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Old 03-09-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
Sarah Lothmann
 
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Etiquette Question

Please bare with me here...I'm such a newb that I arrive at the dojo with that "new fresh gi" scent! I observed for a week before joining a dojo in my town. Since then I've only been to 2 classes. Which by the way were AWESOME!! Despite my routine of weight training and other sports, I was pleasantly surprised by the soreness i experienced after my first day. During my second class while working on front rolling I made a boo boo. It's in my blog here, so I won't go into details in this thread. The result off my boo boo left me with some damage to my shoulder. I've been checked out by the doc. Xrays were clean. The doc says I have tissue damage and so this next week I have to take it easy in all aspects of my life. If I recover well, then I can play again! Otherwise he wants to do an MRI to see what the extent of the damage is. So, while I will go to watch class, (even if I have to call a cab as I did today since I can't even drive now), I would like to perhaps utilize my down time in getting a better grasp of some basic footwork.

Luckily the dojo seems to be one big happy family! Everyone I have met has been kind, welcoming, and everything a gal could ask for in her pursuit of harmony! I will ask my sensei about how I can go about this footwork 101. Thing is, like most people, seems everyone works full time jobs and I don't want to be a nuisance inquiring. Is asking for out-of-class assistance on footwork this early in my development appropriate? Is there an approach that would be advisable? I know no one at my dojo would say I'm necessarily out of line, but like I said, I'm such newb...a very thirsty, hungry, sponge-like newb... And I want to take in all that I may!

Any advice will openly be received. Thank you!
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:14 AM   #2
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Ettiquette Question

With the caveat that different dojos have different ways of doing things, it would probably not be a problem if you simply attended a class, and worked on your footwork (either by youself or with a partner) over in a corner of the mat, out of the way of the regular practice. Your instructor's American, so no need to be overly concerned with etiquette here, just explain to him your situation like you did here.

Finally, aikido isn't going anywhere. There's no need to rush. Don't be afraid to just take some time off, take it easy, and go back when you're fully healed up. At this point, it's not as if a break would even affect your progress, or set you back.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:37 AM   #3
JohnRN
Dojo: Aikido of Birmingham
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Re: Ettiquette Question

Hi Sarah!!
While reading your post (before your blog) I was thinking I bet she drilled her shoulder into the mat during a roll. Sure enough you did. If it makes you feel any better I offer the following. I've been hurt more in Aikido than I can imagine. I don't say that to scare you but to encourage you that accidents will happen but its important to keep on going. I've had snapped ribs from taking a break fall onto concrete, I have torn cartilage in both of my wrists a torn tendon here and there in the wrists, as well as a concussion and a recent injury involving my knee which was completely my fault. All of these injuries happened at one dojo with the exception of the last.

Now granted these injuries happened over a period of 10 years of training and I'm still on the mat. The key to my injuries was taking the time off to let them heal properly. Even with the knee, I only did what I knew I could absolutely do. I do not see any problem with going to class. Let the sensei know what you can and can not do, and do NOT push yourself to do something because your eager. Believe me the dojo will still be there let your shoulder heal up, do footwork work or just watch and learn. You can learn a great deal by just watching and hearing all the instruction from all the various people on the mat.

Happy Training and remember Ice is your friend.

John

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Old 03-10-2009, 06:51 AM   #4
Nick P.
 
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Re: Ettiquette Question

"Sensei, I badly hurt my shoulder last week, and the doctor says I require rest time; may I still join class and practice footwork (aka tai sabaki) in the corner?"

Maybe also bring a video camera (ask if you can use it) and shoot some video to break up your footwork practice, and review at home and practice at home between classes, and I would forego asking for assistance, as right now your job (as is all our jobs, really) is to practice what we have been shown.

Good luck, heal up, and even once you think your shoulder is 100%, add an extra class or two of rest, as any re-injury to that area too soon will likely be less benign, ask me how I know about rushing back after an injury.....

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Old 03-10-2009, 06:58 AM   #5
lbb
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Re: Ettiquette Question

My sensei encourages students to watch class if they can't participate.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:58 AM   #6
heathererandolph
Dojo: Kokikai Aikido Boston
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Re: Ettiquette Question

It's too bad you hurt your shoulder. You say you do some weight training. I hurt my shoulder a couple of times in Aikido and I now am pretty sure I had actually hurt it during weight training and it showed up in Aikido when I went to a camp. I stopped weight training and have since not had that problem, but it was horrible. I was in pain, I had to sit out one entire weekend seminar in pain.
I got better within a few days though.

I don't think you have to stop weight training but you might consider laying off it somewhat until your body gets used to Aikido. Also, new students are always nervous and that tension can work against you by causing injury. Aikido is a workout!

I wonder if you can't do part of the class? Maybe you could not do the rolls, and work out on one side only? It's hard to say when you can come back, but usually when you're at 80% it is suggested you go back to your workout as doing exercise is actually helpful. I don't think you want to go to class when you are actively in pain.

My suggestion is to take some time off. As for the etiquette question, definitely let your instructor know you were injured and find out what he thinks about taking the part of the class you can do or if he'd like you to observe for now.

I haven't really been injured much in class, so don't expect necessarily to be injured a lot! This could be chalked up to being new and stiff as all new students are. In Aikido we learn to relax though.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:48 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ettiquette Question

"Shoulder separation" in which the tissues binding the collarbone to the breastbone are injured is a very common newbie injury and comes from landing ON the shoulder.
This can easily take up to 6 to 8 wks to fully heal, so please don't rush back into rolling/falling, or you may reinjure it and end up with a chronic injury. But if you take time to show up, watch class, do footwork exercises, you will stay engaged with your aikido and your dojo community and you will let yourself heal nicely.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:56 PM   #8
Sarah Lothmann
 
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Re: Ettiquette Question

Great feedback! Thank you all for taking a moment to respond! I know, Iknow... Aikido nor the dojo is going anywhere.... I've got this issue, I always have, to immerse myself in all that I do. I tend to always push myself too hard? I realize these are flaws in my character. And today I am thinking to myself, what might O'Sensei say to me? Probably something along the lines as this happened for a purpose... as a part of my learning process - I must know when to wait - when to be patient. Anticipation has balance.

So I will do as you all have so kindly suggested. I think tonight I will watch and rest this shoulder up. Perhaps by Thursday if I respect my body with some TLC then maybe I can get back on the mats for some stretches and footwork (something low impact).

One must learn to walk before one can run....one step or slide at a time!

Thank you again for your responses! I appreciate it greatly! =)
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:46 PM   #9
lbb
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Re: Ettiquette Question

I don't personally think that injuries happen for a purpose. They happen, and there's a lesson to be learned from them, but most people don't seem to learn it the first time around. That's how we get all those little souvenirs that most active people acquire once they've got a few decades on the odometer. It doesn't have to mean much of anything; it's just what happened to you, it's part of life. I think it's better to regard it not so much as something that happened for a purpose (because the truth is, many injuries just don't have an upside), but as something that happens to a lot of people, and they get through it, and you can too.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:00 PM   #10
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
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Re: Ettiquette Question

Yup, take care with the shoulder. At our last camp I was the "walking wounded" with a really touchy lower back. Combine that with a bad knee and simply being very tired to begin with was a bad combination. Next thing I knew I was asked to teach an extra session then a senior called me up to demonstrate some weapons stuff. Well, one bad fall on my part (brain fart, fatigue, injury, whatever) and I clipped my shoulder in a roll. I felt it when I did it. I was so angry with myself that I just kept going and training. Big mistake.

3 months later it was still sore. Only now (9 months later) does it feel totally normal again.

Be nice. Shoulders are remarkably complex.

Wonderful to see the enthusiasm, but injuries are something you need to avoid and then take care of when they happen if you want to be training for a lifetime. You're new -- take it slow, take it easy, and enjoy the trip...

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Old 03-10-2009, 10:46 PM   #11
Sarah Lothmann
 
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Re: Ettiquette Question

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I don't personally think that injuries happen for a purpose. They happen, and there's a lesson to be learned from them, but most people don't seem to learn it the first time around. That's how we get all those little souvenirs that most active people acquire once they've got a few decades on the odometer. It doesn't have to mean much of anything; it's just what happened to you, it's part of life. I think it's better to regard it not so much as something that happened for a purpose (because the truth is, many injuries just don't have an upside), but as something that happens to a lot of people, and they get through it, and you can too.
Thank you Mary for your perspective. I appreciate your stand point. Personally I disagree with you in two points of your comment. I feel everything in life has purpose...it is just a matter of seeing it, as it can be difficult to see sometimes. I also feel that everything has balance, thus injuries have both a downside and an upside. Again, not always easy to see both sides, however, sometimes maybe even years later the balance is there - if you allow yourself to see it. I do agree with you in regards that focusing on a downside would hinder progress. Yes, bad things happen to people all the time. People are faced with the option to overcome the obstacle or be defeated by it. I appreciate your encouragement. Thank you
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:49 PM   #12
Sarah Lothmann
 
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Re: Ettiquette Question

Thank you Keith! I am enjoying this trip thus far, I am certain I will continue to even when I find myself through a set back! =)
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:08 AM   #13
lbb
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Re: Ettiquette Question

Quote:
Sarah Lothmann wrote: View Post
I do agree with you in regards that focusing on a downside would hinder progress.
I didn't actually say that, but that's not important. You may choose to regard everything as being for a purpose and having an upside; from the perspective of having had plenty of injuries, I would say that that's not always obvious. Combine that with the fact that people aren't computers, you can't just swap out a part and a lot of injuries take a long time to heal (and most major ones never really heal completely), and you can end up in a pretty discouraged place. You hurt every day, your injury isn't better yet, every time you try to use it you get set back...purpose, purpose, where's the purpose??? Where's the upside??? And it's just not there. My point was simply that, IMO, based on my own experiences AND observing a lot of injured people, the best mindset is one of acceptance. Yes, you can influence the outcome of an injury, there are all kinds of ways, but when it comes right down to it, you don't control the outcome; you don't even know what the outcome will be. Your body will heal, in its own time, in its own way, to some degree...or it won't. Accepting that is IME pretty important to getting through injuries.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
Sarah Lothmann
 
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Re: Ettiquette Question

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Yes, you can influence the outcome of an injury, there are all kinds of ways, but when it comes right down to it, you don't control the outcome; you don't even know what the outcome will be.
I agree with you there Mary! One definitely cannot control the outcome! To try to would be disastrous...speaking from my own experiences! What I'm trying to put out there, which I may not have been to clear about, is that one can control their perception of the outcome. For example:

My ex-fiance of 7 years, now very dear friend, had been fresh out of high school, just finished basic training in the military, and had just gone home for a brief visit before he was stationed in Germany for a year. He was a Crew Chief and eagerly looked forward to his work with F-16s and one day getting his chance to ride in one! While home for the weekend, late at night, while on the freeway, he sees a man on the side of the road needing a jump. He helps the guy out. While hooking up jumper cables, a drunk driver comes wildly along going over 80 mph and hits one of the vehicles. My ex was between the two parked cars at the time. As you can imagine he was crushed between the two. His injuries that night were beyond what most folks can imagine. He was told he would require amputation, and later that night he nearly died from blood loss. By some miracle or will of his own maybe, the doctors were able to save his legs. But things were never as easy nor the same as before. Years upon years he struggled to build strength. To this day he still aches constantly, limps, and cannot do the things in life he once planned to do. It took him years to work through the emotional aspects. He still is. However he has found upsides to his injury. He has helped people understand the value in not drinking and driving, helps people understand their fears with pain, gives inspiration to those who are stuck in self pity... I could go on and on. Yes he still thinks it "sucks royally" and is unfair, but as you said, he has learned a level of acceptance. Through this acceptance then came the ability to see purpose. That's all I was hoping to communicate. Sorry I wasn't to clear before. Mary, you are right on track with it...thank you for helping me express this!
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