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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,681,273


In Techniques The shiho nage paradox Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #5 New 06-05-2010 02:52 AM
The shiho nage paradox I went to a sports doctor once for an elbow injury. He's a very good doctor. He looked at the x-ray carefully and then he asked me, "Do you do aikido?" "Wow," I thought to myself, "this guy is good!" Then he told me he had only seen bone spurs in an elbow like that once before. In an aikido teacher.

Let's be honest. Shiho nage is a dangerous technique. Done incorrectly by an inexperienced aikidoka who doesn't understand the technique it can put severe stress on the elbow joint. Done incorrectly by a more experienced aikidoka who is starting to understand the technique it can cause long-lasting damage. At the Aikikai hombu dojo I have seen people have to stop their training in the middle of the lesson after getting injured with an uncontrolled shiho nage.

So in fact I only teach it to experienced aikidoka. There's the paradox. If I only teach shiho nage to experienced aikidoka how do the inexperienced aikidoka get to be experienced aikidoka?

It's a kind of zen mondo or koan - an existential riddle of aikido.

So what's the answer?

Well if I told you that it wouldn't be a paradox any more, would it.

photo: X-ray 1 by Owen Blacker (http://www.flickr.com/photos/owenblacker/) used under creative commons licence

niall matthews 2010
Views: 7804 | Comments: 12

RSS Feed 12 Responses to "The shiho nage paradox"
#12 11-13-2010 02:03 AM
niall Says:
Thank you, Carina.
#11 11-12-2010 04:10 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Uke must put his elbow close to his ear, if you like I'll send you a short video, I will not put it in youtube...
#10 06-12-2010 02:01 AM
niall Says:
It's cool, Eric, thanks. Yeah maybe you're right the paradox thing was overstating it probably - I was just kind of playing with experienced and inexperienced to make the point.
#9 06-12-2010 01:09 AM
Hi Niall, I didn't mean to imply that I thought you were overreacting about shihonage, and I also don't mean to imply that you don't care about your students. I was just confused as to why this is a paradox, that's all.
#8 06-11-2010 03:03 AM
niall Says:
Also this isn't just something I am conjuring out of the air guys. I have taught aikido for many years and I have taught shiho nage to many beginners. So this is based on my experience of the best and safest and ultimately fastest way for students to learn good technique.
#7 06-10-2010 10:15 PM
niall Says:
Hi Eric. Thank you. I understand your point and Ziv's of course. Both of you are maybe seeing this from the point of view of a student so perhaps you see waiting as a minus. But one unnecessary injury is one too many for me and I think when students have got the basic knowledge to do shiho nage safely they can eliminate the dangerous phase. I want all the students - including smaller or weaker or older - always to feel that they are in a safe environment in the dojo.
#6 06-10-2010 06:37 PM
To answer your points to my post: 1) Of course not. If nage is being reckless, then I won't practice with them. 2) If this is the case, then more time needs to be spent with the beginners so that they are training carefully. It is the responsibility of the sensei to make sure that this is happening. 3) Did I prove your point? One elbow injury, a minor one at that, in four years of practice doesn't seem too horrible to me.
#5 06-07-2010 08:32 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Ziv I appreciate your comments. That's good advice of course. To go back to judo a potentially dangerous technique called kani basami (a scissor leg trap) was made illegal although there is nothing at all wrong with it if the uke takes the correct ukemi. The learning curve for aikido techniques is rather long and shallow. Usually that doesn't matter. Except that a bad shiho nage can cause damage.
#4 06-07-2010 05:23 AM
zivk Says:
[continuance] Can I try to offer a technical solution to the paradox you mentioned? My teacher tells us to attach our cheek to our elbow while giving ukemi to shiho-nage. It seems to me that it loosens some of the stress on the joint.
#3 06-07-2010 05:21 AM
zivk Says:
It seems to me too harsh to limit a technique just to advanced students.I once heard a saying from one of the senior Israeli Judo teachers that in his view there are no advanced techniques in Judo, he teaches everyone the same technique but each individual performs according to his experience. On the other hand, I've experienced shiho-nage done in Arikawa sensei's style, and I agree, if done without care (both by nage and uke) it may cause damage.
#2 06-05-2010 06:06 PM
niall Says:
Thanks for your comment Eric. Yes being careful is very important. But... 1.Do you want to bet your arm on your partner being careful enough? 2.Your partner might even think he or she is being careful enough. I think this is a real problem for beginners. 3.And you kind of proved my point - those university students caused an injury in fact.
#1 06-05-2010 02:33 PM
Maybe I am missing the mysterious part of it, but it seems to me that teaching and practicing very carefully is the "secret." In the style of aikido I started in, shihonage was considered the most important technique, and we worked on it nearly everyday, four or five days a week. The only shihonage injury that happened in our dojo occurred when two university students were being sloppy with it.

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