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aikibum
11-26-2005, 11:52 AM
January 5, 2005 was my very last Aikido practice, though I didn’t know that at the time. The next day I ruptured my L4/L5 disc thanks to a simple sneeze. This post isn’t intended to garner sympathy, but rather as a quick chance to say thank you, and that I learned something through 10 years of studying Aikido.

As a result of my injury, I had to have back surgery (a micro-discectomy) the following month. My surgeon was so surprised at the extent of the disc herniation that he said by all rights, I should have been paralyzed. Thankfully the surgery went well, and I am free from lower back pain for the first time in 12 years. The price is this: I can never practice Aikido again. The risk of injuring myself more severely is simply too great. I have grieved this loss much as I would the loss of someone I love; yet I remember to honor what was, instead of mourning (too much) what has been lost.

I wish to say thank you to all the many talented Aikidoka I have studied with and under…Kasashima sensei and Hayashi sensei at Fukui Aikikai in Japan, Kobayashi shihan, Fujita shihan and Seki shihan at Hombu Dojo, Ikeda sensei and Tres Hofmeister sensei at Boulder Aikikai, Mitsuge Saotome shihan of ASU, Marvin san, Chris san and the gang at Aikido of Colorado, Edgar Johanssen sensei at the University of Denver Aikido club.

My friends, here’s the point: always have a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness each time you step on the mat for training. No matter how tired or sore you are, give it your all. You literally never know when it will be the last time you ever pick up a bokken, or do shihonage! Be grateful for everyone and everything around you. Carry Aikido with you wherever you go, whatever you’re doing.

In my heart, I am and always will be, Aikidoka. Continue to train with all your spirit, all your heart, with all you have! I wish continued success and learning to all Aikidoka everywhere. Thank you.

Aikibum

Taylor Franklin
11-26-2005, 12:22 PM
Take the good and leave the bad.

Though you may not practice AIkido anymore, due to the possible injury, if ever in a situation you need it you will be able to execute it if the situation is dire enough. You've learned with many great people, they are you friends, people you wouldn't have known had you not trained in Aikido. You have an explaination of the body and its mechanics through Aikido... and so on. Just be glad you were able to train at one point and time, wrather than never.

Sorry to hear about your injury, but at least you were able to train up until that point.

crbateman
11-26-2005, 05:46 PM
A truly unfortunate situation... But the encouragement you offer in your post can apply equally to yourself. Although your time on the mat may be over, you can still walk the aiki path. You can read, you can research, you can write. You can ask questions and make other people think. You can keep learning in other ways, and then pass on what you have learned to others.

You can watch from the sidelines and see things that those on the mat may miss. You can further explore the philosophical and spiritual dimensions of Aikido, which are often overlooked in favor of the physical training. You might be able to pitch in and help some overextended sensei run his/her dojo.

And lastly, you may someday be able to return to the mat under the right circumstances. The point is that you do not have to give up. I recommend that you research (starting on this site) the story of Molly Hale Sensei. There is always hope, and can always be a purpose. Best of luck to you. I hope to see you here contributing to our discussions for a long time.

Ulises Garcia
11-27-2005, 12:22 AM
Hello Mark,

Best wishes to you. It is truly unfortunate that which has happened to you. May your recovery be swift.

Now, I know that I could sound stupid (so, if what I'm going to say is utter nonsense, please forgive me), but your back injury means that you cannot take ukemi (which is the fun part), but would it keep you from being nage? Perhaps you could still practice that side of the art (to some extent?).

-U-

Larry Feldman
11-27-2005, 09:43 AM
How about Tai Chi?

justin
11-27-2005, 10:15 AM
with ten years under your belt maybe you could look at teaching or an assitant teacher either way good luck with your future

Abasan
11-27-2005, 11:01 AM
I'm sorry to hear what has happened to you. Yet I am amazed at your positive attitude.

I have a back injury that once prevented me from joining aikido. But given 2 years of contemplation and the last year available for me to learn aikido, I chose to learn it anyway. I was happy to say that 7 years later, it has been my only regret that I did not start 2 years earlier.

Still no matter what the doctors say, always hear what your body has to say. Each of us has an inner self that knows whats best for us. But most of us do not listen, instead we choose to listen from other people as if their opinion really matters.

Anyway, best of luck to you. Perhaps you'll find an art that would not be hindered by your injury.

Chuck.Gordon
11-28-2005, 06:51 AM
Is the problem ukemi or movement generally? Jim Bker has some pretty severe back troubles and is able to teach, but not take (much) ukemi.

Alternatively, if you enjoy the 'culture' of aikido, can you swing a sword? You might enjoy iaido ...

ian
11-28-2005, 08:19 AM
Hi Mark,
it's unfortunate. However the interest in martial arts does not have to stop. I've often wondered, if there was the time, whether someone could delve more into the practice of martial arts in a more scientific and objective way - possibly touring dojo's and critically comparing technique. Even examining Ueshiba from a technical perspective (there's a reasonable amount of footage out there). With 10 yrs experience (esp. in varied dojos) you should be well placed to make some type of sensible analysis.

Also, does this mean you cannot walk? Maybe you could train with a focus on timing, and not be an uke. If you are able to walk at a moderate pace there may still be alot you can do in terms of aikido.

I wish you luck in your future endevours!

ikkitosennomusha
12-04-2005, 03:53 PM
The good news is, you can still train! It may not be what you hoped for but their are ways to retain your gains. Get out in the back yard and go through taisabaki, go through your bokken and jo movements. Visualize being attacked and run through the body movements of nage in a solo fashion. Do whatever you must to retain what you can in a safe manner. Good luck!

aikibum
07-12-2006, 10:33 AM
Watakushi no tomodachi tachi ni, soshite watakushi no sempai tachi ni, honto ni domo arigato gozaimashita.

Anata tachi ha itsumo, watakushi no kokoro ni imasu yo.

Me gustaria decir gracias a mis maestros y mis amigos por todo.

Thank you my friends and sempai and teachers for your wisdom, encouragement, and support. I shall do as you have all suggested. Be blessed, be well, be strong!

The kami bless you all.

ksy
07-12-2006, 09:57 PM
January 5, 2005 was my very last Aikido practice, ....My friends, here's the point: always have a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness each time you step on the mat for training. No matter how tired or sore you are, give it your all. You literally never know when it will be the last time you ever pick up a bokken, or do shihonage! Be grateful for everyone and everything around you. Carry Aikido with you wherever you go, whatever you're doing.

In my heart, I am and always will be, Aikidoka. Continue to train with all your spirit, all your heart, with all you have! I wish continued success and learning to all Aikidoka everywhere. Thank you.

Aikibum

mark m'man,

thank you for your message and i think it contains a useful reminder to not take things for granted, as well as being thankful which i sometimes forget. and though you may not be able to train now, i hope to remember your msg and will try to impart the spirit of it into my training.

i hope your future travels will be smooth and that you will continue to "carry aikido" with you beyond the dojo. cheers!

ksy