Just the thing for a self-induced sugar coma. BTW, how many can you inhale in one sitting? :)

kung fu hamster
04-02-2003, 10:49 PM
You don't want to know...I wouldn't want to frighten you...!!


Joseph Huebner
04-07-2003, 11:34 PM
Welcome Joseph!

Hey, welcome to Aikido! I'm a three-month newbie and I can say with all validity I do feel your pain! I have and am still there to a degree.

You are going to hurt because you've stretched muscles beyond their usual range of motion and use. Aiki-taiso exercises are foreign to our newbie bodies. The major muscle groups you'll find painful are the quads and your gluts. The tops of my feet ache from sitting in seiza for short periods of time. (Waaa, Waaa... I know, I know...)

Seriously now... DO NOT push yourself to match the abilities of others. I have been reminded by fellow students and instructors that they were beginners once, too! You will notice the first few classes are a bit painful, but it does, and will get easier.

Leg cramps are caused by a buildup of lactic acid, and electrolyte imbalance of calcium vs. potassium. I eat a banana after working out or walking. In cases of severe cramps and muscle ache try a ice message. Work ice on the affected muscle till it gets really, REALLY cold. This is uncomfortable, believe me. First the blood vessels will constrict as a reaction to the cold. This is a temporary response, because the body will try to warm up the localized cold by dialating the blood vessels in the affected area, increasing blood flow. This is what you want. Increased blood flow helps remove the lactic acid which contributes to leg cramps. Hey, it works for me.

Joseph Huebner

Joseph Huebner
04-08-2003, 06:32 PM
Ok, on another thread I was corrected in regards to my ice message. In my experience, this has helped me with quite a few acute muscle injuries sustained on the job.

I was prescribed this treatment by a ER doctor who is also an athelete. Kindly disregard the technical yada yada mentioned by me earlier. I'm only a paramedic, so I should respond like one.

Take it easy, if it hurts ice & elevate.

Although I cannot prescribe pain relievers, I use ibuprofen. Works for me. Could work for you, too!

Sorry for trying to dazzle you all with my medical brilliance. Honest mistake made and hopefully corrected. That's why we only have a license to "practice" paramedic skills.

Joseph Huebner