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Old 10-08-2004, 09:33 AM   #33
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
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Re: Shoulder pain in break falls

Rolfing can be very helpful with certain physical injuries - (I've had a number of sessions thruout my life), but it will do nothing to help with joint stabilization, when the joint is injuried. (Rolfing is a very forceful massage that attempts to tear fascia/scar tissue that is believed to bind muscles and prevent full function). Rolfing has done nothing to help my rotator cuff problems, but very specific weight training, with mindful attention to how one organizes the body as one lifts, has done wonders. The same for my knees. Had a number of Hellerwork sessions on my legs (a Rolfing offshoot) with no improvement. A combination of weight training and tien gan (strength/flexibility exercises from bagua) has helped immensely.

As for David's comments on weight training, simply incorrect. Proper weight training brings the entire body into play. Exercise physiologists have found, for example that Olympic style weight lifters are, on the indexes of strength, power, flexibility and joint stability to be the best athletes in the world. Yes, if you exclusively do isolation exercises for body building, one can exercises for form, not function. But that is not weight training, per se.

It is interesting to note that the t'ai chi practitioners of the Chen Village do weight training. They practice with heavy weapons, some over 40 pounds and do forms with a heavy ball (size of a bowling ball). Some Yang t'ai chi practitioners used a massive ball - 100s of pounds which they rolled - this was demonstrated in the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

As for weight training, the elder Osawa sensei of the Aikikai (the epitome of the softest aikido) heard I did so, and asked me to take his son, (current shihan of the Honbu) along with me, which I did, introducing him to weight training. Osawa Sensei winked at me and said, basically, "My kids too weak. He needs to build up his muscles a little."

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