Thread: Aikido injuries
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:34 AM   #9
Avery Jenkins
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Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Litchfield, CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 158
Re: Aikido injuries

I am a doctor, and I've been practicing aikido for many years, so perhaps I can answer your question from both sides of the fence. As Janet said, the injuries you can expect in Aikido are not altogether different from the injuries you might get from any other relatively active sport. For the most part, injuries heal; some require ongoing management, but not specifically because they are Aikido injuries, it's just the nature of the individual.

My "serious" injury list is as follows: 2 broken noses, cracked ribs, 2nd degree separation of the right clavicle, dislocated proximal interphalangeal joint of the third digit, and torn medial meniscus of the right knee.

I must add that I do *not* train at some sort of hell dojo, and my sensei has the utmost concern for the well being of her students. She takes great precautions to ensure the safety of her students. Almost all of my injuries resulted from my own attempts to push the envelope of my skills (except for the finger thingy which was the result of me getting it caught in nage's gi as I was receiving a technique), and none of them occurred early in my Aikido career. These injuries also occurred during my 40s, so I was well beyond the bounce-back-quick days of my youth.

Because of the nature of my work (I'm a chiropractic physician and acupuncturist), I must be able to perform physically complex tasks multiple times on a daily basis. In every case, I have been able to continue working while injured; sometimes, it required some modification of technique, which actually was a net positive because it resulted in the further refinement of my psychomotor skills.

The worst of the bunch, professionally speaking, was the shoulder separation which initially caused a great deal of pain while performing some types of manual medicine. Quality of patient care did not suffer, however.

Other than that, I did have to endure a great deal of ribbing from my patients the first time I broke my nose, which for the week following the injury until I could get it set, was plastered well toward the left side of my face, giving me an uncanny resemblance to a Cubist portrait.

So, relax, Pops. Injuries are bound to happen, but so is the healing. As a father of two extraordinary females myself, I am well aware of the innate urge to protect them from absolutely any harm, but the trouble is, you can't. Statistically speaking, your daughter has a much higher risk of suffering a career-ending injury while driving to the hospital than she does taking an Aikido class.

Avery Jenkins

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