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Old 10-05-2011, 11:08 PM   #1
Janet Rosen
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Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

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Kane Hollins wrote: View Post
I have been out for knee pain but now my doctor says everything looks good and to return to the dojo. Now I'm generally out of shape and want to return slowly until I tone my body. How do I indicate to previous partners that I'm not as spry as I used to be. Not that I was all that good before but I want to provide good uke to the others. Return with some trepidation.
Moved to its own thread. I will reply later...expect others will to!

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Moved to its own thread. I will reply later...expect others will to!
Whenever I am recovering from an injury I take a 2-tiered approach. Firstly, I do the obvious thing and let my partner know. Secondly, I make sure I have an obviously visible sign that I have recently had an injury. I have had several finger and hand injuries (not sustained through aikido) over the last few years, and I have made sure to tape them for training long after I stopped needing it. It was just a sign to remind my training partner that I am still recovering from an injury, and they will need to be a bit careful.

Is there any way you can wear an obvious knee brace or something? I realise that would be hard to do over a hakama...
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:46 AM   #3
Walter Martindale
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

I've seen people with duck tape on the outside of the go over their injury - recently someone with an "X" of duck tape over each knee on the hakama...
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

Having come back to training following injuries or surgery several times now, I think the first thing is to be clear in your own mind about your needs and limits - which will continue to change as you get back in shape, get over any fears you have, and regain confidence.
Only if you are clear in your own mind about your limits can you unapologetically and clearly convey them to others.

The only problem I see with putting an "x" on the pants of your gi pants is that it doesn't really give meaningful infomation - its not like we go around kicking healthy partners in the knees!
So each time you partner with somebody you need to tell them clearly what it is you can and can't do, very simply and succintly and based on the exact attack and technique being called for. Examples might be:

I'm not comfortable going all the way down to the mat yet
I'm ok with most falls and pins but if I hold myself a little strangely please don't worry
On {name of technique} please don't break my balance to the front too much, because it hurts my knee
I don't think I can {insert something}, so let's {insert alternative} instead

Finally, don't be afraid to pace yourself, sit out one technique if you are getting too tired or sore, or if it is a technique that still makes you very nervous about reinjury. Slow and steady wins the race and all that....

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
Michael Hackett
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

We often use red tape to mark an injury so it is obvious to anyone training. That isn't a perfect solution for all injuries, but seems to work fairly well for most. Telling your partner of your limits or concerns is the best way, combined with leaving your machismo in your dojo bag.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:52 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
We often use red tape to mark an injury so it is obvious to anyone training. That isn't a perfect solution for all injuries, but seems to work fairly well for most. .
Maybe I'm just in a weird reacting-to-winter mood and shouldn't be posting at all....
I agree with all the other posters about the use of colored tape to indicate an area that should not be grabbed or needs special care.

1. I don't understand how that addresses the OP's issues of knee pain and being out of shape.

2. Can somebody tell me, If I see colored tape on somebody's knees, what is it I am supposed to do or not do? It's not something I'm likely to grab or strike in normal practice.

crawling back into a burrow.....

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:01 PM   #7
John A Butz
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

Standard operating procedure in my dojo is for an injured student to tape their wrist, using just standard athletic or medical tape, as an indicator that they are trainng with an injury. The wrist is pretty obvious to the partner, who should ask the injured party where the injury is and what limitations they are training under. Given the wide variety of possible injuries/soreness/medical complications etc, this works a lot better for us, as it is an immediate visual cue to ask "What is hurt and what can't you do" so that both partners can gauge their training appropriately.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:01 PM   #8
Basia Halliop
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

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2. Can somebody tell me, If I see colored tape on somebody's knees, what is it I am supposed to do or not do? It's not something I'm likely to grab or strike in normal practice.
You're supposed to ask them why they have tape on their knee .

Seriously, that's the main reason. It's just a visual trigger to start a conversation and once the conversation has been had, to act as a little reminder to catch your eye so you are reminded of the conversation.

Of course it's no substitute for the more basic advice of knowing what you need people to do or not do and communicating it verbally, and reminding people as often as needed. But some people remember better when they have visual aids.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:16 PM   #9
Michael Hackett
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

Janet, it doesn't address bad knees or poor physical conditioning. As I said originally it isn't a perfect solution for all injuries, but seems to work fairly well for most. Usually you will see it on a shoulder, wrist or arm around our dojo. I don't recall seeing anyone use the red tape for a leg injury as usually everyone knows about that kind of injury. I was just commenting in the spirit of the OP's post.

Michael
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
Michael Varin
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

Kane,

What was the nature of your injury? What is your current condition?

Two pieces of general advice:

Train at a pace in which you can fully control your body at all times. That usually helps with proper foot placement and to reduce impact.

Don't mentally limit yourself. Too many of us do this.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
Michael Varin
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
Maybe I'm just in a weird reacting-to-winter mood and shouldn't be posting at all....
I don't know, Janet. I tend to agree with you, but maybe I'm weird, too.

In fact, I'll take it a step further. I know that this is largely a matter of dojo culture, but I have never liked the red tape thing. It was not done in my first dojo, and we don't use the practice now. While training out of town, I have been to schools where so many people had red X's on their gi I thought I was in a hospital. There is just something undignified about it.

Nothing beats communication with your training partners and your instructors. And, really, don't you train with the same people all the time? Don't they care about your wellbeing? Every time we have an injury everyone in the dojo seems to know about it shortly and they are always conscientious. We train very hard, but we look out for each other. . . That's just the way it should be.

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote:
Is there any way you can wear an obvious knee brace or something?
Ooh. . . Knee braces. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I cannot recommend them. They shouldn't be worn for pain management, and they definitely shouldn't be worn as an accessory. They don't allow your body to function naturally, which is never a good thing.

It's a much better idea to take the time to properly heal and strengthen your body. Like Janet said, there is no rush. Nobody here is trying to win the Super Bowl.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:47 PM   #12
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I don't know, Janet. I tend to agree with you, but maybe I'm weird, too.

In fact, I'll take it a step further. I know that this is largely a matter of dojo culture, but I have never liked the red tape thing. It was not done in my first dojo, and we don't use the practice now. While training out of town, I have been to schools where so many people had red X's on their gi I thought I was in a hospital. There is just something undignified about it.

Nothing beats communication with your training partners and your instructors. And, really, don't you train with the same people all the time? Don't they care about your wellbeing? Every time we have an injury everyone in the dojo seems to know about it shortly and they are always conscientious. We train very hard, but we look out for each other. . . That's just the way it should be.

Ooh. . . Knee braces. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I cannot recommend them. They shouldn't be worn for pain management, and they definitely shouldn't be worn as an accessory. They don't allow your body to function naturally, which is never a good thing.

It's a much better idea to take the time to properly heal and strengthen your body. Like Janet said, there is no rush. Nobody here is trying to win the Super Bowl.
Actually, I agree with you about the knee brace as a medical tool. I was just using it as an example of something that might work as a signal, like the red tape.

In answer to yours and Janet's doubts about the red tape idea, it might look silly, but to me it is very easy to forget that someone has an injury when you are doing a technique, even if you have just talked about it. Having something there (whether that is red tape, or a bandage, or a knee brace, or whatever) that is easily visible just helps to jog the memory in the moment. It has worked for me when I taped my fingers. If anyone is wondering, I tore a tendon in one finger, which lead to a permanent boutonniere deformity, and at a later date, I broke my 5th metacarpal in my other hand. It hasn't been a good couple of years for my hands.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Re: Kane Hollins asks about returning to training

I have some pretty significant knee issues as well as a few other body parts that tend to be really sore now and then due to my choosing to make a living working with horses...

Last year I was off the mat for a month for a meniscus injury and had to be pretty careful of my knee for another few months after that. Any time I get onto the mat with an injury or an aggravated body part I simply open my mouth and tell the people I am training with how much I can take or what I can or can't do. Never had a problem with people adjusting for me.

But then I train in a small dojo where we all know each other pretty well and everyone I train with is aware of my occasional limitations. In fact they often tend to be more careful with me than I myself am. The only people I ever really have concerns about are people who are new or visiting who don't know me and as I said with these I speak up and tell them I need to go easy when something is in need of TLC.
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