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Old 11-13-2001, 08:13 AM   #1
PeterR
 
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Fatal Injuries

Not sure where to put this but there is an article available on serious injuries and death during Aikido practice.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/cgi-bin...c&f=9&t=000956

I know the author, having read many of his articles, learned Aikido from two of his students and on occaision himself, and of course shared beer.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-14-2001, 04:42 AM   #2
ian
 
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Thankyou Peter,

Definately recommend to everyone to read this.

as an instructor at a University I found this very important reading. I think many people who initially come to aikido come with a 'competitve' mind and try to do techniques very hard or try to resist, causing alot of injury for beginners. Also, particularly younger people, want to be very vigorous and tend to be less aware of the potenital to harm the other person.

I especially liked the quote;
"in the Sumo world, though butting practice is frequent, cerebral disorders are rare."

Ian
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Old 11-14-2001, 07:26 PM   #3
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Exclamation Neck Exercises?

Hi Peter,

I was very alarmed at reading that report, being a University instructor also. I think it should be read by all of us as a reminder to be vigilant of the safety practices in our respective dojos.

I have a question though. What are those particular neck exercises referred to in the report? I would like to include them in our class warm ups also.

Arigato Gozaimashita
L.C.

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Old 11-15-2001, 07:24 AM   #4
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Basically the warm-up exercises related to the neck, done to an 8 count are:

hand to the left side of head - push against
hand to the right side - push against
hand to the front - push against
linked hands to the back - push against

rapid turn of head to the right
rapid turn to the left
tilting to the right
tilting to the left
tilting back and forth (head forward and back)
shaking the head tilted back
circular motion of head both ways

a series of progressive archings (hips only, back only, hips and back) ending up supporting the body with the head and feet only. Not recommended right away for beginners.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-15-2001, 01:17 PM   #5
L. Camejo
 
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Thanks for the info Peter, actually the majority of this exercise is already done as part of our "official" warm up in Shodokan.

I'll put the rest to use immediately.

Arigato Gozaimashita
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 11-15-2001, 01:31 PM   #6
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The isometric neck exercises are not done at Honbu - I learned them under Shishida's students and use them in my classes. I had a long skinny neck.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-15-2001, 03:48 PM   #7
Jem8472
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Ki Symbol

Hello all,

from reading that report, the thing I get form it is not to do anything too much, if you look at the table, a lot of the deat or injuries cam from doing a lot of the same thing. One girl died after doing 1hour 20 mins of break falls, the on the 75th!! repetition of Iriminage she basically collapsed, she said she did 280 breakfalls that day. In my opinon that is far too much to do espically she was a beginner!

What do you all think of that do you think it is too much to do 280 break falls for a beginner?


anyway better go now.

Jem

Last edited by Jem8472 : 11-15-2001 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 11-15-2001, 09:36 PM   #8
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After looking at the numbers and hours practiced by these ppl, I'm feeling quite inadequate.

Can anyone tell me whats the normal practice like for their respective dojos?

Over at my place, we just about have time for maybe 8-12 repetitions of a single technique as nage and same as uke. But if people are doing it by the hundreds....

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-15-2001, 10:47 PM   #9
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Might not be the norm, but long stretches of one technique can occur in a class. In my first dojo one Saturday three of us showed up for a one hour class. Sensei demo'd shomenuchi irimi nage, and turn us loose as a three-some in a class that he stretched to over two hours. You were expected to give a very committed attack, get up immediately and attack again. Sensei would make comments as we worked but only once did he briefly stop us to correct a point, then just had us continuously do the technique for over two hours. Doesn't take that long to do irimi nage on a committed uke, and uke can pop right back up...after a while the other female in our threesome dropped out, the lone fellow and I continued on: I'd bet we got many hundred throws in two hours.
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Old 11-16-2001, 01:28 AM   #10
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wow. i hope my sensei doesn't read this and get the same idea.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-18-2001, 09:57 PM   #11
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CA thats kinda like how the yoshinkan do their teaching ( at least in my class)... well. gotta sleep

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 11-26-2001, 04:37 PM   #12
Richard Harnack
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Angry My dander is up

Over the years I have heard of Aikidoka being paralyzed or killed while taking ukemi for particular techniques. The main one involved is Shihonage because if Nage jerks down very hard as Uke moves forward, Uke can flip up and come down on their neck.

I have never understood this type of training and most likely never will. In class it is Nage's RESPONSIBILITY to take care of Uke. Such behavior on the part of Nage is criminal, not to mention poor training.

In regards the situation where the woman died as a result of too many breakfalls in a short period of time, where was her instructor? Was the instructor qualified to be teaching? Given that the instructor had a student die under their tutelage, I would presume that the instructor really is not fit to be trusted with students.

Too many breakfalls over a period without sufficient rest and recovery and water, can lead to a bruising of the kidneys. Ultimatley, this bruising can lead to kidney failure.

"Train hard" does not mean "train hard and stupid".

For me it is always "why" the student is training that determines "how" they train. Instructors also should be clear on their "why" they are teaching and "how" they are teaching. They should be clear to all of their students on both of these.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
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Old 11-26-2001, 05:34 PM   #13
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Hey Dallas,

Well, that explains it, I guess...Sensei got his first few dan degrees in Yoshinkan (Yoshinkai?), but then also studied under Chiba Sensei as well, before forming his own association, so especially since I was new to all this, I never knew if it was the former influence, the later, or just his personality that made our classes the way they were.

I do know that between his insistence on correct behavior and insistence on dedicated training, dojos have only seemed easier as I've moved around---but it's all good
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Old 12-04-2001, 09:37 AM   #14
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I think we are forgetting that we do train in budo, a martial way. These techniques can be fatal when applied correctly. Death can happen at any instant. Bad ukemi, failure to get out of the way of a bokken strike, pushing ourselves too hard, negligence and malice is not required for injury. The gods do as they will.

Aikido is oftentime preached as being the martial art that everyone can perform. I think this encourages a lot of people who probably should not train in budo to join an aikido dojo. Budo is hardwork; it is a method for spiritual warriors to forge their body, mind and spirt. It is not for everyone.

There are various paths a person can follow to The Way (e.g. yoga, shodo), but budo is the only path where we learn to kill as we undertake our spiritual journey. Death on the mat is a real possibility. Everytime I walk onto the mat I acknowledge that, as should everyone and pray that my uke and I walkaway unharmed. By living under the blade we learn that life is truly delicate and precious. Every moment is a gift from the Divine.

May the God and Goddess have mercy on those who died along the path, but it is better to die along the path then to have never walked it at all.

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Old 12-04-2001, 09:57 AM   #15
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Its a great post Damion. It speaks to the required mind set for any sort of Budo. The intensity of the training does not always have to be at the edge but the acknowledgement of the possibilities must be there.

I really do think Aikido is a martial art that anyone can practice, and the social aspect of a dojo is a major plus for me, but when you train you must have the martial focus.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-04-2001, 10:52 AM   #16
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Aikido might have a false reputation of being soft and safe. I have practiced in the past Judo and Thai Boxing for many years and never witnessed or heard of a deadly or near dealy incident, untill I started up Aikido. In my understanding, Aikido is the only MA where someone gives himself willingly without resistance for another person to apply very dangerous throwing and arm/wrist locking techniques. During this year, I have witnessed a huge (1.90 meters and 100 Kgs) 2 Dan black belt throw a 7 Kyu (out of 10 kyu at our school) student with a Kokyu Nage and kept holding the arm untill Uke landed very heavily and almost vertically on the top of his head. We all feared for our friend's life, as he was unconscious for a few minutes. He went later to the hospital, had to wear a neck brace for 1 month, and ever since doesn't want to hear anything about Aikido. Of course the second Dan student is still throwing people around almost carelessly (I say almost because he has been reprimanded severely by Sensei, but some people are just mentally sick and cannot stop hurting others).

Anyhow, it would be interesting to know how many of this site's visitors have actually witnessed such accidents in order to establish some kind of pattern of frequency or severity of accidents.

Be safe,
Edward
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Old 12-04-2001, 04:18 PM   #17
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Damion, I think you hit the nail right on the head. You have voiced what I have been trying to voice to myself. Thank you.

Ed, I believe you asked about accidents, as of yet, the only aikido accidents I have seen are the occasional cuts on the feet that come from nail scratches. It seems to be fairly common, having happened twice in my dojo in a one month period, is it common for others? Other then that, this ar and this dojo is probably the safest pairing I have ever been exposed to. Our sensei is great, cares for all his students, and as a result all of the students are relaxed, happy, and seemingly without ego. Previously in other arts I have seen many bad things, breaks, dislocations... one 'accident' in kenpo has damaged my left hand to the point where I can dislocate my fingers with little challenge.

What I am wondering is how important is the neck in keeping ukemi safe? And what steps can one take to strengthen the neck muscles?

Dave Mata
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Old 12-04-2001, 04:30 PM   #18
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by davem
What I am wondering is how important is the neck in keeping ukemi safe? And what steps can one take to strengthen the neck muscles?
I suggest you take a look at the original message (mine by the way) and the article it points to. Also the early discussion in the thread revolved around the neck.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-04-2001, 08:14 PM   #19
Richard Harnack
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"Death on the mat"

Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost Fox
...Aikido is oftentime preached as being the martial art that everyone can perform. I think this encourages a lot of people who probably should not train in budo to join an aikido dojo. Budo is hardwork; it is a method for spiritual warriors to forge their body, mind and spirt. It is not for everyone.

There are various paths a person can follow to The Way (e.g. yoga, shodo), but budo is the only path where we learn to kill as we undertake our spiritual journey. Death on the mat is a real possibility. Everytime I walk onto the mat I acknowledge that, as should everyone and pray that my uke and I walkaway unharmed. By living under the blade we learn that life is truly delicate and precious. Every moment is a gift from the Divine.
Aikido is an art that anyone can learn and perform. What we are discussing is at what level particular people want to train. Obviously you take your training very seriously as evidenced by the "death on the mat" statement.

So be it.

However, the martial attitude is no excuse for dangerous and malicious behavior towards others, in fact it is a complete misunderstanding of "budo" to pretend otherwise.

"The way of the samurai is the way of death" is a statement often quoted from the Hagakure. The kicker to this statement is that it is your own death that one is confronting, not the inflicting on someone else death.

O' Sensei made many statements about Aikido giving life and being in tune with life. He also encouraged us to "practice in a vibrant and joyful spirit". Those persons who inflict injury on others in training are not practicing "budo" if we are to follow O' Sensei on this.

True there are many other paths to follow and all who desire to walk a path should be allowed to discover which for themselves. Those who choose Aikido should be encouraged whenever possible, not injured by some overly "serious" student who fails in their responsiblity to take care of their partner.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
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Old 12-04-2001, 09:03 PM   #20
Edward
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I wonder what Mr. Goldsbury meant when he said on Aikijournal's bulletin board regarding this very subject, I quote:

"I think the matter of 'hazing' in Japan has to be seen in a certain context (and I am reminded of one of Ellis Amdur's pieces in AN/AJ about O Sensei turning a blind eye to obvious and wanton violence occuring under his very eyes. I myself have seen the late Kisshomaru Ueshiba do the same thing in the Hombu)."

I have seen a lot of footages of Osensei during which the training seems very intense but very relaxed in the same time. Not the kind of training which would cause serious unjuries. On the other hand, I know from first hand sources that one of Osensei's former Uchi Deshi's in France (not Tamura Sensei) used to force his students to do 500 to 1000 Zempo Ukemis non stop. I understand from the report that this could be fatal.
I would appreciate any comments.
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Old 12-05-2001, 03:05 AM   #21
unsound000
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I found a web site that says even the progressive arching using the head (or wrestlers bridge) can cause injury. Check it out.

http://www.indiana.edu/~preschal/res...estdec992.html

Listed under exercise concerns.

I would recommend bridging without using the head.


Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Basically the warm-up exercises related to the neck, done to an 8 count are:

hand to the left side of head - push against
hand to the right side - push against
hand to the front - push against
linked hands to the back - push against

rapid turn of head to the right
rapid turn to the left
tilting to the right
tilting to the left
tilting back and forth (head forward and back)
shaking the head tilted back
circular motion of head both ways

a series of progressive archings (hips only, back only, hips and back) ending up supporting the body with the head and feet only. Not recommended right away for beginners.
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Old 12-05-2001, 08:53 AM   #22
Ghost Fox
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Re: "Death on the mat"

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack


Aikido is an art that anyone can learn and perform. What we are discussing is at what level particular people want to train. Obviously you take your training very seriously as evidenced by the "death on the mat" statement.
I don't believe aikido is an art that anyone can learn or perform. Some people just do not have the mental discipline to understand the metaphysical theories behind aikido and budo, while other don't have the physical dexterity or stamina necessary to learn the mechanical complexities.

I do believe that all people can benefit from the ideals that aikido preaches. That is peace, harmony, and non-confrontation, but the mat is a sacred ritual space. People confuse a dojo with a gym; a dojo is a place where people go to learn about The Way. Just like not everyone belongs in a Catholic Cathedral or Taoist Monastery, not everyone belongs on the mat.

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack


However, the martial attitude is no excuse for dangerous and malicious behavior towards others, in fact it is a complete misunderstanding of "budo" to pretend otherwise.
I completely agree with you, if you read my post you will see that I state, "negligence and malice is not required for injury", budo is INHERIENTLY dangerous. Proper protocols and safeguards reduce the likelihood of injury, but they do not completely eliminate their possibility. Each year people are accidentally killed by firearms even though all the proper safeguards where in place. Things of a martial nature such as budo, firearms, knives can kill, it is intimately woven into their creation.

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack


"The way of the samurai is the way of death" is a statement often quoted from the Hagakure. The kicker to this statement is that it is your own death that one is confronting, not the inflicting on someone else death.
Again I totally agree. The confrontation of death and our own mortality is an ecstatic experience that must be embraced by all. Most people choose to live their entire life avoiding thoughts of their own mortality, this is a prison. People who truly practice budo understand this, and choose to face death and by doing so they find liberation. When I face an uke on the mat, I realize that we are participating in a intensely passionate and sacred moment. Aside from sexual intimacy there is no closer experience two people can share. When uke and nage face-off, it is a ritualistic recreation of two samurai in a dual to the death. I embrace my aikido, and hopefully death, the way I embrace my lover. Two people consumed in a mutual carnal experience whose only goal is to blend their individual egos and for one perfect moment become one.

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack


O' Sensei made many statements about Aikido giving life and being in tune with life. He also encouraged us to "practice in a vibrant and joyful spirit". Those persons who inflict injury on others in training are not practicing "budo" if we are to follow O' Sensei on this.
This is the goal I inspire to in my practice; it is my single motivation in aikido. Masters such as O'sensei are in such accord with the universe that their execution of technique is perfect. I make no such claims. I do my best to make sure my uke is unhurt during practice, and I have never seriously injured anyone on the mat. In my dojo we don't blame each other for the small bumps and bruises we obtain during practice. We don't even say sorry. We check to see if the other person is okay, but we all know pain is part of process. People often seek someone to blame, it has to be someone's fault, somebody has to have made a mistake, and who due I sue. This is the sniveling mentality that is destroying our culture, somethings just happen.

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Harnack


True there are many other paths to follow and all who desire to walk a path should be allowed to discover which for themselves. Those who choose Aikido should be encouraged whenever possible, not injured by some overly "serious" student who fails in their responsiblity to take care of their partner.
Serious, I don't think people are serious enough. I am a fanatic just like Ueshiba. O'sensei trained his student in Suwariwaza until they bled; he trained them rigorously for hours on end. They called his dojo at Ushigome the Hell Dojo. I love the people I train with and some of them have become like family to me. I would never do anything intentionally to hurt them, but I also know that some of them will be called upon to use their aikido to save their very lives. I would be hurting them even more if I didn't give them 100% of myself and demand the same in return. Someone on aikiweb has an excellent quote on their closing statement. "Iron sharpens iron so does a man sharpens the continence on their friend."

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Old 12-05-2001, 11:02 AM   #23
Edward
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brain damage

It has been proven that boxing is harmful to the brain. In a typical 1 hour Aikido training, we do fall at least a 100 times. This averages to maybe 600 times a week. I am sure that even though shocks are much less powerful than in boxing, there must be some damage which occurs....
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Old 12-05-2001, 05:16 PM   #24
Erik
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It's not always overtraining or excessive ukemi. One student I know of was kicked in the head during her 5th kyu test. She was leaning too much. It caused a blood clot which led to a stroke and brain damage. This happened in a very tame dojo by the way. Another student I know of was warming up doing back rolls when a beginner rolled into her. She wound up paralyzed. Another sad part of that one is that her husband is an Aikido instructor and may even have been teaching that class.

In my own case, I once wound up landing on the back of my neck. My neck went pop-pop-pop just like a chiropractor working on it. I still feel that injury a couple of years later and consider myself fortunate that I can still walk.

I also had a knife stuck in my shoulder in what I consider to be the stupidest thing I've ever been a part of. Not sure I could have avoided that one unless I'd walked out of the dojo and at the time wasn't grounded enough to have done so.

Sometimes, I wonder how people survive to old age.
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Old 12-05-2001, 05:41 PM   #25
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I wonder what Mr. Goldsbury meant when he said on Aikijournal's bulletin board regarding this very subject, I quote:

"I think the matter of 'hazing' in Japan has to be seen in a certain context (and I am reminded of one of Ellis Amdur's pieces in AN/AJ about O Sensei turning a blind eye to obvious and wanton violence occuring under his very eyes. I myself have seen the late Kisshomaru Ueshiba do the same thing in the Hombu)."

I have seen a lot of footages of Osensei during which the training seems very intense but very relaxed in the same time. Not the kind of training which would cause serious unjuries. On the other hand, I know from first hand sources that one of Osensei's former Uchi Deshi's in France (not Tamura Sensei) used to force his students to do 500 to 1000 Zempo Ukemis non stop. I understand from the report that this could be fatal.
I would appreciate any comments.
Edward,

You quoted one small piece from the various posts I have put on two threads in the AJ forum. I assume you read the rest of the material, especially the long post on the 'culture of hazing' in Japan.

As for Ellis Amdur, he has a great deal to say in AJ 103, 104, and 107, especially the quote from Terry Dobson on p.22 of AJ 107, though I think Terry's chapter in "Aikido in America" contains something similar (the book is in my office and I am at home, so I cannot check).

For myself, I agree with much that Damion Lost has stated, especially his last post. Aikido really is a Way, and the moral 'benefits' of the art are not obvious. Two points are relevant to this: one is that the Founder, also, did not regard aikido as a martial art for everybody. He cautioned against showing the techniques to people who would misuse them. The second point is that no one would deny the general principle that one should not injure people during practice. But this principle is not understood by everybody in the same way.

Thus the Aikikai Hombu instructor who is the subject of the Terry Dobson quote, mentioned above, freely acknowledges that he has very few students because his aikido is very hard. He practises budo and he certainly does not interpret this in any 'western' sense. Thus to train in his classes requires a certain commitment. This instructor is now 71, but he is a direct disciple of the Founder and the late Kisshomaru Doshu.

Some of you might hink that I am delicately skirting around a taboo subject. Far better to confront the insructor about the injuries he has caused because of his rough practice.

But O Sensei never did this (to my knowledge) nor did Kisshomaru Doshu. This instructor never proselytises his aikido. He has never written anything, despite the urgings of people like Stanley Pranin and myself. He came to Hiroshima last month and spent five hours showing and explaining the intricacies of the footwork and handwork which result in ikkyo. It was a splendid course, but his ukes were certainly put through the mincer. For those of you who are wondering who he is, the instructor is Sadateru Arikawa shihan.

Incidentally, I myself have suffered some injuries, one of which happened while taking an ukemi from 2kyo at the hands of certain Japanese shihan (not Arikawa Sensei). It put me in hospital for 2 weeks. Should he have injured me? Probably not. But I have always believed that he trusted me and that my ukemi was not good, that is, it was largely my fault. Perhaps I am rationalising about the causes, but the injury happened nearly 20 years ago and I am still practising. Actually, the thought of stopping aikido as a result of the inury never entered my head.

Finally, on looking at this post to check the spelling etc, I see that I have not said much about the cultural aspects. But it is curious that both Terry Dobson and Ellis Amdur spent a lengthy period training in Japan and I myself live here. I think the experience of practising Japanese budo in the 'home' culture forces an examionation, if not a revision, of 'western' cultural values and this also includes the concepts of illness and injuries.

Best regards to all.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 12-05-2001 at 05:58 PM.

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