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Old 09-10-2003, 02:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2
Blows to the chest in Aikido?

I'm going to be taking my first Aikido class in October, and I'm very excited about it. I've wanted to learn Aikido for many years now, but something just occurred to me that may put a damper on it.

I have costochondritis, an annoying but benign health condition in which pressure or blows to my rib cage seriously hurt me. When you train in Aikido, are there many situations when blows to the chest or ribs occur? I can tolerate it every once in awhile, but if it happened several times a session I'd be in agony.

Thanks--I'm pretty new to all this.

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Old 09-10-2003, 03:13 PM   #2
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
No, usually atemi (striking) is directed to the chin, sides of the head or neck and the lower abdomen, and with beginners should never be with full force and intent. You should be ok, however make your condition known to your instructor and your training partners. Welcome, have fun, practice hard, practice safe.
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:17 PM   #3
ChristianBoddum's Avatar
Dojo: Aarhus AiKiKai
Location: Aarhus,Denmark
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 263
Hi Kate !

In general the blows you fear are very seldom

in AiKiDo training as we use "formalised" strikes to the top of the head/side of the head-straight punches to the face or belly area, roughly speaking.

These are to learn directions of attacks,

if the technique is being performed correctly, you will never receive a full blow.

There are however throws that can be quite hard to the body - if you start going against the flow,but these are not beginners stuff and your nage (thrower) must always be aware of your level,and you can always ask for a softer version that lets you roll at the end.

Hope you'll enjoy it !

yours - Chr.B.
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:44 PM   #4
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420

I agree with what's been said above, but I would caution you on the falling part of practice (what we call "ukemi"). I can see side falls and break falls causing some discomfort until you've learned to do them correctly.

In your shoes, I would talk with my doctor and my aikido instructor first, and then spend a lot of time learning how to fall safely (which is actually good advice for anyone).

I also wonder if there isn't some protective equipment that might help. Something like the rib protectors that football quarterbacks use. *shrug* It's worth looking into, anyway.

Eventually, you'll learn how to fall safely with the only discomfort being from getting out of breath.



-Drew Ames
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Old 09-10-2003, 04:45 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2
Thanks for the encouragement

I was worried mainly because I watched a video where someone got whacked repeatedly in the chest and then tossed around the room and slammed to the ground. However, it makes sense that these were advanced demonstrations! I've emailed the instructor and will see what he says--I think I can do it, though.
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:53 PM   #6
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Not just side falls and break falls. I think even your front and back rolls can cause your chest to collapse if you don't keep proper extension throughout. Take your ukemi properly and seriously.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:59 AM   #7
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 456
There is always a possibility of a strike; always the possibility of injury. Do not forget that! Accidents happen. One very senior and talented sensei did without malice or intent strike me in the chest with a palm strike in 1984. It resulted in chest surgery. This is a martial art and sometimes injury happens. I have without malice or intent seriously hurt other people. Now there are dojos where the chance of injury are much less than others. Chose wisely based on you physical condition, what you want out of Aikido. One size does not fit all. I have a chronic neuromuscular illness myself (Myasthenia Gravis) and over the last 35 or so years of budo training I have had to listen to and respect my body's demands. Sometimes training physically very very hard and other times working on parts of me other than the body. If you approach Aikido as a holistic art and you have the right teachers then the experience can be life changing.

for more read this if you like


Last edited by Dennis Hooker : 09-11-2003 at 09:03 AM.

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

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