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Old 10-10-2003, 06:55 PM   #1
Chris Linneman
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno, CA, USA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 11
Hi there...

I guess since I'm in the Introduction Forum, I should introduce myself. I'm in Fresno, California, and have recently started in Aikido (Iwama Ryu, to be specific, though I do not yet have enough experience to know what that means)

I studied Shotokan Karate for 18 years or so and decided I should try something new, so after sifting through the fly-by-night martial arts schools (i.e. the schools that offer Aikido, Kung Fu, Karate, Kempo, and Canadian axe throwing all in one), I managed to find a traditional school with a good reputation.

Comming from another traditional art, I have to say that Aikido is fascinating, as much for the differences as for the similarities.

So far, I have one general question: is the knee pain a symptom of being a newbe, or just a cost of the art? I'm used to cracked ribs and sore muscles, but my knees are killing me!
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:20 PM   #2
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
Hi James,

Welcome to aikido and aikiweb.

About your knees: Do you know if they hurt from kneeling a while in seiza, or from the rolls, or the stances? If its from sitting (this is the usual one) then time and practice will improve it. One nice method I heard here was this: When you're watching TV, sit in seiza during the adverts. Since you're in the US, and get a lot of adverts, this should help within a couple of weeks. If in the end you can sit for 15 minutes comfortably, that's enough for normal aikido practice.

Another common source of knee pain is when doing shikko, or knee-walking. This is just a question of doing it right.

When you try somthing new, there'll always
be some pains as the body adjusts, using muscle groups its not used to, or holding itself in a different way.

So the short answer is no - there's nothing inherent in aikido which is bad for the knees. Having said this, many aikidoka (especially older ones) did judo before moving to aikido, and have bad knees from that. Also, doing aikido badly can strain your knees, particularly bad rolls (where you let the knees hit the floor) and bad tenkans (turning 180 with you foot glued to the floor, so you torque the knee).
Many people didn't find out that they were making these mistakes until they already had knee problems.

Hope all that helps,


Last edited by Tim Griffiths : 10-10-2003 at 07:23 PM.

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:48 PM   #3
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,003
Hi James,

Welcome to the AikiWeb Forums! I've had the pleasure of training with Florian as well as his teacher, Patrick, in the past -- great folks.

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:37 PM   #4
Chris Linneman
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno, CA, USA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 11

Thanks for the points. Most of the knee discomfort seems to be coming from the seiza (though my backward rolls are pretty sad) so it's good to know that it can be overcome. My wife was going to make me quit if they didn't get better (something about knees being more important than hobbies), so now I have some hope.
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Old 10-13-2003, 04:34 PM   #5
John Boswell
John Boswell's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland, Texas
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 597
Welcome, James!

John here... one + year Aikidoist here and going strong. I personally haver VERY bad knees and use knee braces or pads whenever I practice. Check with your Sensei about this and see what he recommends... but I just got some pads from Asics that ROCK! SO SOFT!

Got back late last night from an Aikido Seminar (my first) and my knees are sore despite the pads... but its a good pain. YOU know the kind! Where you feel you've accomplished and learned and stuff?

Anyhow... welcome to the wonderful world of Aikido and Aiki-Web! Jun has a wonderful site here where you'll get to meet very big names in the world of Aikido.

Enjoy it and keep going... its fun!!

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Old 10-13-2003, 05:07 PM   #6
Chris Linneman
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno, CA, USA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 11
Thanks I'll give that a try.
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