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Old 09-21-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
Kareem Qotb
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Aikido & back surgery

Hello Everyone,
I'm a new member to the Aikido forum. I had undergone lower back surgery(laminectomy) 2 years ago & wanted to know of the possible dangers I should anticipate & watch out for..Thank you for your help.
Best Regards,
Kareem
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:13 PM   #2
scarey
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Did you do any physical therapy or rehab after the surgery?
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
Larry Feldman
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Provided your treating physician approves....

Find a dojo that does rolls instead of breakfalls.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:17 PM   #4
WilliB
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post

Find a dojo that does rolls instead of breakfalls.
That is not always an alternative. You can not roll out of every fall.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:11 AM   #5
Larry Feldman
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Willi - It may not be an option at your dojo, it is in fact an option at some. Hence the search.

I suspect some dojo's would be willing to consider a no breakfall policy for a person based on their physical limitations.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:26 AM   #6
WilliB
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
Willi - It may not be an option at your dojo, it is in fact an option at some. Hence the search.

I suspect some dojo's would be willing to consider a no breakfall policy for a person based on their physical limitations.
All I am saying is that it is not possible to replace every breakfall with a roll. This is simply a technical statement, not a question about dojo policy.

Of course he can chose to sit out techniques that require a breakfall, nothing wrong with that. Actually, many of the older guys here do that.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:05 PM   #7
Larry Feldman
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

It is not only possible, but done in several dojos I have practiced in. One was run by a former student of O-Sensei.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:03 PM   #8
WilliB
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
It is not only possible, but done in several dojos I have practiced in. One was run by a former student of O-Sensei.
Sorry but that is nonsense. It is not physically possible to roll away if your hands are being held.
I suppose what you mean is they modify the throw in such a way that is is possible to roll.
Not the same thing really.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:56 AM   #9
shakou
 
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

How come nearly every post on this forum results in one person telling another hey are completely wrong? The OP was asking advice, as most do and then the thread is just hijacked, as most are that I have seen with an argument

To answer the question, any dojo should be able to take in to account the physical ability of any student. You can learn the motions but do not have to be thrown out of any technique if you can't manage this. You should also have no restrictions on learning any technique that you can't breakfall from. If you find yourself in a dojo where they insist that you must be slammed from any technique is just plain wrong. What you have to bear in mind also is that a breakfall is really just an exagerated forward roll at speed so yes, you can forward roll from any technique, it just depends on the speed of the application.

Shakou....Sometimes a simple answer is all that is required

Last edited by shakou : 09-24-2010 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:56 AM   #10
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Hi
Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote: View Post
To answer the question, any dojo should be able to take in to account the physical ability of any student.
True.

Quote:
You can learn the motions but do not have to be thrown out of any technique if you can't manage this.
True.

Quote:
You should also have no restrictions on learning any technique that you can't breakfall from.
I am not sure whether I get this right:
Do you mean it should be possible to learn the part of tori in a technique like e.g. koshi nage even if you are not able to do the uke part?
Sure. In theory this is true.

But I experienced it to be very very difficult to get the feeling of a waza, when not being able to ukemi. I myself didn't even teach certain techniques while I was injured and couldn't do proper ukemi.

Quote:
If you find yourself in a dojo where they insist that you must be slammed from any technique is just plain wrong.
True.

Quote:
What you have to bear in mind also is that a breakfall is really just an exagerated forward roll at speed
No.
You can work most techniques to backward rolls, forward rolls and breakfalls.
But in doing so the way of doing the technique has to change. And the way of ukemi changes. The difference of backward and forward rolls is obvious. But there is also a difference between forward rolls and breakfalls.

Quote:
so yes, you can forward roll from any technique, it just depends on the speed of the application.
No.
As I said before:
It is not at all question of speed whether you have to fall or you can simply roll away. It depends on how tori works a certain technique:
You can lead uke to a backward roll in kote gaeshi, you can make him roll forward. And you can make him doing a breakfall. Same in tenchi nage or irimin nage eg.
And there are techniques where there is no real way of rolling forward, but tori decides whether he lets uke do backward rolls or forward breakfalls like in shiho nage. It depends on how nage works a certain technique.

Quote:
Shakou....Sometimes a simple answer is all that is required
I think the answer is not at all so simple.

I most techniques are created / designed to throw your partner in a way he has to do a breakfall. This is the nature of most nage waza. Even considering techniques like kaiten
nage. If they are done properly on a certain level uke will have to do a breakfall.

True: You can practice every technique in a way which helps uke to come down smoothly. But this is not what leads to the aims of aikido.

Conclusion:
I think it is possible to do aikido without breakfalls when have reached a certain level.
But I don't think it's usefull to start with aikido if know you won't be able to do breakfalls. You are limited too much.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:47 AM   #11
WilliB
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote: View Post
To answer the question, any dojo should be able to take in to account the physical ability of any student. You can learn the motions but do not have to be thrown out of any technique if you can't manage this. You should also have no restrictions on learning any technique that you can't breakfall from. If you find yourself in a dojo where they insist that you must be slammed from any technique is just plain wrong.
I agree with all of that.

Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote: View Post
What you have to bear in mind also is that a breakfall is really just an exagerated forward roll at speed so yes, you can forward roll from any technique, it just depends on the speed of the application.
No. Absolutely not true. If you seriously think that, try a couple of judo classes, and you will you quickly change your mind.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:02 AM   #12
shakou
 
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

I always look at breakfalls as forward rolls with more dynamics. I think when put in context though, then it becomes forward rolls only for the guy in question. I understand that breakfalls can be forced but when you look at the dynamic of it then it really is just a forward roll........IMO!

Last edited by shakou : 09-24-2010 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:04 AM   #13
MM
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote:
What you have to bear in mind also is that a breakfall is really just an exagerated forward roll at speed so yes, you can forward roll from any technique, it just depends on the speed of the application.
No. Absolutely not true. If you seriously think that, try a couple of judo classes, and you will you quickly change your mind.
The subject is aikido, not judo. Judo is not aikido and going a bit further in detail, this is modern aikido and not pre-war Daito ryu. In that context ... in your opinion, would you mind re-answering with clarification on why what Kris Moralee stated would be absolutely not true? To clarify, I'm asking a genuine question, not being snide or anything. (In Judo and Daito ryu, I think you'd have some foundation for your claim.)

Mark
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:19 AM   #14
shakou
 
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

I did Judo as a child mate, I fully understand the differences and was trying to answer in Context of the original question......
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:46 AM   #15
WilliB
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
The subject is aikido, not judo. Judo is not aikido and going a bit further in detail, this is modern aikido and not pre-war Daito ryu. In that context ... in your opinion, would you mind re-answering with clarification on why what Kris Moralee stated would be absolutely not true? To clarify, I'm asking a genuine question, not being snide or anything. (In Judo and Daito ryu, I think you'd have some foundation for your claim.)

Mark
For the third time, all I am pointing out is that his claim that "breakfall is really just an exagerated forward roll at speed" is simply not true. And that should really be obvious. To roll, you obviously need be able to move; if you hold on to something or somebody holds on to you, there is no roll. I scratching my head why that is something that needs to be debated? It is not like I stated something revolutionary...

That said, of course there are many in-between varieties and modifications where you indeed can change a breakfall to roll. Nobody disputes that. But not always.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:46 AM   #16
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote: View Post
I always look at breakfalls as forward rolls with more dynamics.
Ok. If this works for you.

But in my/our practice this sentence doesn't make sense.

Because the way we practice this is not a question of more dynamics. It's really a different way to do technique. Different angles, different way of contact, different directions. You can work a technique from which uke has to do a breakfall very very slowly. (Which is not easy to fall for uke.)
So when a technique is done in a way you have to do a breakfall, it leads your body more to the side than a technique which leads to a forward roll. You have to fall sideways and not to the front. (You can see it in the videos I linked.)

So for breakfalls you simly have to move in an different way than for forward rolls, your body has to take other directions etc. . It's just not the same movement. And we do a lot special "exercises" to prepare for breakfalls.

So your sentence is true for the way you practice. But it is not true for the way we practice. We often train very slowly. But have to do breakfalls.
(Even if not being held. ... )

Carsten

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 09-24-2010 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:48 AM   #17
MM
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
For the third time, all I am pointing out is that his claim that "breakfall is really just an exagerated forward roll at speed" is simply not true. And that should really be obvious. To roll, you obviously need be able to move; if you hold on to something or somebody holds on to you, there is no roll. I scratching my head why that is something that needs to be debated? It is not like I stated something revolutionary...

That said, of course there are many in-between varieties and modifications where you indeed can change a breakfall to roll. Nobody disputes that. But not always.
Okay, I understand what you're saying. Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #18
shakou
 
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

I understand what you're saying about dynamics and that body position can play a factor however, in context of the question it should be easy enough for the OP to get through most, if not all by rolling. either back or forwards uless of course you are looking at very advanced techniques and given the physical nature of the poster this is unlikely.

As for breakfalls not being forward rolls then I have to disagree, yes the dynamic, it probably just boiuls down to differnt teachings and explanations of them. For me I was taught when I was struggling to breakfall that they were just forward rolls and this worked as I could see it from there. I won't deny the two feel very different depending on the throw but to me they are just glorified rolls just a bit more airborne.

We train in a pretty hard way and breakfalling is required quite often however with some of the higher grade, they can have a technique planted on pretty hard and where I would break fall they can and do roll. This can be from tsuki kote gaeshi, shiho-nage (which I can only back roll from) ten-shi-nage etc. If someone is holding on still then, well, if someone is limited to their ability due to injury then that is questionable.

Again, I was trying to keep this in the context of the OP and it has proven the point that just about all post on here just turn into a contest of who is more right. How can you tell someone they are wrong when what they are stating has worked for them? Seems to me that it is probably best just to lurk and laugh sometimes than actually try to answer a question.

Last edited by shakou : 09-24-2010 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:13 AM   #19
lbb
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
For the third time, all I am pointing out is
Will three times be enough for you, and the others who are more interested in the debate about the nature and necessity of breakfalls than in the OP's question, to let it go? Since that's not what this thread is about? You've made your point to those who felt it was important; perhaps that debate can take place in another thread.

To OP, my suggestion is to go to your doctor and give him/her a good graphic description of what aikido practice involves. Bring along a laptop and show vid, if possible. Then take his/her advice on what you should be doing. I've had the experience of having a doctor tell me that I could resume "all your normal activity" after a surgery (eye, not back), but when I described the aikido part of my "normal activity", said with eyes bulging, "No! Not that!" So, check it out with your doctor, and make sure your doctor knows what you're talking about.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:32 AM   #20
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
To OP, my suggestion is to go to your doctor and give him/her a good graphic description of what aikido practice involves. Bring along a laptop and show vid, if possible. Then take his/her advice on what you should be doing. I've had the experience of having a doctor tell me that I could resume "all your normal activity" after a surgery (eye, not back), but when I described the aikido part of my "normal activity", said with eyes bulging, "No! Not that!" So, check it out with your doctor, and make sure your doctor knows what you're talking about.
I had the same experience as Mary. I was cleared to do "anything" up until I showed the doctor a video of me training. We ended up spending a long time going over a lot of things including my warmups. At that point he revised his opinion rather extensively.

Be open and clear with your doctor so he or she can give you an informed reply. My doctor simply never imagined *that* was what we were doing.

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Old 09-25-2010, 12:12 AM   #21
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

hi Kareem

I agree with the above adivice. sit down with your doctor and talk about it. I an no one here i guess really knows the extent of the surgery or if you still feel discomfort or pain now.

I have found over th years that becasue Martial arts deal with moving your own body around they can be excellent for injury recovery, if done correctly. so even if your docotr says it is ok when you join a dojo let the teacher know about your surgery. if they are a good teacher then you will be able to work around any issues that arise

as for the breakfall disscussion above, I can be sure but i would expect that many dojos would ask beginners to do heavy breakfalls from day one so it won't be an issue for a while if ever

all the best

hope it all works out for you
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #22
TreyPrice
 
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

I had back surgery (L5-S1). I have taken ukemi for years, and the only injuries I have had were bad landings. The worst was hitting my instep with my heel which caused a sore spot for several days.

I would say you should get cleared from your Dr. Work on core body strength and work on perfecting your rolls and falls. Go slow and it will come. I have fewer back problems when I stay active, and ukemi seems to help keep my back strong.

Just my $.02
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:35 AM   #23
amoeba
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Re: Aikido & back surgery

Wherever you start, you definetely won't be required to do breakfalls in the beginning. And if you don't feel comfortable with them for physical reasons, you'll probably never have to do them. We have a lot of people in our dojo that don't/can't/don't want to do breakfalls, and you just don't throw them into them, period. No problem at all.

By the way, I know several persons with back problems who have learned to do breakfalls. At least in our style, they are not hard at all. So maybe, when you come to the point, you'll see that you don't even have a physical limitation there - no way of telling now, I'd say it's a few years to early to worry about that! Just go to training and try out what you can and cannot do. Take it easy with your ukemi and consult a physician first, then you should be fine. And if anyone wants you to do things that you think are bad for your health, you'd probably want to look for another dojo!

About breakfalls: I'm mostly with Carsten here. I'd like to add that in our style the difference between a forward roll and a breakfall is often bigger than the one between a backward roll and a breakfall. We don't normally do stuff like Irimi Nage, Tenchi Nage or Sukkumen Iriminare with a forward roll because you need to turn your center away for that. So it's either breakfall or backward roll. Apart from certain exercises, the same goes for Kote Gaeshi... and for Shiho Nage, it's of course impossible to do a forward roll. Forward rolls are mostly for Kaiten Nage and Kokyo Nages where you have to roll over the free arm. When rolling over the arm that has contact with tori, it's normally backwards roll or breakfall...
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