[quote]Originally posted by bcole23
[b]I think the main point to remember here is about flexibility. Muscles can be made flexible in a relatively short amount of time. Whereas tendons take a very long time to gain flexibility.
Hi. I've been working on an aikido and knee injury research project (a preliminary report should be available within a month....) and also doing lots of research on knee injuries in general. FWIW, I'm a public health nurse with a background in acute rehab and am off training myself rilght now recovering from acl graft....
I wanted to address the above first of all.
Muscles are meant to be flexible. Tendons and ligaments are meant to NOT be flexible; they are the bindings, so to speak. We rely on them for structural support/integrity and it "should" be the muscles that give and tear a little bit if anything "has to."
Having said that.... normal aikido training puts stress on the knees, most often in standing technique, due to the lateral torquing involved in these maneuvers. If the foot is planted, or if you get static, or if the upper and lower bodies "disconnect", or if the knee turns too far in or the stance is too in or too out, and you add in a big hip turn, its a potential torquing injury (meniscus and/or acl).
Either of those puts you at very high risk for osteoarthritis, aka degenerative joint disease, aka "wear and tear." That is what concerns me: I suspect, though don't know of any research, that suwariwaza may pose a problem related to osteoarthritis. I honestly don't know. My current research is focussing on acute inuries, not chronic ones. But I'm going to start chatting more with orthopedists, athletic trainers, etc about suwariwaza and will certainly share whatever I learn.