View Full Version : Poll: Have you ever suffered a concussion during aikido training?

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11-09-2003, 01:01 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of November 9, 2003:

Have you ever suffered a concussion during aikido training?

I don't do aikido
Yes, as nage
Yes, as uke
Yes, both as uke and nage

Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=193).

11-09-2003, 06:35 AM
No; I just act like I have one. :D

Tim Griffiths
11-09-2003, 06:37 AM
Wow...accidents happen, but 22% as uke?

I'm pretty strict about keeping the head

off the mat, both in forward/backward rolls

and when uke's on their back (i.e. end of

zagi kokyu ho/kokyu dosa). Actually, the head should never touch the mat (if you can, you can keep it off during the standard pins too).

I've seen one concussion from an uke collision, but that's all.

I'd be interested in hearing how these happen, and which style/type of practice they happen in.

Jun, you got concussion from an elbow on the head once, right? Is that a one off, or have you seen any more from your dojo?

Keep your heads,


11-09-2003, 10:42 AM
Jun, you got concussion from an elbow on the head once, right? Is that a one off, or have you seen any more from your dojo?
Yup -- the concussion that I got was from an elbow to the forehead. It was at a different dojo than the one I'm currently training, but I've heard one story of a concussion from someone at my current dojo (taking ukemi from ikkyo)...

-- Jun

Chuck Clark
11-09-2003, 02:17 PM
I can't remember. I was thrown on my head one time in 1967 during judo randori at the Keishicho that resulted in a concussion and loss of sight for about ten days. It's the worst injury I've had in fifty years of training.

Hasn't affected me since that I know of.. of... of .... of.....

11-09-2003, 02:51 PM
Never had one in aikido.

Had one in another place, about 25 years ago....

Went to karate, got kicked (beautifully) right on the temple, kinda stunned me....

after the karate class, went behind the curtain and onto the mats for a 2 hour judo class, still a bit shaky....

stepped in for a tai-otoshi, put my right foot off the mat (obviously concussed), slipped and my partner landed right on my head..woke up in hospital. Damn do those doctors get preachy?

Concussion can (sometimes) happen in stages. We need good training partners.

11-09-2003, 05:40 PM
I'm in the unfortunate position of having had two concussions in my 4.5 years training.

The first was about 3 years ago when someone was I was thrown doing iriminage and someone else was thrown onto my head - really shows the importance of awareness and throwing towards the outside of the mat. That one was really bad and I had nearly a month of work with chronic headaches, memory loss, concentration difficulties, etc. Not to mention the fact that I can't even remember my 4th kyu test which I sat a few days after getting my clearance!!! What was really annoying was the other guy had "a slight headache". Three years later I still have problems - migraines and concentration difficulties, especially when I'm tired.

The second occurred when we were doing ushiro ukemi practice and someone was pushed out of the way of another student and straight into my head. Not so severe this time thank goodness.

Both of these injuries could have been avoided if people were more aware on the mat. To my knowledge I am the only person in my dojo to have suffered a concussion, let alone two.

11-09-2003, 08:03 PM
well, i pretend to have one when i'm really tired and sensei is nearby:D

had a real one during my old TKD days. spar during the tournament with some marines who punched me at the protector but somehow i felt dizzy and pain in my chest. fell down for few seconds and the ref's declare him to win by KO :dead:

Paul Klembeck
11-09-2003, 11:07 PM
Not only have I never had one, but in thousands of trainings, I have never seen anyone receive one. The 13% figure currently displayed is therefore quite amazing. Since I can't beleive people are making this up, the only explanation I can think of is that there are a lot more unsafe dojos out there than I would have expected.

Are there other explanations for this high figure? What unsafe practices do people think might lead to such a high figure?

Jeanne Shepard
11-09-2003, 11:47 PM
Those of you who have had more than one need to be especially carefully. Brain injuries can be cummulative, as football players are finding out, and the more you have, the more serious the long term damage can be. I've never gotten one in 6 years os Aikido training, but racked up a couple in my horseback riding days...


11-10-2003, 06:43 AM
Yeh - can be lots of long term psychological and other problems with head injuries that aren't initially apparent - this is why demonstration knock-outs should not be done on the head.

I've knocked someone out by doing a ukemi into their kidney area whilst they were kneeling down. It wasn't hard at all and they just fell forwards like a sack of spuds. Managed to revive them OK.


Ron Tisdale
11-10-2003, 10:38 AM
I don't know for sure it was a concussion, but it was one of the hardest throws (as uke) I've ever experienced. After class, I questioned one of the senior students about a technique we were doing (katate mochi, sokumen iriminage). He asked me to grab his wrist and push. I did, and he said 'no, really push!' I did, and when I woke up, he was staring down at me asking if I was alright.

Lesson # 1, don't ask questions

Lesson # 2, don't grab his wrist

Lesson # 3, NEVER push harder than you can fall...


Jun, I think you know who was shite... :)


11-10-2003, 12:23 PM
Jun, I think you know who was shite... :)
I think I just received a piece of e-mail from him recently...

In any case, here are some symptoms of a concussion:

"The symptoms that will usually immediately follow a concussion may include a headachy feeling, abnormal sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, lack of feeling or emotion, anxiety, blurred vision, vomiting, and the inability to remember events prior to the injury. If the period of unconsciousness is prolonged the symptoms may be more persistent and severe. In cases of repeated concussion such as that found in boxers, damage to the brain, impaired concentration, slurred speech, slow thinking and the punch drunk syndrome are possible."



"The acute symptoms of concussion have been examined in prospective studies. The only validated symptoms are amnesia, loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, attentional deficit, and nausea.6-8 Headache, of course, is not confined to concussion--up to 50% of athletes report exercise-related headaches.9,10

"In addition, a wide variety of anecdotal symptoms (eg, vacant stare, irritability, emotional lability, impaired coordination, sleep disturbance, noise or light intolerance, lethargy, behavioral disturbance, and altered sense of taste or smell)11 may be encountered in concussed athletes. The prognostic significance of these symptoms is unknown, although they are widely cited by clinicians. Symptom aggravation with altitude, atmospheric pressure, and high ambient temperature are also anecdotally described. One area of concern that has not been studied in detail is after apparent recovery when deficits may still be evident if subjects are assessed during physiologic stress.12"


-- Jun

Janet Rosen
11-10-2003, 01:13 PM
The thing I would add to what Jun listed is that even in a "minor" head injury, some of the symptoms may persist for quite a while. It is reassuring, if 4 or 6 months after you have had a concussion, you are having mood swings or headaches, that there is a REAL organic reason for it; you are not having a psychological problem.

For anybody having ongoing long term symptoms (migraines, cognitive changes) there is ongoing research with biofeedback and brainwaves that is showing good results, and I encourage you to search locally for a practitioner/researcher. (BTW, I am NOT involved with or affiliated with any of these folks. I was at one time an acute rehab RN, and my husband had a severe concussion many yrs ago.) Links




Karen Wolek
11-10-2003, 01:25 PM
Not yet, but I have time.

Ron Tisdale
11-10-2003, 02:23 PM
And the most important thing...If you even have a suspicion that you have just had a concussion...do NOT allow yourself to get another one right after. Most severe injuries seem to occur with multiple incidents in a short time span.


11-10-2003, 05:30 PM
I had 7 during a three year period, but not in Aikido at all.. 1 falling off a cliff (ended up with amnesia), 6 more playing rugby in the three following years.

I certainly got paranoid about my head..

11-10-2003, 07:14 PM
Well, I've never had a concussion. I'm pretty sure I had alcohol poisoning once. 6 cups of everclear jungle juice, more than 6 beers, shots, and an entire 5th of Southern Comfort.. I'm glad I'm alive.

Anywhoo, I just came back from 6 weeks off due to a broken toe. This morning, I was going to work at the laboratory and a guy didn't see me going 65 mph down the road. He went through the intersection and I missed him, but took out a sign, flew off the road for about 20 ft before landing and eventually came to a stop. So after 6 wks out, 2 wks back, I now have whiplash and don't know how long that'll keep me out. Curse you injury gods!!! (Just kidding injury gods, please don't take offense, I'll leave something at the alter tonight!!)

11-11-2003, 09:20 AM

one of the things that most impressed me when I was thrown by Saito (as a beginner)was that he placed me perfectly on that mat (at extreme speed). There was no way I couldn't breakfall properly.


Robert Bodine
11-11-2003, 03:20 PM
I think the most common concussion is from two ukes rolling backward into each others heads. It hurts monstously and can cause blackouts for weeks afterward. The trouble is that it is also pretty hard to stop once things are in motion and since there isn't anyone in the spot where uke gets thrown, well, it is pretty hard to blame anyone.

It happens. Yes, to me, twice.

11-11-2003, 05:54 PM
This thread has been split with the posts not on the subject of concussions in aikido being moved here:



-- Jun

Ted Marr
11-14-2003, 12:57 PM
When I read someone interpreting those results (seemingly) to mean that 13% of all people who do Aikido get concussions, I just feel the need to step in...

Ah, the sad results of being an ex-social sciences geek...

This sample cannot be taken as a valid representation of the entire population without some MAJOR "if's"

IF a random sample of Aikidoka visit this site, and

IF of those proportion a random sample answer the questionairre,

IF people are only answering once.

then you can start to say that we have really high injury rates.

However, I would guess that only people who are kind of "hardcore" are visiting this site, and they are more likely to get injured than casual practitioners. Also, people who have gotten concussions are probably more likely to answer the survey. I don't think the 3rd is a significant source of bias, but it's in there...

So hopefully we don't actually have a 13% (or whatever it was) injury rate...

Another thing I found interesting was that we seem to have confirmation that injuries as uke, and injuries as nage are not independent events... in other words, the same people who are likely to get hit in the head as nage are more likely to hit their heads as uke. Go figure...

Fred Little
11-18-2003, 04:57 PM
Concussions Need at Least a Week to Heal - Study

Tue November 18, 2003 04:09 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An athlete who suffers a concussion may need a week or longer to recover and is at higher risk of being re-injured, a pair of studies said on Tuesday.

About 300,000 sport-related concussions occur each year in the United States, making the injury among the most common suffered by college football, ice hockey and soccer players.

A concussion occurs when a blow jostles the brain inside the skull, stretching and sometimes tearing nerve cells and often leading to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, memory problems, poor concentration and impaired balance.

full story at Reuters:


02-11-2010, 09:02 AM
yes...although I didn't know it for years as I was only getting mild concussions. Now in retrospect it is obvious. After 11 years I have decided to stop training, not worth the risk. Had serious vertigo, fatigue and irritability for years. And it wasn't from hitting my head! I am quite small and it was from general impact on breakfalls...even though my ukemi was quite good. I must have had a predisposition to it as well. More and more evidence out that repeat concussions, even if mild, aren't good and are worse each time.

02-12-2010, 11:16 AM
Never got one from martial arts training. I have gotten one from hitting my head on a bunk bed though. Only, I didn't know I had one. I didn't know what the symptoms were. I got a headache, took some headache meds and stayed up studying for an exam. I got tired and went to sleep. Woke up the next morning throwing up. Missed my test and when I went to make it up later that afternoon, my teacher and another student who is an EMT told me what I had and that I shouldn't have slept. Ooops....