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Old 08-28-2006, 11:21 AM   #51
Janet Rosen
 
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Re: Bad knees

Peter G, you may well be right re the mat surface being a factor.
I would also add that there is a big difference between sitting zazen (static and relaxed, albeit w/ knees flexed) and doing dynamic suwariwaza aikido.
Add in the Western factor: those doing suwariwaza have not spent a lifetime kneeling--so we westerners go in one easy lesson from "here's how to sit in seiza" to trying to do martial arts techniques on our knees-- techniques and moves that we have poor body mechanics at when we do them STANDING for crying out loud, much less grinding and torquing hyperflexed knees into the ground. Tis no wonder we suffer.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:44 PM   #52
Upyu
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Re: Bad knees

Just curious, how many people in Aikido keep an arch of tension running along the inside of their legs?
The chinese call it the "dang" which props up the spine, but it also keeps the knees in alignment.
The chinese do NOT have a copyright on it btw, since it's pretty inherent in japanese arts as well.
Most kids used to practice Shiko stamping and other traditional japanese methods of strengthening/bulding balance awareness.

If you don't have this skill, you're more liable to use other means to try and generate power, especially to the detriment of your joints.
Just my two cents.

Oh, anyone here ever try using a suburito that weighs more than say, 3kg? You can't swing that "#$"er torquing your body, otherwise you'd probably pull something.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:58 PM   #53
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
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Re: Bad knees

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Just curious, how many people in Aikido keep an arch of tension running along the inside of their legs?
[snip]

Oh, anyone here ever try using a suburito that weighs more than say, 3kg? You can't swing that "#$"er torquing your body, otherwise you'd probably pull something.
Yes and yes. My usual suburito weighs about 4 lbs, but we also use solid stainless steel 'jo' for suburi/ kata exercises. Those weigh just over 12 lbs and are an amazing source of feedback for your movents.

Definitely hoping we can trade some notes in October when I'm in Tokyo...
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:08 PM   #54
shadowedge
 
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Re: Bad knees

topic insert:

A good friend of mine is a medical representative for a company that sells a product specifically aimed at joint, bone and muscle problems.

We talked about this thread since the knee problem worries me as well. She took the opinion of the various orthopedic doctors she works with and this is what they had to say:

it is inevitable in ANY martial art or sport to injure certain parts of the body. whether lost tooth, muscle spasm or muscle aches or bone & joint damage- they are all inevitable and it could happen to anyone..

all our joints are prone to wear & tear just like car parts as we grow older, so its best to take care of them. proper exercise & a good martial art could actually strengthen our bones & prolong our lives.

curatives:should any minor injury happen, it is best to rest the affected area by taking a break from aikido for weeks, put ice on the inflamed area, compress it with a bandage & elevate it..& take pain killers. but for major accidents, see your orthopedic surgeon right away.

for prevention, really stretch before & after aikido.

Essentially thats their standpiont on this.

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Old 08-30-2006, 11:18 AM   #55
Janet Rosen
 
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Re: Bad knees

Quote:
Rene Vencer, Jr wrote:
for prevention, really stretch before & after aikido.
Stretching before is less necessary than warmup before. More people than not seem to confuse and combine the two.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:58 PM   #56
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Bad knees

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
Stretching before is less necessary than warmup before. More people than not seem to confuse and combine the two.
You are preaching my sermon. I didn't feel like getting into it, so I passed. Actually, not only is passive, static stretching not a warmup - it has not been show to prevent injury - there is a chance it can cause injury if done improperly or excessively. The way most people stretch with forceful, passive stretches can tear muscle fibers. I have also seen studies that show this kind of stretching actually results in decreased strength performance afterward compared to not stretching at all.

Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is a different story. Dynamic stretching is somewhat 'ballistic' where there is a sort of rubber-band bounceback effect at the end of the motion range. If done properly, it can help prepare the muscles for the coming activity, and is especially useful if the muscles will be doing something like this in the activity - like sprinting or throwing. As one might expect, the dynamic stretches need to be movement specific, and done more gently than whatever will be happening to them during the training. Ballistic stretching done incorrectly, on the other hand, is likely to cause injury. I do several types of leg and arm swinging dynamic stretches before most exercise.
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:44 PM   #57
Janet Rosen
 
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Re: Bad knees

I knew I could rely on you Kevin :-) thank you

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:43 AM   #58
Nikopol
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Re: Bad knees

http://www.beinghealthynaturally.com...hritispain.htm

this has some good ways to speed up your cartilage recovery.
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:29 AM   #59
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Bad knees

In my experience, it is not the suwari waza practice itself that causes knee injury, but improper form. When doing shikko if one bounces or improperly shifts his weight while moving then extra force is placed on the knees. I have never used kneepads, but found that practice with a hakama is MUCH easier because it allows me to slide as my knees rotate.
Having said that, I have also experienced a knee injury, but I believe it was due to a different reason. There are many instances, such as in ikkyo, when uke is not allowed the luxury of ukemi, that he is forced to go crashing to the floor, sometimes on his knees. Also, in the traditional method of ushiro ukemi where one is taught to collapse the leg, this often causes the knee of the collapsed leg to hit the ground. Usually, this is not very painful, but one week after receiving ikkyo ura I noticed some pain, and then I couldn't do shikko for a week. Since then I have made variations to my ukemi so that I use my ankles more and avoid hitting my knees on the mat. Since then, no problems.
It was also mentioned in this thread about injuries to other joints. Again, I believe this to be due to improper form ( on part of nage ). Kote gaeshi's that twist the hand away instead of back toward uke I think causes damage to the wrist. Also, using force in techniques such as ikkyo can cause damage to a resisting uke.
Attention to detail in form and practice is important to avoiding injury.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:20 PM   #60
Janet Rosen
 
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Re: Bad knees

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
http://www.beinghealthynaturally.com...hritispain.htm
this has some good ways to speed up your cartilage recovery.
#1 : gelatin is an incomplete protein; ie, it does not have all the essential amino acids a human needs/in the right proportion. Further, and way more importantly: when you eat or drink a substance, the digestive tract and the bloodstream do NOT say "oh, it comes FROM cartilage, so I have to send it TO cartilage." A nutrient may play a particular role (say, a B vitamin acting on the neuro system, vit C acting on the capillary walls), but fats, carbohydrates and proteins don't go running to specific body sites to "fix them."
#2: "Cartilage recovery" is an issue for the subset of aikidoka w/ osteoarthritis. Glucosamine and the like HAVE been promising in this regard for some people - certainly w/ pain relief if not w/ recovery - and there are some injections in early use/very expensive that are looking promising for getting some regrowth. But pretty much, as of late 2007 and for most of us, once its gone its gone and all we can do is try to mitigate the damage and prevent it from proceeding at a worse pace.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:30 PM   #61
Pierre Kewcharoen
 
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Re: Bad knees

I have bad knees since I was 24 from playing soccer. glucosamine/chondroiten supplements help as well as going to a gym and strengthening/rehabbing the joints.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:48 AM   #62
xuzen
 
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Re: Bad knees

All of you are wrong wrong wrong....

Being Biped and having Gravity gives you bad knees. Period.

'Em BJJ' er are smart... they play their game lying down most of the time and spread the load over a larger surface are. The Gracie... smart people.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:30 AM   #63
jc225
 
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Re: Bad knees

I wanted to comment on this post even though it's older because I watched a really interesting interview with Christian Tissier Shihan last night and then an interview with his ex-wife Micheline Tissier right after. They both spoke of injury and how it has effected they way they practice Aikido today. Both have suffered knee injuries that no longer allow them to even bow before or after class without being in some modified position much less practice Suwari Waza, Hanmi Handachi, Shikko or sitting in Seiza.

Tissier Shihan also mentioned (and you could see in the video) that during practice he will usually bow on one knee and do most of his techniques from one side because of the limiting factors he now faces because of those knee injuries. I started back in 97', am currently 46 and I can tell you right now that there isn't a day that goes by that my knee's don't remind me of both.

A round of cortisone in both knee's earlier this year 1/19 did bring some relief for a short period of time but reality has returned and now most trainings begin with an extended knee warm up routine before to get ready for the class. Healing and recovery is of course longer than it used to be and I think that during my conversations and treatment with the the Ortho from Steadman/Hawkins, it's become clear that Aikido for me anyway has definitely been the cause of my left medial meniscus tear and any other knee issues.

I'm 6' 3" and I only weigh about 180 pounds so I'm taller, leaner and take good care of myself and I think this has definitely helped with battling the knee issues but certainly has not stopped them. With Aikido being my passion the reality of the situation has become very clear to me. I will continue to practice Aikido until the pain gets the upper hand and effects the way I practice then I will have both knee's replaced and will continue my journey.

I can't imagine and never want to imagine not being able to practice Aikido. So I guess my question is, after seeing quite a few people limp around and have their mobility greatly reduced and practice so greatly affected, why don't you have the knee or knee's replaced? I'm sure that there is going to be some change and or restrictions after, but are those any worse than the limited motion and pain that you are experiencing now?

Just a thought.

Last edited by jc225 : 06-19-2019 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:29 AM   #64
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Bad knees

Interesting question. I have been practicing for 10 years now with knee issues. Over time I have had to discontinue suwari waza, shiko and hanmi handachi and I generally stand to bow in. Other than that It does not stop my practice. I have had some conversations with my teachers and with Mary Heiny sensei about how to adapt techniques to my own body, as we all must in time.

Mary Heiny has had knee and hip replacements and still practices but she still has limitations and must listen to her body. Her advice to me has always been to not focus on what you can't do but to focus on what you can do and do that. This may mean changing how you take ukemi or how you move while doing a technique. For me. for instance, I cannot easily do our most basic form of iriminage without a lot of very careful movement and taking ukemi for ikkyo requires the person acting as nage to be more in tune with the unique way I need to move for a successful throw. Thanks to a visitor form out of the country; I recently learned a different ukemi for jujinage from what we teach and it was very helpful since I want to still be a good partner for our younger students.

Replacing joints in time may be in order but those replacements won't reset you back to youth. You will still have limitations and will still need to learn to work with an aging body. I have no fears that I will ever really have to quite training. I will just have to continue to find more creative ways to adapt.
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