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Old 05-21-2003, 12:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6
Aikido and Disability

Hello Everyone,

I trained in aikido for about 4 months before I was diagnosed with a type of rheumatoid arthritis. This disease has crippled my life as I have known it. I have tried to return to train but am unable to perform as well as before due to pain and stiffness. Now I have been completely out of training for 1 month.

My question to everyone is this: Do you or anyone you know who trains in aikido suffer from any disablilities? Also, have you or anyone you know have been able to return to training?

I would like to hear the experiences of others and how they coped with their unique situations.

Thanks for reading.

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Old 05-21-2003, 12:50 AM   #2
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
Location: Jakarta
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 247
I hurt my left fibular ligament6months ago, which makes me unable to train because its unstable when I stand and hurt while walking, especially seiza. What I can suggest you is just do any aikido exercise that you are comfortable doing with, last time I just do suburi and sword movements for at least two months before my injury is starting to recover. If you think you can't do the technique then don't do it, like in my case when my friend did suwari-waza kokyuho in sitting, I did it standing instead. Now after 6 months I can go back to train although I still feel a bit pain when doing kaiten (turning) shikko.

Don't worry, I think aikido techniques is flexible enough to cope with injury, just keep up your training and don't give up.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:22 AM   #3
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 303
To answer the first question, yes, I do know people that train with disabilities. Ome of my first instructors had a prosthetic lower leg. A member from a sister club is blind and we had a member in a wheelchair. Whenever I feel that I can't be bothered any more because I am finding the training difficult, I think of these three people and get on with it.

Have fun

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:51 AM   #4
Daniel Mills
Daniel Mills's Avatar
Dojo: Kokyu Aikido Association.
Location: Oldham, UK
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 85
We have a Shodan who has some sort of muscular disorder or deterioration that means that only perhaps less than ten years ago, he couldn't take more than a few steps at a time, He is also certified blind..

.. and he does pretty much O.K
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:49 AM   #5
aubrey bannah
Dojo: Yoshinkan Brisbane
Location: aust
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 34
Hi Andersen,I have had a left arm amputation yrs ago. I have been training in Yoshinkan Aikido for about nine yrs. I think that if you are happy to train or even just being in the Dojo there is not a reason to stop. It does not matter about your level of performance. It can be very had to train when in pain, or if certain movements cause intense pain, but I know a LOT of Olympic class athlete's in wheelchair's from 20 to 60 odd yrs old, most of which struggle with disablities and pain every day. What I'm saying is make every day as good as it can be that day, let tomorrow take care of itself.

Yours Aubrey
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:19 AM   #6
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 456
Jun has put my commments here a long time ago.


Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido

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Old 05-21-2003, 07:34 AM   #7
Michael Neal
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 601
I have Multiple Sclerosis and train in both Aikido and Judo. I also weight lift and run. I sometimes forget that I have MS because I so rarely think about it or let it impact my life. I am lucky that I have not had many symptoms so unless I am unable to train someday I will try keep at it.
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Old 05-21-2003, 11:46 AM   #8
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
Location: Orlando
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 159
I have a student who has a M.S. He does extremely well. As Aikido is an art which is more about principle that specifics is it well suited to anyone taining with or without a specific problem. I have also trained a blind student as well as some who were terminally short on common sense.

Most of us who have been at this over thirty years are limited in one way or another.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:36 PM   #9
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 17

First, I am sorry to hear about your coming down with RA. I have a type of RA that affects the spine so I can certainly relate to what you are going through.

To your question about training...talk with your instructor and let him know what is going on with you. I was diagnosed a little over two years ago. And to be honest since then I have made very few classes but I still show up when I can. The senior students laugh when I show up but aikido helps me deal with the arthritis.

To try and give you hope for the last two years I've worked with my doctor. And recently I started a new medicine and have been feeling alot better. And over the last three months have been making the classes alot more regularly. And that feels great!

So work with your doctors and if Aikido is important to you work with your instructor and you should be able to continue your training.

I am sorry I have rambled on, but I just wanted to let you know it's tough to train with RA but if aikido is important to you - It is definitely worth it!

If you have any questions about RA feel free to drop me an email.

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Old 05-21-2003, 04:11 PM   #10
Janet Rosen
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
I know of a couple of people who train despite fibromyalgia. One returned to training just a yr ago, entering the dojo with a cane, barely walking. Between taking care of herself, getting to the gym to work on strength training, and showing up at the dojo (and lots of spirit) she has passed her 4th kyu test. I train in a rigid knee brace following surgery. Basically, we each bring certain limits into the dojo with us. The physical ones are the EASY ones; you find them, you push them a little, you find out if they can be improved and if not you adapt your training. All things considered, its the NONphysical ones that are harder....

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:43 PM   #11
Dojo: Waiuku Ki Society
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 68
We have two kids in class, 1 in a wheelchair with spinabifida, and the other with a fused elbow. The chap in the chair is an inspiration when he hops on the ground and bows before and after class, he's had many operations, but does well without the use of his legs. The girl with the fused elbow is an extremely keen beginner, and she also does well. I focus on what they are capable or may be capable of doing, but they still train as hard/well as the rest of them.

"Excess leads to the path of Wisdom"
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Old 05-23-2003, 01:45 AM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6
Thank you all for you replies. My condition will be a struggle for me to overcome but I believe that eventually I will work up enough determination and confidence to return to formal training.


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