Monday, November 30, 2009

Sore calfs

The calf muscles are still sore today, though not as much as yesterday. The pain worsen the next day after the traditional massage treatment in Hulu Langat on Friday.

The long hours of walking at KLCC yesterday must have contributed to the delay in the healing process.
sore tendons in the calf

I felt my left calf muscles pulling during the 3rd National Aikido seminar in Melaka about 3 weeks ago. At first the pain was felt around the left calf region only. Then a few days later it spread to my left toes causing stiffness and soreness in the leg. A week after the seminar the pain spread to the right leg.

After receiving massage treatment in Hulu Langat two weeks ago the soreness receded some what. Then after the hike up the sleep trails of Broga Hill last Friday and the long walk about at KLCC on Sunday, the discomfort got worse.

The last class I had to wear a knee guard to relief some pressure on the left calf especially when sitting down in seiza. I am hoping that I should be able to lead the class this Friday without too much discomfort. Anyway I'll keep my knee guard on standby mode in case I need it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Preparing for 5th kyu grading

Fri 20/11/09 Semenyih Dojo

There are only 7 techniques to do in the 5th kyu grading. After about two months of consistent training the serious student should be able to pass his exam with ease. In the two hour session tonight I went through 6 of the 7 techniques with Ilham. The 1 remaining technique that I couldn't do with him was Sanin Gake Shomen Uchi Iriminage, multiple attack using shomenuchi attack and iriminage defence. This was because Ilham was the ony student training tonight.

Tonight I taught Ilham one more additional technique that I have been quite reluctant to teach in the dojo. The technique is suwari waza ryote tori kokyu ho. Why so reluctant to teach this particular technique to the students?  The reason is that this particular technique requires moving on your knees and because we train on the hard concrete floor without the benefit of mats the body weight bearing on knees and rubbing on the hard surface can damage the knee cap in the long term. I am also not certain if the adult students can accept this type of training stress on their knees.

I was also quite worried if I could walk on my knees as I had sprained my left knee and still experiencing some pain whenever I flex my leg. However the knee guard that I wore tonight provided enough support to enable me to move without too much discomfort.

As I watched his movements I was confident that with two more sessions he should able to acquire enough skills and confidence to pass the 5th kyu test.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Knee woe

8.00pm. Aikido class. Semenyih Dojo.

As I was sitting down in seiza on the hard floor to start the class I felt a sharp pain at the back of the left knee. From the back of the left knee the pain radiated upwards to the caft and tight till it disappeared at the buttocks region. Trying to distribute the weight equally between the two legs didn't bring any relief. Finally transferring most of my body weight to the right leg gave some relief. I wondered if the student noticed that I was sitting not upright but slighting tilting towards the right.

The first time I experienced some pain in the left knee was one week ago during the Aikido seminar in Melaka. As the pain was not bothering me I dismissed it as sore muscles due to sitting in zeiza for too long. Then the next morning I felt the pain shooting up the left tight and the leg becoming a bit stiff. The Hulu Langat traditional Chinese medicine massage therapist whom I consulted said it was muscle sprain and after more than one hour of massage I experienced tremendous relief, as if some weight had been removed from the tired leg. The therapist said that I would have to return for more massage treatments in order to heal the injury completely.

In retrospect I am not sure how the pain came about. I don't recall ever hitting my knee cap on the floor due to a bad fall. Maybe as I am getting on in years, the muscle-skeletal and the nervous system are starting to degenerate as well. Well, I will have to find another way of sitting in seiza until the left knee recovers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Danger of slapping forcefully on the mat

At the 3rd National Aikido Seminar in Melaka 7/11/09 and 8/11/09

I noticed many students habitually slapped with great gusto on the mat without regard to the health of their limbs. It is as if banging forcefully on the mat is the only acceptable way of taking ukemi. If the floor had been concrete instead of tatami mat slapping forcefully on the hard and unyielding surface will surely damage the limbs in the long term. Even one sensei opined  that  by banging hard and loud on the floor it would impress the public with the power of Aikido while falling and rolling softly and quietly would make Aikido appear as dull and uninspiring.

In Semenyih dojo where the trainees practice on a hard concrete surface with no mats, such reckless floor slapping antics are actively discouraged. Instead the trainees are taught how to relax and soften their bodies so as to resolve the impact of bodies crashing on the floor. In addition the trainees are also taught how to exhale just before hitting the fall. In my experience slapping is probably safe if you are in the prime of  your youth but as you grow older continuous slapping the floor can lead to bone and tissue damage.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Featuring in FaceBook

Am considering publicising the Semenyih Dojo by creating a Aikido group in FaceBook. What should I call this group? I have just created the group with the name of SAG. SAG stands for  Semenyih Aikido Group.

The danger of slapping the floor

At the 3rd National Aikido Seminar, Melaka, 7/11/09 and 8/11/09

I noticed many students habitually slapped the mat with great gusto when performing their breakfalls. This kind of practice will lead to broken bones if performed on a hard surface. One sensei even commented that slow, soft and quiet rolls would make Aikido appeared as unworthy of sturdy.

In the Semenyih Dojo where the students and their instructor practice on the hard tiled concrete floor, such reckless practices are actively discouraged. Instead students are taught how to breath, soften and relax their bodies whencrashing on the floor.