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Old 05-06-2012, 03:06 PM   #1
Dave de Vos
 
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Dojo: Shoryukai, Breda (aikikai) & Aiki-Budocentrum Breda (yoseikan)
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Bruised knees

In the last couple of months I notice that my knees feel bruised after aikido classes. It's not the joint, but the skin and tissue over a bony rim between the knee cap and shin muscle. It get swollen and a bit red, but does not turn blue (most of the time).

After class I apply some Arnica bruise cream and then it takes a day or two to fade away, but it starts again during the next class. I think I get it from dropping down on a knee repeatedly (when I'm uke for nikyo for example, but there are also other techniques).

So I'm wondering what do do.

Do you have experience with this?

Should I change the way I take ukemi in those techniques? (dropping down to a knee happens sort of automatic in some techniques, I'm not aware of alternatives).

Will it go away because the tissue will get tougher over time? (up to now it does not feel like it does, more the opposite)

Do I need to ask my family doctor for advice? (is it just inconvenience that is part of training aikido, or should I worry about long term effects)
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Bruised knees

I've had a similar issue when I knelt on the edge of a door frame at home. It stays really sensitive for a while, but eventually it heals. The issue is whether you are exacerbating it by going down on one knee at training. When I hurt my knee, I continued to train, and I even practiced knee walking and put up with the pain as much as I could, and it still healed. The only suggestion I can think of is to try and kneel down in a more controlled manner. When I go down on one knee for nikyo or whatever, my knee doesn't thunk on the ground. I lower myself down so that it is quite gentle on my knees. I know that sounds hard when someone is whacking nikyo on you, but start out slowly, tell your partner that you are having knee issues and practice lowering yourself down. Once you get the hang of it, you can speed up. It's hard to tell if this is what is happening without seeing you train, but hopefully I have been of some help.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:55 PM   #3
LinTal
Dojo: Aikido Terrey Hills
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Re: Bruised knees

Does it hurt too, or just change colour?

If it's the colour, you may want to look at your diet (low iron = easier bruising) and toughening up the skin.

If it hurts too, you may need to look at changes to your technique (and safer falling), issues with the ligaments and cartilage (which may also be impacted by your diet) and the duration of your training until you work it out. There's no shame in sitting out after half the lesson, particularly if you think it may lead to complications such as clotting abnormalities.

In the meantime you can get some awesome kneepads out there. If the problem is actually worsening though you might want to speed up the time you take to act!

The world changes when you do.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:36 AM   #4
Mario Tobias
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Re: Bruised knees

Please have a read at Homma sensei's blog about knee injuries. Aikido is notorious for injuries with the knees which is very common with the dojos I've been in. You can also validate in your dojo how many have knee injuries.

IMHO, doing excessive exercise with the joints (whatever it is) unless properly done is doing more harm than good unlike what other people are saying, it's not getting strengthened but getting weakened that is why I don't overdo it even in warm ups. If you have serious injuries with the knees, most likely you won't be able to train for a very long time or can't go back training.

It's not also suwariwaza where likelihood of knee injury is high as the blog says but also morotedori. In morotedori, you have a slower way of adjusting for a safer ukemi. Knee injuries happen when the foot is planted initially twisting one way and then ther's a sudden shift of the knee going the other way. This is how you get torn ACL. You can obviously feel knee stress in morotetori iriminage. In iriminage, nage sets you up for kuzushi going up and twists you suddenly the other direction to expose your back. In order to be safe with these techniques, you need to be fully aware not to plant the feet and make sure that the same foot and knee are going the same direction.

If you feel you have an injury, it's perfectly ok sit it out, don't be a hero.

http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_ar...uwariwaza.html
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:40 AM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: Bruised knees

You can also add padding to the lower part of your gi pants - I did this and it was like having pot-holders to kneel on! My ipod doens't let me switch back and forth but if yoy go back to the earliest years of Aikiweb columns which Jun archived separately from mire recent years sometime in 2004 or 2005 you should find my The Mirror column on custom changes to your gi that includes detailed inatructions.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:32 AM   #6
Eva Antonia
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Re: Bruised knees

Hi Dave,

how do you go down on your knees?
When the technique it is too violent, I always slap with the back of my foot, before doing a sort of backwards breakfall, but that is more for things like irimi nage omote or sukumen irimi nage.
But for nikyo...I think I never go down on a knee abruptly. I bend my knees but stay on my feet when the first impact comes.

Maybe it helps if you analyse your ukemi via video and compare it to others. My kids sometimes come to the dojo and film our techniques, and that's a great help to detect errors you'd either never have discovered on your own or visualise those the nature of which you wouldn't have understood when others tell you.

All the best,

Eva
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:43 AM   #7
lbb
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Re: Bruised knees

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
It's not also suwariwaza where likelihood of knee injury is high as the blog says but also morotedori. In morotedori, you have a slower way of adjusting for a safer ukemi. Knee injuries happen when the foot is planted initially twisting one way and then ther's a sudden shift of the knee going the other way. This is how you get torn ACL. You can obviously feel knee stress in morotetori iriminage. In iriminage, nage sets you up for kuzushi going up and twists you suddenly the other direction to expose your back. In order to be safe with these techniques, you need to be fully aware not to plant the feet and make sure that the same foot and knee are going the same direction.
Right, but I think OP is talking about an impact injury, not the sorts of torquing injuries that you're talking about -- different cause and (at least in the specifics) a different fix, I think. From OP's description, I'd guess this is a simple bruise, caused by thumping down hard, and it's the top of the tib-fib where the bruising is happening (that's a knobbier protrusion on some people than others). Most of us will get a bruise there now and again, and it'll remind you the next time you train, all right -- and some people just seem to have really knobby knees, and no doubt suffer from this problem more than others whose ukemi is no better. I'm in favor of a shotgun approach: use the arnica or another bruise treatment to help them heal faster; use fusible fleece interfacing or some other kind of padding on the inside of the gi pants (or wear kneepads from time to time) to give yourself a little cushioning, particularly if you have knobby knees; and work on your "elevator" ukemi (ride the elevator down, don't jump from the top floor) to get yourself as low as possible rather than thumping down on your knees from a standing position.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:27 AM   #8
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
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Re: Bruised knees

I wonder if you might try dropping your knee either right next to the big toe of your opposite foot or the heel of your opposite foot. This form allows more control and less thump.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:04 AM   #9
Basia Halliop
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Canada
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Re: Bruised knees

The one possible longer term effect I know of personally from bruising your knees is the risk of the bursa (sacks of fluid under the skin at the joint) getting inflamed and getting bursitis. This happened to me once and the doctor told me it wasn't dangerous (I wasn't going to permanently damage my joints) but it hurt to put pressure on my knees, and took a couple of months of reducing kneework and using kneepads to heal completely. IMO, if you can find a way to avoid bruising your knees or aggravating bruised knees by doing shikko on them, it's better.

From what I have seen and heard the twisting kinds of knee injuries seem to be far more dangerous, though, and have a lot more potential for serious and permanent damage.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #10
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Bruised knees

@Selin: It does hurt for a day or two. Walking doesn't hurt, it's only sensitive, like a bump.

@Mario: It's not really the joint that hurts. My ACLs are not troubling me. It's like Mary described.

@Eva: I looked up an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHLxdqMA3Hc# at around 7s, 42s and 43s.

Looking at that video, uke does not go down on his knees very hard, I think. I'm not going down hard on my knee every time, but a few times in one class is enough to bruise my lower knee again.

@Robin and Chris: Thanks, I don't know if I can do that, but I can give it a try.

@Mary and Basia: Thanks. Getting some padding sounds like a good idea (if only to allow better healing).

Thanks for the tips everyone!
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