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Old 04-28-2002, 12:01 AM   #1
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AikiWeb Poll for the week of April 28, 2002:

Are chronic injuries a necessary part of aikido training?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
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Old 04-28-2002, 03:24 AM   #2
Edward
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Chronic, no, but specific or typical, yes.

Like in tennis, getting a tennis elbow does not happen every day. But if you're a regular tennis player, you will get an injured elbow every now and then. In aikido, you will always feel some discomfort in one joint or another. We do use more joints than in tennis.

But it depends on how honest you practice aikido.
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Old 04-28-2002, 07:12 AM   #3
erikmenzel
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Chronic mental injuries?? Yes, they are a necessary part of aikido. (Ouch, those ego-bruises keep on hurting )

Physical chronic injuries?? No way with proper and correct training.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:58 PM   #4
guest1234
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Chronic, no, but specific or typical, yes.

Like in tennis, getting a tennis elbow does not happen every day. But if you're a regular tennis player, you will get an injured elbow every now and then. In aikido, you will always feel some discomfort in one joint or another. We do use more joints than in tennis.

But it depends on how honest you practice aikido.
Honesty has nothing to do with it.

Tennis elbow is no more a sign of a good or frequent tennis player than a 'boxer's fracture' is of a good or frequent boxer (for those of you who don't know, when we see a boxer's fracture-- a break in the fifth metacarpal-- we know it was from a stupid drunk trick, as a real boxer strikes with the second and third metacarpals lined up straight with the bones of the arm). Anyway, these things are signs of incorrect use of your body, which are avoidable through good ukemi.

Oh yeah, also, avoidable by good ukemi AND proper movement...those pesky knee problems are often from trying to turn on a planted foot , incorrect weight distribution in shikko, leaning or other poor posture, etc etc...

Last edited by guest1234 : 04-28-2002 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 04-29-2002, 03:12 AM   #5
justinm
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ukemi does not always save you

My long term injuries are a result of my partner doing something that I could not avoid. My elbows are permanently painful. Both elbow problems were caused by my partner's lack of sensitivity when I was pinned, causing overextension of the elbow joint.

Both original injuries were caused by experienced aikidoka and by that I mean at least 4th Dan but has happened so many times since that I have to stop training on elbow techniques after just a few (for instance hijiate & hijishime).

Two weeks ago it was a 1st kyu. I was pinned on the floor and he messed up my elbow again.

Other than not training, I can't see how I will stop this happening other than never train with someone I don't know very very well.
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Old 04-29-2002, 04:11 AM   #6
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Re: ukemi does not always save you

Quote:
Originally posted by justinm

Other than not training, I can't see how I will stop this happening other than never train with someone I don't know very very well.
Tell your partner that they're hurting you.

Last edited by shihonage : 04-29-2002 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 04-29-2002, 04:52 AM   #7
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Re: ukemi does not always save you

Quote:
Originally posted by justinm
My long term injuries are a result of my partner doing something that I could not avoid. My elbows are permanently painful. Both elbow problems were caused by my partner's lack of sensitivity when I was pinned, causing overextension of the elbow joint.
<snip>

Other than not training, I can't see how I will stop this happening other than never train with someone I don't know very very well.
I would say these were avoidable, but it is hard to say without knowing if you have a deformity of the elbows (we have a couple of folks in my dojo whose elbows since birth have less than full extension) or a sadist in your dojo. If you know your elbows won't extend without injury, or are loose, or already injured...tell your partner before training, and mark your gi (I like red tape) and tap early. One can always tap if all else fails, but a serious effort should be made to verbally and visually warn a partner. Also, while this does not apply to you, as you had already submitted to your partner (in the pin already), I get annoyed by those who do tell their partners to go easy on them to to an injury or infirmity, and then RESIST the technique (often seen in one particular person in my dojo). This is rude and stupid, no gentle way to say that. Most important in the pin, TAP. TAP EARLY. TAP. Sometimes people wait too long in the pin to tap. There is a short time between slack taken out of a joint and pain. Use it. Pain is bad, enjoy the stretch but tap as soon as it hurts, and this often means getting ready to tap as soon as he starts to pin.

If this particular partner (or partners) does this on purpose (ie, you warned them, marked your gi, did not overly resist technique/weren't heavy footed, took appropiate ukemi and tapped as you felt the stretch, not until the pain was unbearable, and he continued the pin after you tapped), then he should be reported to your sensei. There should be no room on the mat for sadistic partners who purposely injure; and those who are injuring through inept performace need special attention from the sensei, it is his responsibilty for basic safety in the dojo.
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Old 04-29-2002, 07:48 AM   #8
Krzysiek
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Justin,
I agree with the others who posted about how to avoid this sort of thing in the first plce... in addition to that you (and anyone in your situation) might want to think about:

1) Be very carful about practice for a while... I know it's not as much fun as going all-out but if you make clear to your sensei and others that you need to take care of your body they'll usually understand.

2) See a good physical therapist (or any of a whole range of practitioners who take care of things like this...) and put some work into making it better.

If you have done the above already I'm sorry for being preachy but I've found that even though I usually know when I need to chill and take care of myself, it's hard to listen to one's own advice.

--Krzysiek
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Old 04-29-2002, 10:48 AM   #9
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Unhappy ???

Uh

Am i the only one that fids the original question quite strange?
I mean isn't the sole purpose of doing aikido to gain knowledge about how to NOT hurt poeople seriously while defending against them? Maybe i'm naive but isn't the the mere fact that this question COULD BE justified proof enough that Aikido isn't performed in the way is was meant to be done?

Peace, love and MA

Jesper
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Old 04-29-2002, 11:17 AM   #10
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Jasper, I think the question is about hurting yourself not others. I think it's about unintentional damage.
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Old 04-29-2002, 12:27 PM   #11
Jonathan
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I don't know how many stories I've heard about how injurious aikido training was in the days of the "hell dojo". I've heard of high-ranking teachers, shihan, and O sensei himself breaking people's arms, wrists, or back, dislocating shoulders, etc. My own shihan will give you a good stretching (yudansha only) -- to the point of intense pain -- if he thinks you aren't flexible enough. Once I was left with torn tendons from a nikyo he put on me. Are all these people doing aikido wrong or carelessly? No. Sometimes training hurts.

I'm not proponing intentionally injuring someone, but I'm definitely not in favor of training that is so mild, so fearful of injury, that training never comes anywhere near approximating the reality of genuine conflict.

Is chronic injury necessary to aikido training? No, but some injury is inevitable.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-30-2002, 04:43 AM   #12
Jim ashby
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No injury is "necessary". There are chronic injuries that seem to be specific to Aikido, however not everyone that I have trained with has the same set. I agree with Colleen, identify yourself to your partners/Sensei if you are carrying an injury and tap when YOU feel you should. If someone ignores the fact that you are injured and still cranks it on, bow, leave them and go train with someone else.
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 04-30-2002, 10:53 AM   #13
justinm
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I read all the feedback with interest, but couldn't relate most of it to my injuries, other than Krzysiek's suggestion on getting medical help - you are right, I've put it off after this injury. Thanks for the prompt! Most of the time it's just a minor inconvenience and I ignore it but sometimes it gets re-aggrevateed by someone.

Colleen - I'm right with you on your point about resisting after informing someone of an injury - rude and stupid. Not relevant in this situation.

Don't agree that tapping fast is the answer. I'm not couch potato when it comes to moving fast if I need to, but some pins come on faster than I can move my hand. There is no slack on the elbow when the elbow is locked out. Some simple examples? ikkajo, hijishime, hijiate. They can move 1/2 on a locked elbow far faster than I can move my body to absorb it. These are elbow breaking techniques designed exactly for that reason. It doesn't take a lot for someone to get it wrong - too enthusiastic, excited, whatever.

So what do I do - never do any technique where an elbow is involved? Only train in slow motion? That's the same as giving up training as far as I am concerned!

So I accept that injuries occur. I try to minimise them. Protect and rest weaknesses. But at the end of the day, it's a martial art.

I guess I could always take up golf instead!

Justin
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Old 04-30-2002, 11:43 AM   #14
Lyle Bogin
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I aquired a chronic knee injury while kickboxing, and it has healed nicely since I began aikido. I took about a year and a half for the pain to vanish and never return.

Of all of the marital arts I've tried, aikido is the easiest on the body. Or should I say, it provides the best opportuinity for self protection during training.
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Old 04-30-2002, 12:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
I don't know how many stories I've heard about how injurious aikido training was in the days of the "hell dojo". I've heard of high-ranking teachers, shihan, and O sensei himself breaking people's arms, wrists, or back, dislocating shoulders, etc. My own shihan will give you a good stretching (yudansha only) -- to the point of intense pain -- if he thinks you aren't flexible enough. Once I was left with torn tendons from a nikyo he put on me. Are all these people doing aikido wrong or carelessly? No. Sometimes training hurts.
Please excuse me if you find this offensive, but the description given above is just plain ABUSE. I used to subscribe to this theory until I was taught better. People do this because they know they can get away with it; in other words, they have a willing (and stupid, in my own experience) participant. My teacher likes to say that if you can hurt someone, then they can hurt you. Sometimes training does hurt, but someone else should not decide whether you can "take the pain". Torn tendons could be looked at as a badge of honor, signifying undergoing "hard training" or "ascetic discipline". I tend to look at them in this context as proof of rape.

Jim Vance
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Old 04-30-2002, 01:26 PM   #16
Jonathan
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Well, Jim, thanks for your opinion. While I can see your point of view, it doesn't gain greater credence by being expressed in an obnoxious way.


"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-30-2002, 01:30 PM   #17
Lyle Bogin
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I agree with Jim, and do not think he was being obnoxious, but rather emphatic.
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Old 04-30-2002, 08:48 PM   #18
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimvance
Please excuse me if you find this offensive, but the description given above is just plain ABUSE. I used to subscribe to this theory until I was taught better. People do this because they know they can get away with it; in other words, they have a willing (and stupid, in my own experience) participant. My teacher likes to say that if you can hurt someone, then they can hurt you. Sometimes training does hurt, but someone else should not decide whether you can "take the pain". Torn tendons could be looked at as a badge of honor, signifying undergoing "hard training" or "ascetic discipline". I tend to look at them in this context as proof of rape.

Jim Vance
Sometimes I do wonder if the decision to teach aikido to Westerners was not O sensei's biggest mistake. Look what they did to judo and karate, and now to aikido. Of course, money was and still is an important factor in prostituting aikido and other martial arts, but at a price of loosing aikido's inherent Japanese values.
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Old 04-30-2002, 09:08 PM   #19
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Hi Edward;

Brutal training, what Jim is talking about, is found in Japan as anywhere else. Aikido has it's share of bullies here too and I would even go so far as to say that in Japan bullying is elevated to an art form. I wonder what inherent Japanese values you are referring to.

I am a fan of good Japanese budo training - it's one of the reasons I'm back here. That said I've seen and heard of some unhealthy stuff practiced in the name of Budo.

Same I suspect for Judo and Karate - the Japanese are into sport Judo as much or more so as any other country - they afterall introduced it. I also don't consider Olympic Judo evil (I suppose that is what you are referring to).

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Sometimes I do wonder if the decision to teach aikido to Westerners was not O sensei's biggest mistake. Look what they did to judo and karate, and now to aikido. Of course, money was and still is an important factor in prostituting aikido and other martial arts, but at a price of loosing aikido's inherent Japanese values.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-30-2002, 09:31 PM   #20
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Hi Peter,

I hate bullying and I don't want it to be in any way part of aikido. But I do recognize the teacher's authority, in the teaching process, to cause pain to the student. Pain is a part of budo training, and learning to live with pain and accepting it, not making a big issue of it, is fundamental in budo, I think.

Brutal is not good either, but intentful and honest is.

I unfortunately find aikido practitioners too concerned by avoiding pain to do an honest practice.

Injury is unavoidable from time to time but not necessary.

As for judo, I am not referring to the Olympic Judo since it was created by Professor Kano himself. I have nothing against it. I myself am an ex-judoka and I have done training camps with European instructors and I saw how they transformed the sport of judo to mere wrestling skills, killed the personality building element and the developing of ki against pure muscle power, and eliminated the privileged teacher-student relationship for a contractual relationship favoring the student over the teacher. This is what I meant by Japanese values.

By the way, good luck for your Japan stay and train hard!


Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Hi Edward;

Brutal training, what Jim is talking about, is found in Japan as anywhere else. Aikido has it's share of bullies here too and I would even go so far as to say that in Japan bullying is elevated to an art form. I wonder what inherent Japanese values you are referring to.

I am a fan of good Japanese budo training - it's one of the reasons I'm back here. That said I've seen and heard of some unhealthy stuff practiced in the name of Budo.

Same I suspect for Judo and Karate - the Japanese are into sport Judo as much or more so as any other country - they afterall introduced it. I also don't consider Olympic Judo evil (I suppose that is what you are referring to).

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Old 04-30-2002, 10:00 PM   #21
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Hi Edward me again

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Pain is a part of budo training, and learning to live with pain and accepting it, not making a big issue of it, is fundamental in budo, I think.

I unfortunately find aikido practitioners too concerned by avoiding pain to do an honest practice.

Injury is unavoidable from time to time but not necessary.
I appologise, apparently I misread your post and understood the exact opposite.

I agree completely with the above three statements.

I also must say that causing injury on purpose is as Jim pointed out a violation. Pain, even that which last's a few days, is not what he, I or I suppose you are talking about. Accidents do happen and unfortunately some injuries become chronic. Managed to avoid those so far, although two bothered me for more than a year and age being what it is - may bother me again.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
Well, Jim, thanks for your opinion. While I can see your point of view, it doesn't gain greater credence by being expressed in an obnoxious way.
What????? Basically what Jim is talking about is completely right - if serious injury is caused on purpose it is ABUSE.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-30-2002, 10:50 PM   #22
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR

Basically what Jim is talking about is completely right - if serious injury is caused on purpose it is ABUSE.
Hi again, Peter,

Well since I'm home today as it is a public holiday on May Day, I have time to write many posts

Just to look at it objectively, I have not seen myself any such thing so far in aikido, fortunately. But I do know that all the UchiDeshi of Osensei, who later went abroad to spread aikido in Europe and America did cause such injury frequently in demonstrations or in class, mostly on Nikkyo and Sankyo. They have all mellowed-down (with age probably). But one has to understand that they were just repeating what has been done to them during their own learning. In the old school, tearing a student's wrist ligaments with Nikkyo was almost a yearly ritual to toughen him up. It used to be considered a mark of love and affection from the sensei. And believe it or not, it used to be done affectionately by the sensei. I know this sounds shocking for us, and in no way I would like this to be done on me. But this is the real Budo training, and I cannot but admire these people.

Now to call it abuse, well Yes, it is, in our western point of view. I would say also, No, if you believe in cultural differences.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 04-30-2002, 11:18 PM   #23
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Well I consider it my duty to keep you busy. Read I'm collecting data and have ten minutes here and ten minutes there.

I've been Nikkyo'd myself with a smile on Shihan's face. Like to think it was not sadistic pleasure.

I did say serious injury when I talked about abuse and stretched tendons isn't serious. I agree though that the old school was pretty tough and I, although like you admire the resiliance, would probably have whimped out.

Thing is though time and circumstance change. In todays context breaking someones bone on purpose is abuse and not acceptable. Even in the old days, such a thing even as accident would have required the offender to visit the victim every day in hospital and to offer numerous heart-felt appologies whether it was totally your fault or no.

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward


Hi again, Peter,

Well since I'm home today as it is a public holiday on May Day, I have time to write many posts

Just to look at it objectively, I have not seen myself any such thing so far in aikido, fortunately. But I do know that all the UchiDeshi of Osensei, who later went abroad to spread aikido in Europe and America did cause such injury frequently in demonstrations or in class, mostly on Nikkyo and Sankyo. They have all mellowed-down (with age probably). But one has to understand that they were just repeating what has been done to them during their own learning. In the old school, tearing a student's wrist ligaments with Nikkyo was almost a yearly ritual to toughen him up. It used to be considered a mark of love and affection from the sensei. And believe it or not, it used to be done affectionately by the sensei. I know this sounds shocking for us, and in no way I would like this to be done on me. But this is the real Budo training, and I cannot but admire these people.

Now to call it abuse, well Yes, it is, in our western point of view. I would say also, No, if you believe in cultural differences.

Cheers,
Edward

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-01-2002, 12:46 AM   #24
Deb Fisher
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This thread is getting really interesting... I am interested in the conflict developing between what I can only describe as Budo Toughness and Aikido Softness...?

As a real beginner, I have little to add to the discussion except a couple of observations.

*Breaking someone's arm or tearing ligaments on purpose does feel like abuse to me. I don't see why this is an act of love or respect, and I think that the way in which abusive behavior "toughens people up" is really counterproductive in a dojo setting, which seems to require a lot of comfort and honesty.

*That aside, I do feel as if I am developing a new and tougher way of handling pain, and I think that's really positive - especially since our (American) culture is so pain-intolerant. Let me put it this way; I walk into the dojo and understand that I am in a safe environment where no one will maim me, however lovingly. I am also responsible for slapping out and generally working within my limits. Once I have defined unacceptable pain, I have the capacity to stoically handle the sting of a bad fall or even a repeated arm in the nose.

I guess my limited knowledge could be summed up thusly: The bruises I got learning to do breakfalls are badges of honor because I am in control and the pain was not inflicted as a show of power.

Yeah, great thread.
Deb

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Old 05-01-2002, 01:36 AM   #25
Erik
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I read an interview many years ago about a sensei and concussions. "Gee, we went to the demo and woke up in the hospital. Ha! Ha!", said the student. Flat out amazes me to even think about it. Funny how things change. Concussions used to be ha, ha, in sports too, until the doctors figured out just how much damage they do.

But I do know that all the UchiDeshi of Osensei, who later went abroad to spread aikido in Europe and America did cause such injury frequently in demonstrations or in class, mostly on Nikkyo and Sankyo. They have all mellowed-down (with age probably). But one has to understand that they were just repeating what has been done to them during their own learning.

I might debate the words all and frequently but it probably did happen some. This is a classic example of abuse. Dad hits the kid who grows up to be just like Dad hitting his kids. You only hurt the one's you love right?
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