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Old 02-27-2009, 04:52 AM   #26
Dazzler
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Nope.
Just because something is traditional doesn't mean it is healthy or sensible.
Very true.

Just because something is traditional doesn't mean it isn't healthy or sensible either.

I love suwari waza and hanmi handachi work and will always teach them...but in moderation.

I always stop when the first one starts to bleed ...but we do have a cream canvas tatami so thats understandable.

Regards

D
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:46 AM   #27
Randy Sexton
Dojo: Aikido of Lake Keowee
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

IMHO My personal concern is not from performing suwari-waza techniques or temporarily being in seiza position.

My concern is in doing and teaching shikko walking as a routine part of moving around the mat and the practice of having students shikko walk around the mat as part of training in what I feel is a misguided attempt to strengthen muscles, loosen joints, and teach balance. There are much better exercises to loosen and strengthen and teach balance.

Bottom line, look and listen to our Shihans and see how many of them can still do shikko walking without excruciation pain; if they can still do it at all. What I see is our great teachers suffering from having had to learn and perform techniques that ultimately have done tremendous damage to their hip and knees to the point I see pain on their faces when they bow in and out of class and try to maintain their dignity sitting in seiza. Not to mention the struggle going down and standing up from seiza. It breaks my heart that the men and women who suffered so much to learn this great art, and be able to pass it on to us, are now having to pay the price in pain on a daily basis.

As for me, I will do that which is required but will use my common sense in deciding how much my body can handle. I intend to stay in the game but I can not play if I can not walk.

Doc
Dr. Randy Sexton

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
Gandhi
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:04 AM   #28
Dazzler
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

Trouble with common sense Doc is that its not that common

I'm training with Sensei Bernard Harding this weekend in Bristol , aka the nimble kneed ninja from neath...he fits flooring for a living and is continually on his knees...also has to beg his wife to go training too so gets extra practice there.

Anyway ..

He certainly has no problems after 30 years or more doing kneework - I'd love to be able move like him.

Also watched some footage of Shioda recently. He was like a human hovercraft ! No sign of problems there either although the Yoshinkan members might know different.

Moderation though must be the key? Neither of the above are/were huge men but I do train with two ex-rugby men who both suffer as do a lot of footballers.

I guess listen to your body is the answer - if it hurts don't do it.

Cheers

D

Last edited by Dazzler : 02-27-2009 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:41 AM   #29
mathewjgano
 
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
Trouble with common sense Doc is that its not that common

I'm training with Sensei Bernard Harding this weekend in Bristol , aka the nimble kneed ninja from neath...he fits flooring for a living and is continually on his knees...also has to beg his wife to go training too so gets extra practice there.

Anyway ..

He certainly has no problems after 30 years or more doing kneework - I'd love to be able move like him.

Also watched some footage of Shioda recently. He was like a human hovercraft ! No sign of problems there either although the Yoshinkan members might know different.

Moderation though must be the key? Neither of the above are/were huge men but I do train with two ex-rugby men who both suffer as do a lot of footballers.

I guess listen to your body is the answer - if it hurts don't do it.

Cheers

D
This is part of why I was a little shocked at the idea that shikko is bad. My sense of learning shikko was that when it was practiced regularly and mindfully, it wasn't the least bit painfull. Granted I was in my early twenties when I trained hard, but I had been plagued with chronic ankle, knee and hip pains since playing soccer on astroturf in highschool. It was so bad that after games I walked up stairs like I was70 years old...no exageration. I never experienced anything remotely like that practicing shikko.
The study on Byzentine monks refferenced above certainly provides compelling evidence on the accumulative wearing down of the knees for one set of practices. I can imagine their sense of penance might have had something to do with their condition, though that's almost pure speculation on my part. I do assume, however, unless the knee-walking was done in an identical (or near enough) way, we can't necessarily assume the same or similar results.
There's some pretty compelling evidence all around us for how potentially damaging shikko/seiza can be. It's been mentioned as one of main reasons for not doing large amounts of shikko/seiza, and I think it's safe to say the knees aren't generally as strong later in life so for almost that reason alone can I agree. I know I haven't seen a lot of older folks practicing them comfortably, so there's certainly a trend worth paying attention to.
Now that I haven't trained consistenly for some time now, I can't just fly around like I did before. However, when I did practice regularly, "gliding" seemed to be the key to low-impact results. As I said, I've experienced a lot of chronic leg/hip pain...to the point that I pay very close attention to what I feel inside my body. It's a little shocking to think of shikko/seiza as fundementally flawed because I experienced almost no knee strain when I began Aikido. In fact, my sense of Aikido practice is that it's amazingly restorative so I'm fairly keen on finding something definitive here. Skiing is my first love and I intend on using my knees for years and years to come.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 02-27-2009 at 09:45 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:00 PM   #30
Janet Rosen
 
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

Quote:
James Edwards wrote: View Post
That's a very dismissive response. Yes it does not meant it is healthy or sensible but what about the other points that I brought up?

In my point of view, suwari-waza has its martial significance and when done correctly it does not have to result in bodily damage. If you already have an injury, that's fine avoiding kneeling techniques but if a young beginner is taught from the start the correct way and conditioned properly for it, it can be a good conditioning tool.
Yes, James, and had you read my earlier comments that's pretty much what I'd opined.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:17 PM   #31
apollosperson
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

Shikko is a foundation for the footwork of our art. It teaches us to move with our one point, and makes it harder for those of us who can cheat with force to do so. I know it isn't fun, but when practiced properly, isn't really painful, only partially. O'sensei also said we should practice shikko regularly. Also, much to my orthopedic surgeon's dismay, I shikko.on a regular basis. It actually helps keep me mobile, and I have had my ACL repaired twice.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:59 AM   #32
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

i have been sidelined for the last month because of inflammation in my right knee. it has forced me to reconsider how important some "traditions" are, especially when i plan to train for a very long time.

some people can train their entire lives with no joint problems, but i found out i'm in the other camp.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:31 AM   #33
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

I'm not the greatest fan of Shikko, mind you, but I do feel that there is a real value of doing it. While there may be wear and tear on the joints through this practice, it may not always be debilitating and the effects may vary. For instance, look at Kobayashi Yasuo Shihan. He's over seventy years of age, has been practicing Aikido for over 50 years, still moves incredibly on his knees and is even willing to take breakfalls out of koshinage. Shikko can't be that damaging, if he's still capable of doing what he does...
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:12 AM   #34
chuunen baka
Location: London
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote: View Post
I'm not the greatest fan of Shikko, mind you, but I do feel that there is a real value of doing it. While there may be wear and tear on the joints through this practice, it may not always be debilitating and the effects may vary. For instance, look at Kobayashi Yasuo Shihan. He's over seventy years of age, has been practicing Aikido for over 50 years, still moves incredibly on his knees and is even willing to take breakfalls out of koshinage. Shikko can't be that damaging, if he's still capable of doing what he does...
Well, you know there are always examples of older folk who survive healthily despite their bad habits - smoking, drinking or shikko. Some people just seem to be indestructible. Most of us are not.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:24 AM   #35
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

Quote:
Alastair Rae wrote: View Post
Well, you know there are always examples of older folk who survive healthily despite their bad habits - smoking, drinking or shikko. Some people just seem to be indestructible. Most of us are not.
Maybe that's the actual "Ki" (pun intended) to the whole thing! If you drink heartily you actually lubricate the joints and keep them supple!
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:01 PM   #36
kironin
 
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Re: To Shikko or not to Shikko/Bad idea for Aikido?

well, I guess my knees are screwed since I have to do it for Iaido as well as aikido. So far, being nearly 50 I have had no real problems.

I try to be careful about things like twisting motions and such.

try sitting in tate-hiza for a while.

and interesting situation recently in class on randori,

a student was moving so much that she couldn't throw so had her do the randori from kiza position and she did much better. It was a good lesson.

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