Re: Knees and Shoulders - avoiding damage
It is widely understood within the coaching community that that having your athletes develop general physical fitness is the primary way to avoid injury when participating in their specific event or sport. Since Aikido itself has few physical fitness benefits compared to a even a basic strength and conditioning program, I am of the opinion that general physical preparation (gpp) should be undertaken as a co-requisite of Aikido, if only to mitigate some of Aikido's injury potential. Most other martial arts implement some form of gpp as an important aspect of training, at least initially, and throughout a competitive career. While it is accepted that generalized fitness is not a requirement for performing high quality Aikido, it is unfortunate that such an attribute is not seen as a correlate of, and likely a requisite of the development of high quality Aikido.