© 2012 niall. All rights reserved.

the shiho nage paradox

I went to a sports doctor once for an elbow injury. He’s a very good doctor. He looked at the x-ray carefully and then he asked me, “Do you do aikido?” “Wow,” I thought to myself, “this guy is good!” Then he told me he had only seen bone spurs in an elbow like that once before. In an aikido teacher.

Let’s be honest. Shiho nage is a dangerous technique. Done incorrectly by an inexperienced aikidoka who doesn’t understand the technique it can put severe stress on the elbow joint. Done incorrectly by a more experienced aikidoka who is starting to understand the technique it can cause long-lasting damage. At the Aikikai hombu dojo I have seen people have to stop their training in the middle of the lesson after getting injured with an uncontrolled shiho nage.

So in fact I only teach it to experienced aikidoka. There’s the paradox. If I only teach shiho nage to experienced aikidoka how do the inexperienced aikidoka get to be experienced aikidoka?

It’s a kind of zen mondo or koan – an existential riddle of aikido.

So what’s the answer?

Well if I told you that it wouldn’t be a paradox any more, would it.


photo: X-ray 1 by Owen Blacker

This article was originally published on the aikido site aikiweb.

Aqui la traducción en español.

Hier die Deutsche Übersetzung.




© niall matthews 2010

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