Ted Ehara (tedehara) wrote:
Many people equate strong training with heavy, physical workouts. How many people will be laid up because of physical injuries due to training like this? How many people will have to quit aikido because of injuries, compared to people who will benefit from such training? I recognize you wrote strong training instead of brutal training, however that is a common misconception.
I think a large portion of Aikido injuries could be prevented with supplementary and/or preparatory physical conditioning. I am the only person I know of to quit Aikido for over a year to focus exclusively on getting in shape. I had a variety of nagging injuries for a couple of years - I finally had to face up to the fact that I just didn't have enough strength and stability to withstand vigorous ukemi. Since I was already getting injured from just a few Aikido sessions per week, adding more exercise promised to only make things worse. So, I stepped back and started applying planned stress to my body on a regimen that it could adapt to, instead of periodic overloads and breakdowns. Now, I can do the Aikido and the conditioning routine, and have no problems and a vastly greater training capacity in every way. Now, Aikido practice is almost always in a very comfortable zone in relation to my fitness limits.
Many people plunge headlong into Aikido from relatively sednetary lives without any general physical preparation and expect the training itself to be all the conditioning they need. People who enter a sport like basketball, football, or gymnastics generally don't do this. I think 2 well-designed strength workouts per week as a conditioning supplement/preperation is a minimum. Add 2 more dedicated endurance workouts and you've got a reasonable fitness routine.
I'm not sure if the problem out there is the paradigm of fitness and conditioning, or just laziness. I'd like to work to help people be able to train more, train harder, and train without injury. However, I tell it like it is: if you want it, you've got to work for it. That's a hard sell.
Kevin Wilbanks, CSCS