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Old 04-07-2012, 04:08 AM   #6
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Re: Should obese aikidoka do break falls?

Dan Ross wrote: View Post
I recently was diagnosed with slight wear on two of my cervical vertebrae.
My only way to account for this damage has been 17 years of aikido, as I have not suffered any other traumatic insults to my neck.

Most of the time I have practiced aikido I have been technically obese (~33% body fat), putting me at about 246#. Coupled with my height, 6'1", I have to wonder if I was at particular risk for injury. None of my fellow aikidoka who have practiced as much have reported any issues. (Nota bene: none of them are obese.)

We have practiced on standard 2" blue mats, with no other shock absorbing elements.

And so I am bringing this issue to the table: Ought obese students be allowed to practice given the elevated risk of serious injury? I think this ought to be considered, especially in regards to break falls.
Of what consequense is this "slight wear"? Could the reason be genetic rather than impact?

I wouldn't think the cervical vertebrae would take extreme strain in breakfalls. In rolls, perhaps, if the belly prevents the person from actually making a nice round form - the back is straight, the neck overcompensates by bending more. Perhaps.
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