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#273702 - 07/20/06 08:11 PM Jujitsu student needs advice.
Savant021 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 8
I've been training in aikijujitsu for a little less than a year now, the last few months at the red belt level, and I absolutely love it. It's the best martial art I've ever trained in, bar none. My problem is that I keep getting hurt. I'm good at breakfalls, but I am 6'4" tall and have size 14 feet, and I regularly get my legs/feet tangled up in or caught on my uke's legs during takedowns and throws. Tangled legs or a foot just being in the way have resulted in numerous hyperextensions, twistings and mild sprains. It's getting to the point where I am getting nervous about doing throws and takedowns and I know that being scared is only going to get me hurt worse. I've begun to wonder if perhaps I just do not have the right body type for jujitsu, if maybe my very long arms and legs are a liability in an art that requires me to fall in close contact with other people so often. I was hoping some other jujitsu practitioners out there might have some meaningful input or advice for me.

Thinking about quitting -- Savant021

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#273703 - 07/20/06 08:18 PM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: Savant021]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Well, without trying to criticize you here, are you sure you're good at breakfalls? It seems that if you get hurt while falling, maybe your breakfalls aren't as good as you think?

Maybe consider working more on breakfalls, and focus on controlling your limbs more carefully while receiving a technique.

The other aspect of it is that maybe your training partners are not very good. A training partner has a responsibility to avoid causing injury to their partner, so if this is happening frequently maybe you should discuss how they can stop injuring you (i.e. instead of standing there waiting for your limbs to get stuck on them & injured, MOVE!)

While there is no wrong body type for jujutsu, being taller is usually somewhat of a negative asset especially when receiving a technique.

Overall though, I'm most inclined to say that your breakfalls are probably not as good as you think they are, and you should probably video tape yourself training so you can see if there's anything you're doing wrong. Then you'll be able to focus on the issue and correct it.

Regards.

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#273704 - 07/20/06 09:33 PM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: Savant021]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Just to keep things straight, take note of what's happening to you when you're injured. Are your feet hitting the mats and causing the problems, or are you landing in "parts" instead of all together? It could be a million things, but I can promise you that it is something about your ukemi skills... not your body type.

It might also be the type of ukemi you're trying to use for the different techniques as well. Not every type of breakfall is usable for every type of technique, so do a little investigating with your teacher to see if you need to change methods instead of arts.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#273705 - 07/20/06 09:45 PM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: Savant021]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Good advice from paradox and WT. Have your instructor check your technique AND videotape yourself at practice. Seeing yourself on video can do wonders for your technique.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#273706 - 07/21/06 12:04 AM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: MattJ]
Savant021 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 8
All great advice so far, many thanks. To make the nature of my proneness to injury more clear, I'll give you two of the most recent examples of my long feet and legs getting tangled/in the way. A few weeks ago we were practicing a variation of yoko guruma, a side wheel sacrifice throw. While I was being thrown, my long right foot caught under my uke's right leg and couldn't clear with his left leg acting as a fulcrum against my calf, so that when we went down my foot was hyperextended with the full weight of my body behind it. For a few terrifying seconds I seriously thought I had broken my leg. That was not fun. More recently we were practicing what I think was an ashi guruma, or some other kind of leg wheel. My uke that day was much larger than me at 285 pounds. I flubbed the throw, and instead of going over and forward, my uke came down on my leg like a 285 pound feedsack right at the knee, hyperextending it. I'm not gonna lie -- I screamed. Those are just two examples of the numerous times I've had to limp off the mat at the end of the night. My frustration is amplified by the fact that I seem to be the only student in the class who ever really gets hurt. We have many white belts running around, all with less skill than I have, who aren't having to limp off the mat night after night. And they're all short, I've noticed. Exasperating! I appreciate all the advice, and I will definitely reexamine my breakfalls (and the idea about videoing myself is intrigueing) but I am still left with the lingering suspicion that my limb structure is just not "jujitsu friendly." I love what I am learning and want to continue with my training, but I don't want to get crippled in the process. Hope this clarifies my situation, and I look forward to reading any responses you would be gracious enough to add. Thanks all.

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#273707 - 07/21/06 10:18 PM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: Savant021]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Sorry to tell you but it's not your height that's causing the injuries, I'll put a shiny gold seal on that. Definately take a close look at your breakfalls, and definately take a look at how you're controlling your limbs.

Part of jujutsu and breakfalls as well includes being able to control your limbs during a breakfall. Despite what you may think are technically correct breakfall movements, breakfalls are only good if they actually prevent you from getting injured. What may work for others may not work for you and vice versa. Do what you need to do to avoid getting injured.

Also remember, scenarios like the one you described above can happen to anyone. I've had people fall on me before, and I've fallen on top of others before as well. Sometimes you just get unlucky and something bad happens, including injuries. Unfortunately there's no avoiding that aspect of it. But if you're getting injured repeatedly in the same ways, it's either your own technique, your partner's technique or a combination of both that are causing the problems. Height just doesn't really factor into it most of the time.

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#273708 - 07/22/06 12:43 AM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: Savant021]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Savant,
how long have you been doing Judo?

Yoko guruma is a throw that normally necessitates someone who is about Sandan level to handle the breakfall from it. While it's a nice practice throw and fall, in randori, you have to gage what kind of techniques you use on whom... no uki otoshi on beginners, etc... and yoko guruma is one that just happens to really require some skills in ukemi to prevent injuries... a broken collarbone is usually the result of a bad encounter with that throw, so feel lucky that you only sprained your leg.

I won't address the problem you had with Ashi guruma, because it sounds like you just did the throw poorly and both of you were tangled up when you got hurt. I'm sure it hurt, and can readily understand the scream... pain does that from time to time.

When I had my judo club, we had a rule... no throw in randori that hadn't been done a thousand times...on both sides of the throw, both as uke and nage. That kept a lot of injuries from occuring and throws were made cleanly.

We didn't just learn a throw this week and then try it on some unsuspecting who-do during randori practice, but we made sure we could execute the throw and fall when it was done on us. Most clubs depend on uchi-komi to practice throws, but you need to execute more than you shortcut if you want to do them well. Saying "Oh, yeah, I know that one" isn't the substitute for actual practice.

If the thousand throw rule sounds too stringent for you, pick a number and then make sure you're doing the groundwork to have the skills to prevent injury to someone else, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how your own injuries slow down.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#273709 - 07/22/06 09:46 AM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: wristtwister]
Savant021 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 8
I'm only at the red belt level in aikijujitsu, but my intructor rarely adheres to any graduated syllabus. We're a small class, with three black belts, one brown, one green, two reds including myself, and four white belt students. The small class size and top-heavy belt representation means that we usually jump around a lot between intermediate and advanced techniques. Once the white belts acquire a good proficiency with breakfalls and rolls, they're pretty much thrown in with the rest of the class and whatever technique is being taught. I like this method because it means that although I've only been training in the art for about a year, I have access to techniques far above my belt level. What I don't like about it is that I don't feel I really have a chance to perfect any single technique. My favorite throw -- my "bread-and-butter" throw -- for example, is the basic Ogoshi. I took to the Ogoshi very quickly, and find it to be the most practical, effective throw I have learned, and I would love to practice my Ogoshi a thousand times until I can do it in any situation like it was second nature. But once I demonstrated that I could do the Ogoshi with good, clean technique, we moved on to something else and only return to it every couple of months to recap or to teach it to a white belt. So your thousand-throw rule sounds wonderful to me, but that is simply not how our class is structured. Any input?

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#273710 - 07/22/06 10:13 AM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: Savant021]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Well Sport,
I think you need to have a talk with your teacher and tell him you'd like to learn more than just a "passing knowledge" of what you're doing. Some throws require higher level skills than what you have, and you don't need to be in the middle of the mix when he's training his black belts in stuff they have the skills for and you don't. It's like telling you to go play in the traffic.

Quote:

my intructor rarely adheres to any graduated syllabus




That's not your fault, but you need to be aware that if you take part in training that's over your head, you'll end up with injuries that you don't need to be acquiring. I wouldn't do a side separation throw on a white belt, simply because I know that they're most probably going to come up with a broken collarbone... so I have a responsibility to hold my enthusiasm for that throw until they have the skills for it. So does your teacher.

I'm not trying to second guess him, just giving you an idea that you need to keep him aware that there are some things you might not be ready for... I've trained a lot of people over the years and with a lot of people, and you don't need a teacher that's only for the black belts and only teaching advanced technique. You have to have the skills for that training first... which is why judo training is structured through the syllabus of Kodokan judo.

The most helpful thing you can do, is practice ukemi until you bleed... It's necessary for every throw, and whether you're the uke or nage, you need to know if your partner in the throw is falling correctly, because it can be that they're not because of something you're doing... so you have to be both executing and analyzing at the same time.

In all fairness to your teacher, he sounds like someone that likes to just throw people in and keep those that can swim... I've run into them before, and that's one way of running a school... My way is to keep students doing ukemi and throws that match their level of skills with their ukemi... not throw and hope they catch up on the way down.

You obviously like what you're doing, and don't mind doing the work to learn, but that doesn't mean you need to get killed in the process. MA training should be enjoyable and structured, and the more capable of doing your techniques on both sides you are, the more you'll learn and be able to share... and you won't get hurt nearly as much or as badly. Think before you fly...

AIR JUJUTSU... we don't have stewardesses, and don't serve drinks after landing... BYO to the party.



_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#273711 - 07/27/06 01:30 AM Re: Jujitsu student needs advice. [Re: Savant021]
Legend of the Hungry Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 221
"A few weeks ago we were practicing a variation of yoko guruma, a side wheel sacrifice throw. While I was being thrown, my long right foot caught under my uke's right leg and couldn't clear with his left leg acting as a fulcrum against my calf, so that when we went down my foot was hyperextended with the full weight of my body behind it. For a few terrifying seconds I seriously thought I had broken my leg. That was not fun. More recently we were practicing what I think was an ashi guruma, or some other kind of leg wheel. My uke that day was much larger than me at 285 pounds. I flubbed the throw, and instead of going over and forward, my uke came down on my leg like a 285 pound feedsack right at the knee, hyperextending it. I'm not gonna lie -- I screamed." if im not mistaken the problem lies here.

well as people say, its apart of ur job as uke to prevent injury, so its kinda ur job to make sure your not getting caught in your opponent so u get a clean breakfall. The second part was also ur fault, and not your height. u messed up the throw and dropped a 285lb guy on ur leg. doesn't sound like your height had anythign to do with that.

and im not as experienced as a lot of people here, but i have learned this. not everyone will be able to perform every technique all the time. take the ones u like and that work and use them freely, and don't bother with the ones that don't suit your build. and practice all of them, but don't feel it necessary to need to be able to do them all with expert skill.
_________________________
Hakkyokuseiken Senpuken-terry bogard

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