My Aikido Injuries and How I Learned to Treat Them!

by Tony Wilden
(Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK)

I have been studying Aikido since 1985 and have experienced my fair share of training injuries.

In 1988, when I was a 6th kyu, I had both of my wrists injured by an over-eager Sensei doing nikajo. I should add that it may have been my own fault for not reacting fast enough. It did take almost a year to regain the strength and flexibility in my wrists again!

Although my wrists were badly strained, it did not stop my training, and taught me to react quickly to all Aikido moves, which certainly helped to improve my ukemi skills.

In 1990, while a 5th kyu, I injured my shoulder from doing a technique incorrectly on a panicky and resistant uke. This put me out of Aikido training for several months and only began to heal when I decided to resume practise again.

Apart from the normal bruises etc. I didn't have any other injuries until I was a 1st Dan and taking ukemi for a Senior Instructor, and we were practising paired Tai No Henko.

I thought he had relaxed and finished the downward move of his arms, so began to push upwards with my legs to regain my balance. Unfortunately, for me, he had not relaxed downwards, and as he did, the weakest body part gave way and was injured.

My right knee cap was dislocated, but clicked back in place as I hit the floor. I'm glad I had driven the 25 miles to the dojo with a friend, who was able to drive me home.

This injury was repaired in 4-6 weeks by resting and stretching it, but my wife had to help me deliver milk for a week or two ;)

Several months later I had keyhole knee surgery to repair the torn cartilage of my left knee. And a few months later my right knee too. This, I think, was caused by repetitive training.

In 2008, I began to have pain in my left shoulder joint, which was diagnosed as a frozen shoulder. I was told it could take up to 18 months to heal. This stopped me from training for a while, and only began to improve once I started exercising it every day.

Of course, you'll see many advanced Instructors and students wearing supports on their knees, elbows, wrists, ankles etc. This is what happens when you practise such a soft martial art :)

Is it right to trade the health of your body in order to become a martial art or Aikido expert? Of course it isn't!

That's why I wrote the Aikido First Aid Kit ebook. It shows you step-by-step how to avoid training injuries, and how to fast-track your Aikido skills, and... YOU can get it as a FREE bonus!

Tony Wilden
Aikido Health Centre

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Frozen Shoulder
by: Anonymous


Thank you for your article. As I am only 7th kyu, it's really nice to have the web at my fingertips when I find myself wondering about Aikido topics.

I've recently started to have shoulder issues, and I'm pretty sure they are due to aikido. It is always about two days after aikido training, and my left shoulder starts to hurt when I bend it certain directions.

I was wondering if you have any idea of what this could be? I'm reluctant to go to a doctor because I assume they will tell me it is simply sprained or some other simple injury.

Thanks so much!

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