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Old 03-08-2013, 04:05 AM   #1
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Aikido is such a blanket statement, it couldn't be analysed as any single activity you could put your finger on. Aikido is more of a large environment where all sorts of teachings, practices, and trainings are conducted. But maybe the environments could be broken down.

1. Rough and tumble: these are the clubs that train with lots of muscling, poor alignment, getting up and down off the floor hundreds of times in a single training session, lots of sweat and aerobic exercise. They like to really feel like they're doing something, and are often hard on the body. In terms of body health and studies, I'd say close approximations would be gymnastics, and other sports that can be jerky on the body that people tend to continue throughout life, such as tennis, racquetball, skiing, jogging... enjoyable, but can take its toll on the body - especially the knees.

2. The aikibunnies: This is dancey stuff, but actually might incorporate some real ki training. Not necessarily martially effective, but overall an intelligent approach to body/mind If you were looking for studies on health, tai chi as a comparison couldn't be too far off. And you could probably include folk dancing, and physically milder forms of yoga.

3. Aiki schools: these are clubs and teachers that approach everything from more core principles. It tends to be built on more integrated foundations.There tends to be more neocortex in operation, and less limbic system and testosterone. And these schools would be closer to the Chinese tradition in terms of body culture. I would look for statics on cultures that have healthy posture and integrated movements - including pre-1920's America, Scandinavia has its pockets, as do many less-developed countries.

I can also just add, that you can't really look back at the last 20-30 years of aikido as a model for how it will be in the future. Aikido is undergoing a drastic infrastructure overhaul. There is an aiki movement that is undeniable, and a return to core aspects of the art that were, for numerous reasons, not included or passed down. And this aiki core is responsible for the structural alignment of the body and integrated movements. So, in many cases, the very things that have been racking up bodies in aikido - from misaligned movements, held tensions and resistance - that also show themselves not only on physical, but also emotional and mental levels - will be largely a thing of the past.

The kids coming up today are too informed and too smart. And much of the way aikido has been trained and taught is not going to fly with them. There's a renaissance emerging, that's already apparent to some, and will be quite apparent to many in the not-to-distant future. That your daughter could continue to be able to practice and explore aikido, and have it be of benefit, rather than a detriment, to her health as she ages, should be something that is on the mind and conscience of anyone at any level of responsibility within aikido.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 03-08-2013 at 04:15 AM.

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Old 03-08-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
Cliff Judge
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
I can also just add, that you can't really look back at the last 20-30 years of aikido as a model for how it will be in the future. Aikido is undergoing a drastic infrastructure overhaul. There is an aiki movement that is undeniable, and a return to core aspects of the art that were, for numerous reasons, not included or passed down.
Right so in another 20-30 years we will see people with chronic joint issues due to repetitive internal power exercises and such, instead of hard breakfalls.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Modern sports medicine shows there is NO benefit from stretching before working out and, in the case of cold muscles, stretching may make them more prone to micro-tears.
I swear I remember years ago reading somewhere that Tohei said there should be no need to warm up.

Those "exercises" at the beginning of aikido classes - if they're done and approached correctly - are not warm up exercises. It's chi/nei kung. It's the internal aiki. But most people have no clue - often even the teachers - and they approach it in a Western mentality of stretching out and getting things warmed up. And that approach, not only robs people of the gold inside all of this, but it makes people more prone to injury.

I am 51 years old. I've been training aikido for 25 years. I need no warm up at all to go right straight in to anything anyone wants to throw out. Right now, I could walk outside and breakfall on the concrete. Randori - bring it on. 5-6 people. Let's go. Training with rolls and falls on a hardwood floor - one of my favorite things to do. Hardwoods and concrete don't lie. Mats can and do.

I'm not even a manly man. I'm a musician and artist, voracious reader, and sort of a renaissance type. And I smoke, too. Sometimes a lot. I have no problems keeping up in training when the volume gets turned up, and I can throw big 20-30 years olds around like rag dolls. I attribute this to having made the internal alignments and energies - that have been available in aikido and other martial arts - part of not only the core of my training, but the core of how I move, sit, stand, and walk in everyday life.

There's a big difference between training any kind of movement system in a rote and repetitive and half-catatonic state - and approaching it from a truly intelligent mindset. The ego loves to feel like it's really doing something, and is quite receptive to a kind of Neanderthal training approach found in many dojos. These arts, when approached with more validity, are based on intrinsic power, effortless movement, and energetic precision. There really is a superman inside all of us - but it will never come out unless it's developed.

I remember Sugano, who I'd trained under, and who was actually a family friend, gave a workshop in Sweden in the mid-90's. He was moving around like a little kid on the floor. At some point, he stopped everyone - probably 75 people - and said. "You're not getting this. You're not doing Aikido. If you keep going like that, you'll train for years, and all you'll be doing are making movements."

Last edited by Dan Richards : 03-08-2013 at 01:53 PM.

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Old 03-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #4
Cliff Judge
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

That's a really irresponsible contribution to this thread, Dan.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:42 PM   #5
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Right so in another 20-30 years we will see people with chronic joint issues due to repetitive internal power exercises and such, instead of hard breakfalls.
Not at all. The internal exercises work from alignment. You can't move without being aligned. That to me is a huge insurance policy in and of itself. And there's tons of evidence of this already. Look at 80-90-year-old people who've been doing CMA their whole lives.

I don't even think breakfalls have so much to do with injuries, as just people who don't know how to move more efficiently get up and down off the mats zillions of times over the years. Honestly, the more I look at how a lot of aikido has been trained - it's just plain stupid.

I've seen 90% of injuries occur in aikido not by produced by some nage on uke, but on people all by themselves, rolling or falling or stepping in some way that screwed them up. And in almost all cases, it was the result of unaligned movement. And I don't mean just that particular movement, I mean a lack of overall alignment in all movements - all the time.

And even if there's no specific injury event, there is - what I feel is even more insidious; a slow, imperceptible corrosiveness of the body through repetitive and strenuous movements executed by people with misaligned bodies.

Just because it says "cinnamon" - don't assume it's real cinnamon. In many cases it's not going to be cinnamomum zeylanicum - it's going to be its fake relative cinnamomum cassia.

And like Sugano said, "They're not doing aikido. They're just doing movements."

So, the question might be; "Is Aikido safe?" To which I would answer, Aikido can be quite safe. But just because you go somewhere that has a sign up that says aikido, and you see people training and rolling around in dark skirts - don't assume it's aikido.

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Old 03-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Re: Internal Training & Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Editor's note: the above posts were moved out of the "Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage" thread.

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Old 03-11-2013, 01:48 PM   #7
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Re: Internal Training & Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

I agree 100%, though I like to do quite a bit - to warm up, but in an aiki kind of way.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
I've seen 90% of injuries occur in aikido not by produced by some nage on uke, but on people all by themselves, rolling or falling or stepping in some way that screwed them up. And in almost all cases, it was the result of unaligned movement. And I don't mean just that particular movement, I mean a lack of overall alignment in all movements - all the time.
Not disagreeing here...just a question..... In moving forward, backward and especially in turning......how do you keep the lateral movement out of the knees as they bent and unbend, the legs carry the rotation of the upper torso, the ankles handle a certain amount of torque going into the feet, the feet handle the interface between the body as a whole and the grounds surface?
Thanks
Gary
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Not disagreeing here...just a question..... In moving forward, backward and especially in turning......how do you keep the lateral movement out of the knees as they bent and unbend, the legs carry the rotation of the upper torso, the ankles handle a certain amount of torque going into the feet, the feet handle the interface between the body as a whole and the grounds surface?
Thanks
Gary
Mr. Richards
After re-reading what I ask above and taking the time to go back to read your entries along with the videos.....and having been around some of the folks you source, it does not appear that we are on the same page. It is not clear to me where your training came from. And if you are self taught you don't have the same visual indicators I see coming out of a couple of friends of mine who have been at internal training for 25 to 30 years. If you feel you have the goods or an approach that works go on the road with it...... It will get tested .......verified.....or ........busted. It is the only way. It has to be felt and applied to come to any real understanding.

As for my question, let it go......I don't think your answer will carry weight......so I guess I do disagree...

Fish or cut bait........
Gary
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