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Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture
taking falls as you age

So yeah, been doing Jujutsu for a little while now, and did Judo a couple years back. I really have enjoyed both alot, and feel they've added a tremendous amount to my Karate. Thing is, I have some major back issues, including but not limited to bulging a few discs over the years, and having to wait for them to heal. Plenty of other little injuries here and there too..but this is the one that makes me worry with throws. So, one of them has started acting up again, getting the ol' sciatica coming back and i'm kind of scared to continue training bigger throws due to this. The two things I've thought of are either stopping completely (don't want to if it's avoidable), or trying to find a crash mat. Before it gets brought up, my ukemi is good, it's those times where things don't work out 100% that I can feel it wearing on me, and the simple of falling (no matter how good you ukemi) seems to have a cumulative effect - especially at 210lbs or more. Any of you with experience taking bigger falls consistently as you get nearer to to 40 or so? I feel like i'm just starting to hit the age where I really need to be more careful, I would like to continue doing this, but i'm not willing to sacrifice health for it.

mike23's picture

Maybe you can limit yourself to 20 throws a night rather than the whole class with throwing. And maybe not do the hard throws like O soto gari or a seoi nage? Also you could pick your partner, specificly one who can throw well and "assist" your landing rather than work with someone who wants to practice hard throwing.

just some thoughts...

tas_ana's picture

Hi Zach

we do most of our throws and tackedowns on your standard mats that we use for karate training, however, the school has invested in a really cool high jump mat which means your can get absolutely smashed in any throw and still bounce back up having felt little of the impact but all of the velocity associated with that throw.

I personally am finding the opposite as I've aged smiley and that is that I need to make my technique more perfect when throwing to stop the good old back going. Where ten years ago you might have just muscled a not very well timed/executed throw now I really need to focus on the technical aspects of the throw and getting  the biomechanics right.


Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Thanks for the suggestions guys. TAS, when I did Judo for a bit we had a crash pad like that, it was great, but I doubt I could afford one, though if you have any leads there i'd look at em lol.

Luckily my Jujutsu teacher is also my friend, who I have been sort of "trading" Karate instruction for Jujutsu instruction with,  he has back issues himself, so he is pretty understanding about my desire to be careful, like I said I am just paranoid about the long term effects on discs/cartilage. It seems like no matter how good one's ukemi, there is a price to pay, though maybe i'm being too paranoid.

karate10's picture

I can relate to that as well because I've started TKD as a kid all the way up to my late teens...Soon after, I've studied Hakko Ryu Jujutsu in my early twentie's (23 years old at the time) for 3 and a half years without any rank but for self defense understanding, but after many judo throws, my lower back was taking a toll of my body. Once the Jujutsu dojo closed down, I took a 9 month hiatus until I join Kykokushin and now I've been practicing for 3 years already and I enjoy my training, but practice your ukemi's so that you can learn to take a fall in case that you trip on something at home or on the street,e.t.c...