The Cellar

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casimendocina 07-26-2011 08:17 AM

I took up aikido a month or so ago and have been learning the basics. I can roll forwards in the required fashion on my left side, but am constantly landing on my hip first when I roll on my right side. To make a long story short, this means that the muscles in my right lower back aren't feeling too great at the moment. I had a massage today and jumped almost a mile high when the therapist first massaged that part of my back. Luckily, it's now substantially better. Next aikido training is on Friday...

so my question is any of you martial arts/gymnastics people, any thoughts on how soon I should get back into it if I am still conscious of these particular muscles? I am positive that my spine is not out of alignment/damaged, it's just the muscles which have been affected.

BigV 07-26-2011 08:39 AM


I had the same trouble with rolling, just different sides. right side, ok, left side, no way.

I say immediately because with some specific instruction, your teacher can help you understand what's not happening correctly. when you fix that you'll stop hurting that one spot. I know what you're talking about, it was very frustrating. You can do it on both sides I'm sure, but someone has to point out your mistake before you can fix it.


Lola Bunny 07-26-2011 10:29 PM

Good luck, Casi. As Big V mentioned, you'd need someone to point out what you're doing wrong. As for the muscle pain, sorry, I don't really know for I've never taken akido. Have you tried putting an ice pack and taking some ibuprofen for the pain?

BrianR 07-26-2011 10:41 PM

As our resident martial artist, I have to say that you have already gotten the best advice.

Tell the instructor about the problem and let him watch you roll. He might see something that you miss. That's his job. In women, the prominent hips do cause some trouble but it can be overcome. You have more muscle mass there and just have to train yourself to use it to best advantage.

ZenGum 07-26-2011 11:59 PM

I'd listen to Brian. Only an expert martial artist would dare use the phrases "prominent hips" and "more muscle mass" to a woman!

footfootfoot 07-27-2011 07:22 AM

I studied Aikido about 20 years ago and my hips are feeling pretty good right now. I think it took me a few months to go from being a "square wheel" to an eight-sided wheel until I was finally a 32 sided wheel.

I sort of recall the problem was partly due to not throwing myself into the roll wholeheartedly enough on my weak side, not keeping my extended arm strong and full of KI, and not keeping my legs tucked fully.

But as Brian said, wear a provocative, low cut gi and ask your instructor to examine your form.

And your muscles are sore because they are bruised. I would let them feel better because if you keep trying to roll your pain reflex will make you roll incorrectly so you can avoid the sore spots. Work on your Katas or something while your hips recover, unless you are Japanese in which case pain makes you stronger. (or so I've been told)

casimendocina 07-27-2011 08:40 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice. :).

I love that any question can be posted here and there is always someone who knows something about it.

I'm going to see how the sore muscles feel tomorrow and check in with the instructor as to whether I should train Friday night or just watch. At present, there's also a black belt aikido in the office who has done a bit of demonstrating for me on the correct way to roll (in between the rows of staff desks :)). I've got the theory, now I just have to put it into practice while remembering that it's not a competition and that with practice, I'll get it, just in my own time etc...

Rolling backwards will be the next challenge as like 3Foot, I'm not building up enough momentum to help me complete the roll.

casimendocina 07-28-2011 08:31 AM

The instructor sent us this clip which actually explains things much better than what I'd been shown in the training sessions. I'd been worried about the right place for my head and neck and wasn't placing them correctly. The clip also shows what the rest of the body should be doing-in the training sessions, the concentration had been on the placement of arms and feet pre-roll and post-roll rather than mid-roll.

BigV 07-28-2011 09:47 AM

"This exercise should always be performed as slowly as possible. With practice, you should be able to stop the motion at any point and reverse it, so the roll is executed only using your internal core muscles and the ability to move your center in a balanced fashion even while upside down."

Very good point, but much easier said than done. I *love* this stretch though.

Aliantha 07-28-2011 05:59 PM

Maybe pilates would be a good thing to do in tandem with your regular training?

casimendocina 07-30-2011 02:59 AM

Ali, agreed, pilates is always good. Off for a massage now to get those muscles in the waist area back to their state of a week or so ago.

Big V, I love watching people who are skilled do rolls-the control they have over the movement is enviable. Last night, I went to training to watch only and what was freaky was that the best roller was a white belt.

casimendocina 08-06-2011 02:12 AM

For anyone who cares, I've had a rolling on the right side ukemi ephiphany.

footfootfoot 08-06-2011 02:36 PM

Can you share it with the class or will you have to Iriminage us to the mat?

Also what about the secret Sho Men Uchi Nikkyo breakfall?

casimendocina 08-09-2011 05:22 AM

Too soon for that 3foot. Technique needs to be perfected a little more and sped up before exposing the masses to it.

And breaking news from Sunday's training session is that I can roll backwards - once again, easier on the left than on the right, but happening (still much to my own surprise).

footfootfoot 08-09-2011 08:06 AM


Originally Posted by casimendocina (Post 749240)
Too soon for that 3foot. Technique needs to be perfected a little more and sped up before exposing the masses to it.

Indeed. It could be dangerous to the uninitiated.

Originally Posted by casimendocina (Post 749240)
And breaking news from Sunday's training session is that I can roll backwards - once again, easier on the left than on the right, but happening (still much to my own surprise).


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