Aikido and injuries

AIKIDO AND INJURIES 

I would like to believe that all injuries in dojos are caused by incidental events like toes trapped between matress, misfortunate falls or strikes that reach the aim. But isn’t that just a wishful thinking? I guess it is…

I have plenty of observations on that matters and I will write them down below:

The very first and the most vicious is:

 LACK OF PROPER WARM-UPS

Warm ups are not just a waste of time that can be replaced by training. They are something absolutely necessary during teaching process because of preparing your body and soul for a good practice, for facing the quality of the study.. They are to engage the full body, no matter how skilfull the practitioners are. Good warm ups mean: aerobic excercises mixed with stretches and endurance excercises. And what I mostly underline: hip stability excercises. Since aikido equals hips, they are to be elastic, strong, springy and really warm. We need to focus on excercises that facilitate our communication with hips and make it as clear as possible. We are to uderstand our hips keeping us close to the ground. What we mostly ignore is a moment of silence in seiza to concentrate, to leave behind the dojo’s door all dust and rubbish of everyday life but can spoil the quality of time there. Well, breathing excercises are the centre of that, I suppose.

The next reason for injuries is:

 FORCEFULL TECHNIQUES APPLICATION

It touches almost everyone in different forms. Some of us use force more, some less but there is always a tempting whisper to solve the problem with force if applied technique is not correctly performed. If we connect it with lack of warm ups – injury gates are widely open. Talking about forceful applications I mean packing your opponent’s joints into beyond-their-physiological-range-of-movement-positions. It limits their capability of bearing the pressure. And it results in pain mostly and – if the tissues „cannot bear the strike” – to injury itself. This is also the moment I need to indicate to recklessness of all kinds and show-offs.

Those factors that are not to be ignored are:

 EARLIER AND CURRENT INJURIES AND DISORDERS

The way we behave in dojo, with our body and mind history is determined by our past and present. Our mobility, caution, accuracy, precision, ignorance, tissue memory of past injuries and strains influence our practice. Our body is full of its natural less-resistance-to-mechanical-load spots. But we also add more and more to that list. That weakens our mechanical “us” a great deal.

To me it is more that clear that:

 ACCIDENTS

are one of the most frequent injury reasons. Falls may result in shoulder and wrist dislocations, ligamentous and muscle strains, twists are open gate to knee strains, ankle and wrists disorders and falls again – may result in fractures sometimes.

 I am absolutely certain that all those incidents can be avoided. I have pointed the need of warm-ups. Logic, analytic and purposeful is the answer. Concentration during dojo classes, avoiding a party-like atmosphere and finally – basic understanding of human anatomy, mechanics of the locomotor system and physiology guarantees a safe and pain free class. Your body deserves that…

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