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Old 07-29-2009, 07:29 AM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,371
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Re: Knees and Shoulders - avoiding damage

Dusko,

Man to be honest, I'd really recommend finding a really good Yoga teacher possbily as well. It is doing wonders for me and I am learning alot about myself and learning how to relax and develop my body.

I think any exercise you do is fine, push ups sit ups etc. whatever you do for conditioning, strength, flexibility, aerobic, anareobic....

Even if you do all that and are in really good shape....you still have to master the movements and kineseoloy of Aikido which is challenging.

It is a very emotional event for most of us to have someone grab, strike or attack us. We have to focus on ourselves as well as the attack of our partner. Most of us will contort our bodies and adapt postures and responses that are probably not correct. Guys like me (military background, big strong) tend to try and force things into compliance.

If we are off balance, knee is pointing the wrong way...holding our breath...straining, forcing...this is when we get hurt.

So, I think the key is to find a dojo and an instructor that takes his time and makes you feel safe when you move.

The dojo and the instructor, IMO, should be cautious, careful, and make sure that you are doing things correctly. If you feel force, strain, or "just not right"...well it probably isn't!

This is not to say that you cannot train fast, hard, agressive at somepoint. I personally believe that you must! However, that practice needs to be done properly and safely and in my experiences, I think it takes a while to get there.

Mary offers some very good advice I think on the whole Ki, harmony, spiritual aspects...you reach your own understanding of these as they come in your pracitce.

I am not a big Swami/Sensei worshiper personally and really believe in reaching enlightment and happiness through hard, disciplined, and habitual training. Give over to the training, but you cannot surrender your responsibility or mind to the Swami/Sensei.

I see too much of this in Aikido sometimes. That is, that simply by putting on a hakama, coming to the dojo, and surrendering ourselves that we will become what we want to be through O'Sensei or Osmosis.

the fact is, it is a gradual, long process of self discovery and mastery that is not always as clear cut, nor the same for any two people.

Recommend reading George Leonard Sensei's book on Mastery BTW.

Anyway, hope this helps some. Good luck.

Last edited by Kevin Leavitt : 07-29-2009 at 07:31 AM. Reason: post got all jacked up!

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