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10-28-2004, 10:56 AM
Hi, I'm new and I'm planning to do Aikido in the future, but I have this problem which i'm not sure of.
The problem is, since aikido is a lot about joints and stuff (I know, it's a lot more, just my problem is about joints :P), I once had an accident which dislocated my joint in my rightshoulder, I think a piece of my bone actually broke a bit or something, now I don't want to sound the alarm or anything :) It's not that bad, it's just when I'm playing volleyball (for example), and I hit the ball a bit wrong but with a lot of force, my arm sometimes dislocates again, this doesn't happen occasionally, just when I'm pushing it, hehe. If this happens my arm immedeatly puts my joint back, it's just a small shuffle actually (kinda hard to describe sorry), out and in again. But off course, it hurts for a while. Now my question was if this would cause many problems when I'm practising Aikido, is this the same movement? It's basicly only when I'm like smashing a ball or something. But I really wanna start practising Aikido, but I'm worried about my should getting hurt bad. Thx for replies :)

10-28-2004, 11:53 AM
Go to the dojo and give it a few tries. Maybe just watch a class. It's going to be hard for us to give you good advice since we don't have the same condition as you. You're going to have to get out to the dojo and judge for yourself =)

Kevin Masters
10-28-2004, 12:03 PM
It might be best that you consult a physician. A doctor would be more able to assess the limits of your bum wing. There might be more to worry about than just pins and locks. Taking safe rolls is sometimes tricky for new people with functional shoulders, for example.

Best of luck to you.


10-28-2004, 12:05 PM
Hi Yannick,
while aikido practise could be perfectly safe for your shoulder it could also happen that you hurt your shoulder during aikido practise.
Rolls and joint locks can be hard on shoulders. It really depends what kind of movements make your shoulder dislocate.
I would say first talk to a doctor if he thinks aikido practise safe for your shoulder. And if he says you can practise talk to the instructor about this problem. And let people who practise with you know that you have a weak shoulder so they can be even more careful.
Additionally try to do some exercises that help to strengthen the muscles arround the shoulder.
Then see how training goes. If your shoulder starts hurting you might need to change the way you practise or even stop practising. But normally it shouldn't really be a problem to practise in a way that keeps your shoulder safe. People with all different kinds of physical problems can practise aikido just some people need to be careful with certain techniques.
Good luck with training.


Janet Rosen
10-28-2004, 12:12 PM
As others have noted, checking w/ sports med doc or physical therapist would be wise.
Also, a PT can provide you with some exercises that may give better support to lax joint by strengthening supporting muscles.

Larry Cuvin
10-28-2004, 01:54 PM
Hi Yannik. Like you, I am new to aikido and have a medical condition. Like what others have suggested, seek medical advice before proceeding. I had to get a medical release from my doctor due to a lower back problem before I was allowed to start training. I have been practicing ki aikido for over 4 months now and the exercise and the stretches we do at our dojo proved to be beneficial to my lower back. Your shoulder problem is a different story though. All of the throws I have learned so far involves the rotation of the arms. Even though that throws should be flowing and done in a relaxed manner (as always emphasized by our sensei), there's no telling how your shoulders would behave. Then there is an issue of landing in the mat. As a beginner, I tend to forget safe break falls and what not. So yeah......check with your doctor first.

Good luck.

Lyle Laizure
10-28-2004, 10:43 PM
I would have to echo, "check with your doctor first" but then if the doctor gives you clearance for if you are like me and don't like what the doctor has to say go to class and practice slowly to find your boundries. Let your sensei and fellow students know about it so you can take your time and when needed sit out.

10-28-2004, 11:39 PM
Make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that every student in the dojo knows exactly what the problem is. I have shoulder problems myself, and I make sure to constantly remind people to be gentle with me, especially on the Nikkyo pin. *shudder*

10-29-2004, 11:30 AM
All the advice above is good. Just let people know which side is dodgy before you practice with them, then you shouldn`t have any problems.

A friend of mine dislocated his shoulder doing Aiki a good few years back, I believe that the bone never went back completely, but was left to heal with scar tissue forming to hold it in place, or something like that (are you reading Derek :) ). He never stopped training and is now second dan, and he gives as good as he gets in the rough and tumble.



10-29-2004, 01:14 PM
IMHO, check with your doctor, talk with your Sensei, and watch your form to always keep the hand in front of you. (Mimizes the chances of the shoulder being pulled back and dislocating or tearing the rotator cuff.)

11-24-2004, 11:52 AM
Hey Yannick,
Here's my 2 cents: 1) make sure everyone is aware of your sensitive shoulder whom you practice with, especially You! 2) try yoga movements as a way of rehabilitating your injury. As a newbie in Aikido, but a practitioner of yoga for many years, I think it's a great way of actually healing injuries of this sort. The joint capsule has been compromised through your injury, however it can be strengthened and tightened (thus preventing dislocations - joint capsule is too lose) by means of some excercises in yoga quite effectively. However, I wouldnt just go to a class. Find someone with some experience who can direct you to practice certain remedial excercises, is my advice. What area are you located in? I may know someone... luck OP

11-24-2004, 01:16 PM
Sounds like you may have chipped the cartilage lip on the shoulder blade side that helps keep the head of the shoulder from sliding around. Depending on how bad you chipped it it could be you have an unstable shoulder. The shoulder is one of the least supported joints in the body with all of it's support basically coming from soft tissue. With an injury such as yours you should have rehabbed the shoulder right away and kept after it after it healed in order to keep the shoulder strong and stable. It might not give you problems depending of how back you initially injured it.

11-24-2004, 01:25 PM
It sounds like you may have a somewhat rare condition where your shoulders dislocate backwards instead of forwards. Normally people's shoulders dislocate when their limb is being pulled forward or outward. There are a subset of humans whose shoulders can dislocate when their limb is being pushed backwards (when you hit a volleyball, for example). As with all joint disorders, it is important to attempt to keep the number of times your limb dislocates to a minimum over the course of your lifetime. A simple xray will be able to determine the nature and severity of your shoulder problem. A quality physical therapist will have exercises you can do to strengthen your shoulder musculature and tighten your connective tissue. In addition, if you are found to have this disorder, it is certainly going to effect your other shoulder as well, and you should be careful to protect both shoulders over the course of your training. Do not use this problem as an excuse not to train. I know a very prominent martial artist whose shoulders dislocate (backwards) on a semi-regular basis, and he lives through it each and every time.

11-24-2004, 01:33 PM
Medical terminology for those seeking lexical edification: "Posterior Glenohumeral Instability".

Daniel Moore
11-24-2004, 02:21 PM
I amy be new here but would like to say that for the last 9 months i have been unable to attend aikido due to a dislocated kneecap, and have to have regular physiotherapy sessions. So any worries people have about injuring themselves should definately see a doctor and not have to go through the pain, discomfort and general boredom that came from having a leg in a cast for 3 months (and of course missing aikido lessons).

11-25-2004, 08:18 AM
Medical terminology for those seeking lexical edification: "Posterior Glenohumeral Instability".

Hey - let's go the whole hog


07-31-2008, 10:50 PM
Just wanted to post another note on this after a few more years experience with both the martial arts, yoga, and a massage client who I saw after a dislocated shoulder.

"Glenohumeral instability" aside, basically what happens when you dislocate a joint (particularly the shoulder) is that all of the small, bone-to-bone muscles that surround the joint are traumatized. Your larger muscles, the ones you can flex consciously, tighten up after the injury and then usually return to normal after a couple of weeks +/-.

The deeper muscles, the ones you generally don't tell to flex or relax, are the ones that usually get and stay out of wack after an event like that. These are the postural muscles, the source of stability that keeps your arm bone (humeral-) in your shoulder cuff (gleno). Pairs and trios of muscles work together and against each other at this level, and so usually some of these will be overstretched while opposites will be overtightened. Unable to engage vs. unable to let go. Ultimately this is the level that needs to be brought back to normal, and there are several ways I know of to do this: massage and bodywork by a skilled practitioner, some of the gentler self-focused martial arts as ch'i kung or tai ch'i, work with a physical therapist or yoga instructor for rehabilitation. Water therapy or watsu can be extremely useful as well.

With the shoulder there is the additional articulation with the shoulder blade and collar bone. The best thing you can do yourself for this I think is to move your shoulder and arm around their range of motion slowly, feeling where the weakness is and playing with it, feeling where the tightness is (probably the front of the shoulder, and other places) and moving into it.

Beyond that, consult with a good bodyworker for some help. I don't even know at this point whether you are still having this problem. However, with all of aikido's rolls, too often an injury like that will never fully heal and continue to hurt now and again.

Good luck! Take care of those joints and keep the doctor away


Marie Noelle Fequiere
08-01-2008, 10:25 AM
Go to the dojo and ask if there is any orthopedist or chiropractor training, preferably among the advanced students. This way, you would be getting advice from someone who knows exactly what your shoulder will have to take. I would'nt be surprised that you would find someone. We have an orthopedist training at our dojo, and, whenever someone gets hurt, we call him even if he is not at the dojo. It's very practical.;)

08-01-2008, 11:14 AM
It sounds like you may have a somewhat rare condition where your shoulders dislocate backwards instead of forwards. Normally people's shoulders dislocate when their limb is being pulled forward or outward. There are a subset of humans whose shoulders can dislocate when their limb is being pushed backwards (when you hit a volleyball, for example).

That's interesting, I always thought the classic MOI for an anterior dislocation was a load forcing the arm up and back when the arm is in the "Statue of Liberty" position. I've dislocated my shoulder twice, and both times this is how it happened.

08-01-2008, 11:26 AM
A chronic shoulder condition is indeed difficult to reconcile on the mat. I have one that has limited my training for several years now, but since the only option left unexplored is quite invasive surgery, I have put it off in deference to my livelihood, which requires the substantial availability of my right arm, and could not endure 8 weeks strapped to my side... Unfortunately, it may have to happen this year. :(