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  • Giving and Receiving
    Over the past 30 years, I have endured far more injuries from my practice of aikido than I ever had from karate. When I was new to aikido (and much younger) I had great teachers but I don't remember any instruction on how to be a good uke. I fought and resisted technique because I thought I was supposed to help nage learn to overcome resistance. Hence, my training was not mutual and I sustained some permanent damage.

    However, a good karate dojo will incorporate body conditioning drills that are mutually beneficial for both partners. This training starts almost immediately because karateka must participate in on-going conditioning to withstand strikes to the body. The very nature of aikido practice e.g. ikkyo or ukemi conditions the body as well but the emphasis tends to be more on nage's performance of the technique rather than uke's receiving the technique. In our dojo we emphasize the importance of receiving technique as a part of the conditioning process. Learning the proper form of resistance conditions one's body over time allowing for orderly physiological adaptation while reducing (hopefully) the danger of serious injury.

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      • 1
      cecil This is interesting to me. I may take up Aikido in the future (I study Kung Fu presently) and was wondering about injuries incurred from training. I read an article the other day discussing injuries from studying ju jitsu. I'm over 50 years of age now and don't have the same healing and recovery time I had as a youth. I'd like to avoid injuries from training (even more so than a youngster would) and I'm considering ways to stay injury free while still pushing the training levels.
        • 2
        Dave Magliano Hi Cecil
        Injuries can always happen. The worst injuries I typically see are from people practicing improper ukemi or falling/rolling. When I have a beginning student, especially one with no martial arts background, I have him start with very basic rolling and body movement. Some people get bored and want to do more but I am very strict about this. If you find a good dojo and a teacher who knows how to progress people safely then your risk of injury is minimal. That's not to say you won't wake up the next day feeling sore muscles you didn't realize you have. As for your age, well, I'm 52. Granted, I've been training for over 30 years and I've had my share of injuries...mostly from doing something stupid. But I can still get out and train hard with my students. I have to be a little more careful and there are some things I can't do anymore, but I keep myself in good shape, watch what I eat and drink and I train consistently. If you do all those things there is no reason you cannot continue to train in aikido or any martial art your whole life.
          • 1
          cecil Hi Dave. Thanks for the response. I am definitely adjusting my diet and lifestyle form how it used to be. I basically used this body in construction for a couple of decades and mostly didn't take proper care of it. I have a couple of old injuries that bother me from time to time. I started training again about a year and a half ago and I have to admit that I rarely feel the injuries these days. I do get muscle soreness from training and I guess I can live with that. I most def want to explore other styles of martial arts in the coming years. I aim to be patient and practical and I'm using a variety of methods to get fit enough to do so. I recently got a killer shin splint form overtraining in cardio, and I actually tried to train around it for a few weeks before I finally decided to just take a few days off. That really helped me recover from it. So, I kinda accept the minor training injuries, I'm just hoping to avoid any that will be a recurring pain in the leg! Being aware of this helps me to look closer at how techniques are applied, so that I can do whatever I need to for injury prevention. As far as what I've seen of Aikido at this point, I think that I would want to "go with the flow" of nage to come out whole.
            • 1
            Dave Magliano Shin splints are the worst. The only way to get rid of it is to rest.
      • 1
      Will - Black Belt Wiki Interesting. Do you think most former students of another martial arts will have a difficult time (at least initially) transitioning to the "go with the flow" (versus resisting) uke behavior required in Aikido?

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Dave Magliano Hi Will,
        You know, I think it depends on the person. I had a difficult time. I studied karate and jujutsu for eight years before I went to Japan and found aikido. I was young and a bit on the arrogant side so that certainly didn't help. When one of my teachers or classmates would put a lock on me (for example) I would fight it a little too hard until my strength was overcome with leverage, which in a nutshell is how aikido works. I found over the years that competitive fighters (like I was) have a harder time adjusting to aikido than say some one from a "softer" style or even some one with no background at all.

        As I got older, wiser and much more humble, I learned how to give the proper amount of resistance so my partner could learn, thus I learned. I would think it is similar to "push hands" but I might be wrong as I have not studied that particular art.

        On thing I will add...I've learned over the years that too much of any one thing is not good for one's learning or for the body for that matter. That's one of the reasons I have my students learn and practice basic karate drills, boxing, etc. I even offer to teach kata but it's not mandatory in our dojo. I think the more stimulus we throw at our bodies, the more adaptive our bodies become. There's probably a study out there some where that proves that, at least in part.











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