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Old 04-27-2005, 09:42 PM   #1
Joezer M.
 
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When you injure someone

I once threw a friend of mine during training, and he didn't get up . Turned out he landed on his shoulder... (no serious damage though... ) So I brought him to the hospital and paid for his medical bills. While I kept apologizing, he kept insisting that it was his fault that he landed badly, and that I shouldn't have paid for his bills and finally insisted on treating me to a yakiniku restaurant..

On another occasion, my sensei threw my brother really hard and he damaged his shoulder (which prevented him from training for a couple of years). While I carried my brother off the mat, sensei only commented that such injuries would be good experience for my brother, that it would toughen him up or something...

In aikido, injuries are not uncommon, even with our best efforts at safety it happens, sometimes seriously, and most if not all aikidoka (especially senior ones) are aware of this fact. What then would be the appropriate response when someone causes injury to someone else during training?

Regards,
Joezer

I AM in shape... Round is a shape...
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:46 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: When you injure someone

Quote:
Joezer Mandagi wrote:
On another occasion, my sensei threw my brother really hard and he damaged his shoulder (which prevented him from training for a couple of years). While I carried my brother off the mat, sensei only commented that such injuries would be good experience for my brother, that it would toughen him up or something..
I would consider that abuse and refuse to train with such an instructor. I'd probably sue him too, if I heard him say such a thing.
We entrust ourselves to each other. Accidents happen. It is how one comports oneself after an accident that reveals one's character.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:14 PM   #3
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: When you injure someone

I agree with Janet.

If an injury caused by an accident occurs, the only thin one can do is apologize and hope the injured person believes you and understands. Accidents do happen and they provide learning experiences...but I don't think injury is good for anyone when it takes them a few years to overcome...

Bryce
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:25 PM   #4
jester
 
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Re: When you injure someone

I agree with Janet to. Accidents happen, and injuries will happen to.

I think you did a fine thing paying for your friends bills though!

At my school, you will learn how to do breakfall and forward rolls from the first day, but we use judo crash mats. That goes on for a few weeks, then you will try it on the canvas mat.

Same with air falls. Practice on the crash pad first. Doing Forward rolls on a big crash pad can save a lot of shoulder injuries and sore bones.
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:40 PM   #5
Rupert Atkinson
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Freaky! Re: When you injure someone

Accidents happen. It's part of the parcel of training. I have been injured several times, sometimes badly, and never bore a grudge as it was always accidental. I have also injured people by accident on occasion. I have seen lots of small injuries, the occasional serious one, and not once have I seen any animosity, either then, or lingering afterwards. I have experienced both extremes laid out in the original post - both are OK, even if the second sounds a little harsh (although the teacher was not smart to say such a thing when the person was hurt), in my opinion. To rationalise that second approach - just compare what we do with the rough and tumble of American football or English rugby ... Sportsmanship Rules OK.

Intentionally causing damage would be a completley different kettle of fish, of course.

Afterthought: I wonder, can Aikido have sportsmanship - if it is not a sport I mean ...

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 04-27-2005 at 10:46 PM.

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Old 04-28-2005, 03:00 AM   #6
deepsoup
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Re: When you injure someone

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
Afterthought: I wonder, can Aikido have sportsmanship - if it is not a sport I mean ...
Of course!
It also has gamesmanship, and its not a game.

Sean
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:30 AM   #7
Anat Amitay
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Re: When you injure someone

Injuries happen, but the person who caused one should care for the one hurt, no matter how serious the injury really is.
I think that one should also check if the place where they're training has an insurance. I would not train in a place that didn't. Part of our monthly pay is insurance also.
I think that sometimes people come with frustrations from home. It's human, but they need to leave it off the mat or at least be fair and train with those who can handle some "rough play" for that day.
We should care for one another, that's part of Aikido, as i see it.
Anat
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:56 AM   #8
Nick Simpson
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Re: When you injure someone

Injuries happen like any "sport" (you know what I mean). People get terrible knee injuries or broken legs (sometimes worse...) from Skiing, but people think little of it as its a sort of holiday activity. Tell someone you broke your arm or even got something trivial like a black eye doing aikido and they are likely to overreact and tell you you should stop etc etc.

As long as the injury isnt caused on purpose then its fine. Apologise, ask your uke/tori if they are ok, alert sensei/sempai to the fact and then continue training. Learn from the experiance and try not to hurt anyone in the same way again.

Ive had a few bust lips, noses, slackend teeth, stretched tendons, plenty of bruises and my hand sliced open with a shinken. You dust yourself off and get back on the mat. I dont believe in the whole "claims culture", unless someone is seriously injured or it was done on purpose. Its a martial art and is inherently dangerous, this is generally made clear to most people when they begin. As Janet (I think ) said, its how you act after you are injured that is important.

A month or two ago I broke a kohai's nose when attacking them shomen-uchi. it was a complete accident, our instructor had spent a while telling us that we needed strong attacks to give tori the resistance they needed to perform the kokyunage. I came in and she only performed half a tenkan instead of a full one, leaving her nose sticking out in the process. Unfortuantely I didnt realise this and hit it right on the bridge.

I was very ashamed of myself and apologised for weeks even though it was an accident. What can you do? Hopefully she learned the lesson of moving out of the way and i learned to Keep my attacks in check a little more.

It doesnt help that said kohai is my girlfriend...

Last edited by Nick Simpson : 04-28-2005 at 06:00 AM.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:32 AM   #9
stuartjvnorton
 
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Tongue Re: When you injure someone

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
It doesnt help that said kohai is my girlfriend...
lol before or after you busted her in the face?
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:54 AM   #10
Jorge Garcia
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Re: When you injure someone

I have never seen anyone injured in an abusive way or on purpose. That obviously is a different issue. Having said that, when I started Aikido 10 years ago, my sensei said that when an injury happens, the one that caused it should go over and check on their partner until he got there. After he arrived, you should say that you are sorry- one time- then go back to training with the rest of the class and the training should resume while he (the sensei) attended to the injured person and took the appropriate steps to help the injured individual. He told us that every time you step on the mat, you are taking a certain risk and that we are all responsible for ourselves. He said that if we can't accept that responsibility, then we need to stay off of a martial arts mat. That is the procedure I have followed and it has worked for us so far.
Assigning blame and getting into "would of, could of should of" doesn't do much good. I once knew of a situation where a class was practicing koshinage techniques. The uke was new and even though they loaded him up slowly and without the intention of throwing him, when he got on the nage's hips, he panicked and reached over as if to roll and fell forward off his partners hips and hit his shoulder. He took about 6 months to heal and never practiced aikido again. The sensei at the time blamed the person throwing but in fact, he (the sensei) gave no instructions for the technique and probably shouldn't have called that technique in a class with beginners. While everyone felt bad about it, in fact, there was enough blame to share and getting into recriminations would have been non productive. It is something to think about and have a strategy for in advance.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:40 AM   #11
Amir Krause
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Re: When you injure someone

Quote:
have never seen anyone injured in an abusive way or on purpose. That obviously is a different issue. Having said that, when I started Aikido 10 years ago, my sensei said that when an injury happens, the one that caused it should go over and check on their partner until he got there. After he arrived, you should say that you are sorry- one time- then go back to training with the rest of the class and the training should resume while he (the sensei) attended to the injured person and took the appropriate steps to help the injured individual. He told us that every time you step on the mat, you are taking a certain risk and that we are all responsible for ourselves. He said that if we can't accept that responsibility, then we need to stay off of a martial arts mat. That is the procedure I have followed and it has worked for us so far.
I agree, M.A. practice has some risk ingrained. Let us not forget that in any accident there are at least three parties who share the fault to some extent: Tori, Nage & Sensei. Learning proper Ukemi and acting with care should minimize the accidents. But if one is practicing with correct techniques, one should remember these are meant to cause damage, and any mistake or slip of concentration on either Tori or Uke side can cause that.
Sensei is responsible for the situation, to stop any practice that is being done wrongly and dangerously and to adjust the level to the trainees. He can not stop one from falling wrongly, nor block a bokken that is going to hit the neck or head strongly (was a party to such accidents on both sides, while doing Randori ).

Amir
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:48 AM   #12
John Boswell
 
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Re: When you injure someone

My shoulder was injured not too long ago. It truly was my fault... I tried to take ukemi for it when I was not ready... should have zigged when instead I zagged. I could have avoided the injury, but I was "thinking" too much and screwed up. It truly was my fault.

My partner at the time felt terrible. He still does. It wasn't his fault, but he took responsiblity for it beyond what he needed to. His caring and responsible nature helped me to "suck it up" and not get hung up on the pain. Instead, I followed the first aid instructions given to me, healed up and got back on the mat. Life goes on.

Now, the question before us was:

Quote:
In aikido, injuries are not uncommon, even with our best efforts at safety it happens, sometimes seriously, and most if not all aikidoka (especially senior ones) are aware of this fact. What then would be the appropriate response when someone causes injury to someone else during training?
I would agree with Jorge Sensei:
Quote:
my sensei said that when an injury happens, the one that caused it should go over and check on their partner until he got there. After he arrived, you should say that you are sorry- one time- then go back to training with the rest of the class and the training should resume while he (the sensei) attended to the injured person and took the appropriate steps to help the injured individual. He told us that every time you step on the mat, you are taking a certain risk and that we are all responsible for ourselves. He said that if we can't accept that responsibility, then we need to stay off of a martial arts mat. That is the procedure I have followed and it has worked for us so far.
To blow off an injury and just tell someone that it will be a "good learning experience" for them is just insensitive and irresponsible. The "nage" in such a case is negating their responsiblity for the injury and trying to "be right" about everything. That's wrong behavior, imho.

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Old 04-28-2005, 09:08 AM   #13
rob_liberti
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Re: When you injure someone

I think there should be an incident report. The question should always be "What did I do to contribute to this problem?"

The partner of the injured party should now be on active helping duty.
The sempai on the mat (generally not the person teaching) should also be on active helping duty.
And the next sempai on the mat should be ready - as they are now stepping up in responsibility in case a second injury occurs.

Incident reports should be reviewed periodically. If common denominators are identified, they should be addressed.

I feel the same way about someone being talked down to, dismissed, brushed off, or offended by locker room talk, etc. That is more difficult, but it would be great to have who did or said what that was offensive.

Generally people have no idea that they are yanking someone's arms out of their sockets, or that their favorite joke does not belong inside the walls of the dojo. We have to help people understand that the dojo is a spiritual oasis, and they must act accordingly.

Rob
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:55 AM   #14
James Davis
 
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Re: When you injure someone

Gomen nasai. Dai jobu desu ka?
My fault. Are you OK?
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:47 AM   #15
Jeremy Young
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Re: When you injure someone

I just thought i would post a quick reply on this. Joezer, it is possible that the uke did make the mistake that caused him to get hurt. Whether you are applying the technique or the uke receiving it you have a responisibility to your partner (opponent) to take care of them. That said i also agree with Jorge Sensei in that you should not "over-apologize". Hopefully in our respective dojos there is a common respect and so there is no need to convince our training partner that it was not intentional. I think it is a good idea to check on them asking if you can help them and if they are ok, simply apologize one time and continue training. It seems to me that continual injuries would be a sign of lower skill level (using strength to make a technique work instead of movement, for example) and/or poor instruction. I have been thrown by my sensei and it hurt, mostly because i was new and would become stiff while in the air, and even though it was my fault for not relaxing i do not remember a time when he was indifferent about it.
Well, that is my long "quick reply"!
Jeremy Young
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:40 AM   #16
RebeccaM
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Re: When you injure someone

I smashed a guy in the face with my foot once. I rolled into him. I felt really bad, and apologized profusely, but I'm still wondering if there wasn;t something I could have done to prevent it. THing is, I was taking ukemi from someone very senior to me, and when this person throws, you're thrown. There's no ifs ands or buts about it. You become a projectile. So even though I sorta saw the guy I landed on, there wasn't anything I could do without breaking the laws of physics.

I still feel bad though.

I've hurt myself through bad ukemi. They say it's never uke's fault, but in some cases that's not true.
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:24 PM   #17
John Boswell
 
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Re: When you injure someone

Quote:
Rebecca Montange wrote:
I smashed a guy in the face with my foot once. I rolled into him. I felt really bad, and apologized profusely, but I'm still wondering if there wasn;t something I could have done to prevent it. THing is, I was taking ukemi from someone very senior to me, and when this person throws, you're thrown. There's no ifs ands or buts about it. You become a projectile. So even though I sorta saw the guy I landed on, there wasn't anything I could do without breaking the laws of physics.

I still feel bad though.

I've hurt myself through bad ukemi. They say it's never uke's fault, but in some cases that's not true.
As much as it is Uke's job to roll out properly and receive the technique... it is also the Nage's job to put you where you can roll out safely. Nage can have perfect technique all day long, but if he/she is throwing people into other classmates, walls, mirrors, or even out the door... then they are doing something wrong and it needs to be corrected.

Harmony = Two or more things working WITH one another, not against.

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Old 04-28-2005, 12:39 PM   #18
rob_liberti
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Re: When you injure someone

My assumption was that while she was on her way down, someone else who probably had been thrown just a second before landed - at least partially - into the spot she was supposed to land. This kind of thing happens all of the time when there are powerful nages near each other and the attacks are a bit more random (resulting in it being less easy to predict where everyone is going to end up).

Rob
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:24 PM   #19
Nick Simpson
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Re: When you injure someone

Haha Stuart, Nah, im a lucky man and she didnt blame me! Phew...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:22 PM   #20
csinca
 
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Re: When you injure someone

Injuries aren't necessarily the training partners fault unless it was intentional or negligent on the part of the training partner.

In the case of the shomen breaking the partner's nose, it wasn't uke's fault that nage screwed up the entrance. It was nage's fault if you blew one in there on a white belt that wasn't ready for a strong attack! But if you are working at a level acceptable to the nage and they get hit, that's their own fault and they should probably take it as a lesson. The thought that we should start pulling punches (attacks) and never hit the nage is great for beginners but at some point you need to give a real attack that really makes contact if nage doesn't move properly.

In my years of training I've had my nose broken twice, shoulder dislocated, knee dislocated, wrist dislocated plus too many bruises to count. All but the wrist were due to my mistakes and I learned important lessons from all of them.

Nose #1 - Never drop your hands immediately after kicking a black belt in the head during sparring
Nose #2 - Always be mindful of uke's head when you enter close behind them
Shoulder - Don't expect to have time to roll out and away in kaiten-nage, be ready to be dropped straight down
Knee - Keep your legs in tight when rolling and don't get lazy letting your bottom leg flop

The wrist was a high breakfall out of shiho nage and I was a white belt and wasn't readty to take the ukemi.

I never had any hard feeling on any of these...

I've also been on the other side of some situations and only really felt bad about one of them.

After all, it is a martial art we are training in.

Chris
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:49 PM   #21
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Re: When you injure someone

Great points Chris. We are training in a martial art and injuries happen. I used to have a sensei who would hit me whenever I presented the opportunity. Mind you not hard enough to hurt me, but hard enough to get the point across (of course not when I was just learning, but after I had developed some level of proficiency). If I did shionage and did not take uke's balance or left myself vulnerable, he made sure I knew. I learned to eliminate the threat from uke's many weapons (head, hands, arms, feet, legs, etc) and remain balanced and protected. I have always been very thankful for his guidance and consider myself lucky to have been one of the chosen few he trained this way. I welcomed, even asked for, tough training. This type of hard training will lead to injuries! Elbows, shoulders, noses, wrists, knees, etc; no one said the path would be easy!

Gregory Makuch
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:04 PM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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Re: When you injure someone

Quote:
Nose #1 - Never drop your hands immediately after kicking a black belt in the head during sparring
OUCH! yeah, what he said...

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:10 AM   #23
bob_stra
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Re: When you injure someone

IMHO

Some Aikido folks can be very cavalier about the potential to cause injury during training. Small joints, not a lot of leeway and supposed trust can be a heady mix. Combined with egotism gained through (usually) having a compliant partner / not having to "fight", this can lead to some ugly things happening on the mat. Kind of stuff that would earn you a beating in other places.

Personally, I almost always tone down my techs to avoid injuring the other fellow. Unless the other party requests 100% force, or really does something offensive. Like the guy - who when asked to "please go gentle on me, as I'm recovering from injury" simply said, "no, I don't think so". Him I hurt a little bit :->

So yeah - it's a trade off: less "teh deadly skillz" for more being able to go to work tomorrow / continue training.
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Old 05-03-2005, 11:04 AM   #24
jonreading
 
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Re: When you injure someone

Did anyone else notice that it only took one response to suggest "sueing" the offending instructor/dojo?

Before addressing the question at hand, I believe:
1. Aikido is a martial art. As a martial art, the practitioner should expect to receive minor injuries in the course of serious training and understand the possibility of serious injury exists. If a student is not willing to concede this statement, I advise them to go elsewhere.
2. The instructor is ultimately responsible for the well-being of the dojo. An instructor should work to remove individuals that pose a threat to students from the dojo.

If during the course of training, your partner injures him/herself, I was taught to be responsible:
>>In the case of a minor injury, immediately notify the instructor and assist your partner to treat the injury (i.e. get a band aid, wipe up blood, wrap an ankle, get water, etc.). You are responsible for the care of your partner until released from that obligation by the partner.
>>In the case of a major injury, immediately notify the instructor and contact the proper authorities to treat the injury (medical professional, ambulance, etc.) and begin treating your partner (elevate injured appendidges, compress deep wounds, etc.). You are responsible for the care of your partner until released from that obligation by the authority replacing you.

General rules of thumb:
>If you ever feel in danger, you should not perform the technique.
>Don't work with a partner that intentionally injures you; speak to your instructor and notify him/her immediately.
>Protect yourself, then your partner.
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