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    'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

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    genetic judoka

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    'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by genetic judoka on Fri May 24, 2013 2:30 am

    many of you probably remember the story of my knee surgery from the old forum. a chunk of cartilage broke off from somewhere and was swimming around in the knee joint getting caught in places it shouldn't be. they went in arthroscopically (is that a real word? my autocorrect doesn't think so) and removed it. I healed up really quickly and I was back on the mat 4 weeks after the surgery, and more or less back to normal 8 weeks after.

    but here's the fun part. before my surgery, harai goshi and ashi guruma were my tokui waza (not quite a classical ashi guruma, but that's what I'm gonna call it, the entry was similar to a harai goshi but there was minimal if any hip contact and it was a guruma type action that finished the throw). every time we had a choice of what technique to practice, those were the ones I worked on (harai goshi when my partner was above 6', "ashi guruma" if they were shorter). I spent hundreds of hours of mat time on nothing but harai goshi and my version of ashi guruma. they were my go to techniques in randori, and although I don't think they were technically flawless by any means (I'd need a lifetime of practice before I can claim that), they were pretty good. I could land them fairly consistently on people my own size that are more advanced than myself.

    now, something is terribly wrong. every time I do uchikomi and nage komi (static or moving) they just feel off. my uke still goes over, but they don't feel crisp and snappy like they used to, I feel like I'm hesitating every time. and I've landed a grand total of maybe 10 of them in randori since the surgery (all of which were on people much less advanced than myself), and the surgery was about 8 months ago. it's gotten to the point that the throws are so low percentage now that I almost don't even try it in randori anymore.

    there's a silver lining to this cloud though. now that I don't have to worry about my kneecap dislocating anymore my de ashi harai, okuri ashi harai, and kosoto gari have become much much better, my tai otoshi has become very snappy (in fact it's my main tool now), and my osoto gari (a technique that I thought was lost to me after I decided to stop using it for a long time to develop my other waza) is back with a vengeance. I'm even landing other koshi waza (tsurikomi goshi, sode TKG, and uki goshi) pretty consistently. heck, I even work my seoi nage in randori successfully now that my knees let me squat lower.

    despite the fact that I am very happy about my improvements with my other waza now that my knee is more stable, I am very unhappy about the loss of my two favorite throws. I feel like the year of focused effort I put into making that throw an effective tool was wasted. despite landing them hundreds of times in randori I only used harai goshi ONCE in shiai, and never once used my ashi guruma outside of the dojo.

    the thing is, it's not like my knee hurts when I do them. my knee is fine. in fact it's better than it's been since the car accident that initially screwed it up (9 years ago). but I still hesitate to launch them. and that brief hesitation is all that's needed for my opponent to escape.

    I thought maybe I could do what I did to bring back my osoto gari, and just focus on nothing but that throw in randori for a little bit. but my osoto went away because I consciously willed myself to stop using it so I could develop other waza. so to me the situation seems completely different. it has been entirely unsuccessful. it seems in addition to hesitating to do the throw, I'm also doing it wrong. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but there's definitely a problem with my application that didn't exist before the surgery.

    when I get a chance I'm gonna try to put together a video comparing my old harai goshi to my new fail of a throw that looks sorta like harai goshi. but in the mean time, with all the judoka out there and all the knee surgeries, I know I can't be the first one to have had this problem. how do I bring a throw back from the grave when the injury that killed it is now gone?


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri May 24, 2013 3:47 am

    genetic judoka wrote:many of you probably remember the story of my knee surgery from the old forum. a chunk of cartilage broke off from somewhere and was swimming around in the knee joint getting caught in places it shouldn't be. they went in arthroscopically (is that a real word? my autocorrect doesn't think so) and removed it. I healed up really quickly and I was back on the mat 4 weeks after the surgery, and more or less back to normal 8 weeks after.

    but here's the fun part. before my surgery, harai goshi and ashi guruma were my tokui waza (not quite a classical ashi guruma, but that's what I'm gonna call it, the entry was similar to a harai goshi but there was minimal if any hip contact and it was a guruma type action that finished the throw). every time we had a choice of what technique to practice, those were the ones I worked on (harai goshi when my partner was above 6', "ashi guruma" if they were shorter). I spent hundreds of hours of mat time on nothing but harai goshi and my version of ashi guruma. they were my go to techniques in randori, and although I don't think they were technically flawless by any means (I'd need a lifetime of practice before I can claim that), they were pretty good. I could land them fairly consistently on people my own size that are more advanced than myself.

    now, something is terribly wrong. every time I do uchikomi and nage komi (static or moving) they just feel off. my uke still goes over, but they don't feel crisp and snappy like they used to, I feel like I'm hesitating every time. and I've landed a grand total of maybe 10 of them in randori since the surgery (all of which were on people much less advanced than myself), and the surgery was about 8 months ago. it's gotten to the point that the throws are so low percentage now that I almost don't even try it in randori anymore.

    there's a silver lining to this cloud though. now that I don't have to worry about my kneecap dislocating anymore my de ashi harai, okuri ashi harai, and kosoto gari have become much much better, my tai otoshi has become very snappy (in fact it's my main tool now), and my osoto gari (a technique that I thought was lost to me after I decided to stop using it for a long time to develop my other waza) is back with a vengeance. I'm even landing other koshi waza (tsurikomi goshi, sode TKG, and uki goshi) pretty consistently. heck, I even work my seoi nage in randori successfully now that my knees let me squat lower.

    despite the fact that I am very happy about my improvements with my other waza now that my knee is more stable, I am very unhappy about the loss of my two favorite throws. I feel like the year of focused effort I put into making that throw an effective tool was wasted. despite landing them hundreds of times in randori I only used harai goshi ONCE in shiai, and never once used my ashi guruma outside of the dojo.

    the thing is, it's not like my knee hurts when I do them. my knee is fine. in fact it's better than it's been since the car accident that initially screwed it up (9 years ago). but I still hesitate to launch them. and that brief hesitation is all that's needed for my opponent to escape.

    I thought maybe I could do what I did to bring back my osoto gari, and just focus on nothing but that throw in randori for a little bit. but my osoto went away because I consciously willed myself to stop using it so I could develop other waza. so to me the situation seems completely different. it has been entirely unsuccessful. it seems in addition to hesitating to do the throw, I'm also doing it wrong. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but there's definitely a problem with my application that didn't exist before the surgery.

    when I get a chance I'm gonna try to put together a video comparing my old harai goshi to my new fail of a throw that looks sorta like harai goshi. but in the mean time, with all the judoka out there and all the knee surgeries, I know I can't be the first one to have had this problem. how do I bring a throw back from the grave when the injury that killed it is now gone?

    I think you will need to refocus on those thorows. Although it seems to me that the issue may not be your sugury (which wasn't that serious), but that pehaps your Judo has evolved. By that I mean your fudnamentals are better now, so you have moved on to other throws. Sometimes beginner/novices/intermediate judoka will develop tokui waza based on their own physiological pecuncies. I think htat may have happened in your case with theose first two throws.

    I had a similar thing happen to me with Kouchi Gari. I got so good at it (relatively speaking" that I was throwing people in shiai with it for waza ari/ippon all the time. Yeah, Kouchi Gari...My Seoinage was pretty good too, so it to tothe point that all i had to do was even look like I was going to do Seoinage, and I would catch the reaction and throw with Kouchi Gari, or vice versa.

    I had knee surgury, (ACL recon), and "gave up" kouchi gari to develop other ashi waza (ashi barai to be specific). AFter that was accomplished (it took one year of intense study and practice), my kouchi gari was totally gone. It's still is gone.

    Kinda of a mystery, but I had to accept it. After I inured my knee, I had to start doing Seoi Otoshi (knees) instead of a low standing Seoi Nage. I had the surgery, rehabbed, but I never could get to doing a standing or low squatting Seoi again in shiai.

    So I had to accept all that. Once I did, I could move on to other throws and skills.


    Dave R.

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2013-01-29

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by Dave R. on Fri May 24, 2013 4:08 am

    Just curious, have you received a medical clearance of any kind?

    Have you considered the possibility that you learned your tokui waza working around a weakened knee and now that it's repaired it's an entirely different senssation? Sometimes we train around injuries for so long that working around it can become part of the technique. Have you asked for an honest evaluation of your harai goshi from one of your sensei? I only really trust one person with critiquing my techniques because he sees the little things most everyone else doesn't or can't see. Do you have anyone like this because if you do that person should be able to see it if you do 20 harai goshi in a row.

    You sound like an NFL player who just came off injury who's afraid of that first hit. I think the biggest difference (beside sport) is that in your case it seems the knee surgery has been of great benefit (i.e. your seoi nage). You sound afraid of your knee giving out and I mean that in the most respectful manner. Are there valid concerns about your knee you haven't actually confronted?

    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri May 24, 2013 4:15 am

    genetic judoka wrote:many of you probably remember the story of my knee surgery from the old forum. a chunk of cartilage broke off from somewhere and was swimming around in the knee joint getting caught in places it shouldn't be. they went in arthroscopically (is that a real word? my autocorrect doesn't think so) and removed it. I healed up really quickly and I was back on the mat 4 weeks after the surgery, and more or less back to normal 8 weeks after.

    but here's the fun part. before my surgery, harai goshi and ashi guruma were my tokui waza (not quite a classical ashi guruma, but that's what I'm gonna call it, the entry was similar to a harai goshi but there was minimal if any hip contact and it was a guruma type action that finished the throw). every time we had a choice of what technique to practice, those were the ones I worked on (harai goshi when my partner was above 6', "ashi guruma" if they were shorter). I spent hundreds of hours of mat time on nothing but harai goshi and my version of ashi guruma. they were my go to techniques in randori, and although I don't think they were technically flawless by any means (I'd need a lifetime of practice before I can claim that), they were pretty good. I could land them fairly consistently on people my own size that are more advanced than myself.

    now, something is terribly wrong. every time I do uchikomi and nage komi (static or moving) they just feel off. my uke still goes over, but they don't feel crisp and snappy like they used to, I feel like I'm hesitating every time. and I've landed a grand total of maybe 10 of them in randori since the surgery (all of which were on people much less advanced than myself), and the surgery was about 8 months ago. it's gotten to the point that the throws are so low percentage now that I almost don't even try it in randori anymore.

    there's a silver lining to this cloud though. now that I don't have to worry about my kneecap dislocating anymore my de ashi harai, okuri ashi harai, and kosoto gari have become much much better, my tai otoshi has become very snappy (in fact it's my main tool now), and my osoto gari (a technique that I thought was lost to me after I decided to stop using it for a long time to develop my other waza) is back with a vengeance. I'm even landing other koshi waza (tsurikomi goshi, sode TKG, and uki goshi) pretty consistently. heck, I even work my seoi nage in randori successfully now that my knees let me squat lower.

    despite the fact that I am very happy about my improvements with my other waza now that my knee is more stable, I am very unhappy about the loss of my two favorite throws. I feel like the year of focused effort I put into making that throw an effective tool was wasted. despite landing them hundreds of times in randori I only used harai goshi ONCE in shiai, and never once used my ashi guruma outside of the dojo.

    the thing is, it's not like my knee hurts when I do them. my knee is fine. in fact it's better than it's been since the car accident that initially screwed it up (9 years ago). but I still hesitate to launch them. and that brief hesitation is all that's needed for my opponent to escape.

    I thought maybe I could do what I did to bring back my osoto gari, and just focus on nothing but that throw in randori for a little bit. but my osoto went away because I consciously willed myself to stop using it so I could develop other waza. so to me the situation seems completely different. it has been entirely unsuccessful. it seems in addition to hesitating to do the throw, I'm also doing it wrong. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but there's definitely a problem with my application that didn't exist before the surgery.

    when I get a chance I'm gonna try to put together a video comparing my old harai goshi to my new fail of a throw that looks sorta like harai goshi. but in the mean time, with all the judoka out there and all the knee surgeries, I know I can't be the first one to have had this problem. how do I bring a throw back from the grave when the injury that killed it is now gone?

    This is possible, and Ben has provided some excellent insight.

    Usually though, once likelihood for this kind of thing to happen is increased if it happens during or around puberty due to temporarily decreased motor skills, but it does occasionally happen at other ages and in that case usually in the kind of way that Ben describes.

    It really has to do with how one's rehab is spent, eventual psychological damage from the injury, although severe injuries where the proper function of a part of the body becomes impaired may play a role too. It really has to do with what is called proprioception. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception

    One way to help avoiding this is to continue (if possible at all) to practice a technique during time of injury, if possible at all to the other side. This is because properioception is a neurological process, and this is even partly so for muscle development. Suppose a person injures his left knee, and because of the injury quits exercising his legs for 6 weeks. Now, suppose that person, instead of ceasing all activity, during that time only exercises his right knee, then the consequence will be that BOTH of his legs will have lost less muscle. The same is true for motor skills. The reason for both phenomena is the involvement of the neurological system.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."

    genetic judoka

    Posts : 541
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 30
    Location : Florida

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by genetic judoka on Fri May 24, 2013 6:30 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    I think you will need to refocus on those thorows. Although it seems to me that the issue may not be your sugury (which wasn't that serious), but that pehaps your Judo has evolved. By that I mean your fudnamentals are better now, so you have moved on to other throws. Sometimes beginner/novices/intermediate judoka will develop tokui waza based on their own physiological pecuncies. I think htat may have happened in your case with theose first two throws.

    I had a similar thing happen to me with Kouchi Gari. I got so good at it (relatively speaking" that I was throwing people in shiai with it for waza ari/ippon all the time. Yeah, Kouchi Gari...My Seoinage was pretty good too, so it to tothe point that all i had to do was even look like I was going to do Seoinage, and I would catch the reaction and throw with Kouchi Gari, or vice versa.

    I had knee surgury, (ACL recon), and "gave up" kouchi gari to develop other ashi waza (ashi barai to be specific). AFter that was accomplished (it took one year of intense study and practice), my kouchi gari was totally gone. It's still is gone.

    Kinda of a mystery, but I had to accept it. After I inured my knee, I had to start doing Seoi Otoshi (knees) instead of a low standing Seoi Nage. I had the surgery, rehabbed, but I never could get to doing a standing or low squatting Seoi again in shiai.

    So I had to accept all that. Once I did, I could move on to other throws and skills.

    what do you mean when you say "refocus"? as in just work harder on them? fair enough. did you willingly give up your ko uchi or did it just stop working for you and you just accepted that it's gone?
    Dave R. wrote:Just curious, have you received a medical clearance of any kind?

    Have you considered the possibility that you learned your tokui waza working around a weakened knee and now that it's repaired it's an entirely different senssation? Sometimes we train around injuries for so long that working around it can become part of the technique. Have you asked for an honest evaluation of your harai goshi from one of your sensei? I only really trust one person with critiquing my techniques because he sees the little things most everyone else doesn't or can't see. Do you have anyone like this because if you do that person should be able to see it if you do 20 harai goshi in a row.

    You sound like an NFL player who just came off injury who's afraid of that first hit. I think the biggest difference (beside sport) is that in your case it seems the knee surgery has been of great benefit (i.e. your seoi nage). You sound afraid of your knee giving out and I mean that in the most respectful manner. Are there valid concerns about your knee you haven't actually confronted?
    no medical clearance sought, I didn't think any was needed. my doctor (a former judoka who trained in japan) pretty much told me that since it wasn't a major surgery and nothing structural was being done in the knee I could go back as soon as it felt solid, and to just take it easy for a few weeks after I returned. which I did.

    I never thought about the idea that the way that I do the throws was based on working around an injury. but I would imagine since it was my left knee, and I do those throws right handed, I'd get better at them after I healed because I can bend lower. before the surgery if my knee was really hurting that day I'd just do a lot of ouchi gari and sutemi waza, so I'm not sure I was really working around it, so to speak. deep down I am still afraid of the knee giving out, despite not having any indications whatsoever of any problems once the surgery related pain went away.

    my sensei isn't the best when it comes to specific feedback. he tends to answer questions with a demonstration. great for visual learners. I am not a visual learner.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:

    This is possible, and Ben has provided some excellent insight.

    Usually though, once likelihood for this kind of thing to happen is increased if it happens during or around puberty due to temporarily decreased motor skills, but it does occasionally happen at other ages and in that case usually in the kind of way that Ben describes.

    It really has to do with how one's rehab is spent, eventual psychological damage from the injury, although severe injuries where the proper function of a part of the body becomes impaired may play a role too. It really has to do with what is called proprioception. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception

    One way to help avoiding this is to continue (if possible at all) to practice a technique during time of injury, if possible at all to the other side. This is because properioception is a neurological process, and this is even partly so for muscle development. Suppose a person injures his left knee, and because of the injury quits exercising his legs for 6 weeks. Now, suppose that person, instead of ceasing all activity, during that time only exercises his right knee, then the consequence will be that BOTH of his legs will have lost less muscle. The same is true for motor skills. The reason for both phenomena is the involvement of the neurological system.
    interesting concept. I'll have to read up on it some more. but given that the injury has come and gone and I'm totally healed, what can I do to counteract the effect? would working my left side help even though I'm healed up now? I'm semi ambidextrous with my judo, I spend about 15% of my time working on my left side. so spending a bit more time there wouldn't be too big of a shock for me. my left side harai was never as strong as my right by any stretch of the imagination. for some reason I struggle more with that than I do with most other left side throws.

    Dave R.

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2013-01-29

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by Dave R. on Fri May 24, 2013 7:06 am

    genetic judoka wrote:
    Dave R. wrote:Just curious, have you received a medical clearance of any kind?

    Have you considered the possibility that you learned your tokui waza working around a weakened knee and now that it's repaired it's an entirely different senssation? Sometimes we train around injuries for so long that working around it can become part of the technique. Have you asked for an honest evaluation of your harai goshi from one of your sensei? I only really trust one person with critiquing my techniques because he sees the little things most everyone else doesn't or can't see. Do you have anyone like this because if you do that person should be able to see it if you do 20 harai goshi in a row.

    You sound like an NFL player who just came off injury who's afraid of that first hit. I think the biggest difference (beside sport) is that in your case it seems the knee surgery has been of great benefit (i.e. your seoi nage). You sound afraid of your knee giving out and I mean that in the most respectful manner. Are there valid concerns about your knee you haven't actually confronted?

    no medical clearance sought, I didn't think any was needed. my doctor (a former judoka who trained in japan) pretty much told me that since it wasn't a major surgery and nothing structural was being done in the knee I could go back as soon as it felt solid, and to just take it easy for a few weeks after I returned. which I did.

    I never thought about the idea that the way that I do the throws was based on working around an injury. but I would imagine since it was my left knee, and I do those throws right handed, I'd get better at them after I healed because I can bend lower. before the surgery if my knee was really hurting that day I'd just do a lot of ouchi gari and sutemi waza, so I'm not sure I was really working around it, so to speak. deep down I am still afraid of the knee giving out, despite not having any indications whatsoever of any problems once the surgery related pain went away.

    my sensei isn't the best when it comes to specific feedback. he tends to answer questions with a demonstration. great for visual learners. I am not a visual learner.

    That is unfortunate in regards to how your sensei teaches. Almost all sensei in my area teach this way. Great for kids, but not so great for adults. I recall Josh Resnick gave an excellent explanation as to the reasons why a few years back. Some of the forum members are very good with video critique.

    I know this suggestion may cost a little money but perhaps you would benefit from a visit with a sports doctor to find out once and for all whether your deep down fears are justified. I've never had a knee injury but I know if I had one there would always be hesitation for me until all the questions I needed answered were answered. If seeing a doctor is not possible perhaps starting a weigh training regimen may be beneficial.

    While I've never had a knee problem I always felt in the back of my mind that my knees would give out if I do certain throws. Doing weight training gave me the confidence to see where my strength levels were really at and in its own way gave me assurances my knees aren't going to snap. In turn, my Judo improved as I had more confidence to do things I wasn't sure of doing. Of course, I understand part of the fear here is the unpredictability of a training partner. A weight isn't going to start doing something you don't expect it to do. A person on the other hand, especially a white belt (or the feared green belt), can be very dangerous and unpredictable.

    genetic judoka

    Posts : 541
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 30
    Location : Florida

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by genetic judoka on Fri May 24, 2013 7:41 am

    it's not so bad, you just gotta ask very specific questions. he was trained in Japan and Korea, so to him that's the normal way of teaching. his demonstrations are great, I'm just not much of a visual learner. it helps though that I'm usually his uke when he teaches, so at least I get to see what things should feel like.

    I don't currently have any form of health insurance, which would prevent me from following that suggestion, but it certainly would be a good idea.

    I keep telling myself that I wanna get started on weight training again (especially for the legs). I haven't seen the inside of a gym since before the wedding. I need to get on that. I do a lot of body weight stuff in the classes I teach though. it's not the same, but better than nothing.

    over the past few months I seem to have lost all my favorite ukes at the dojo (injuries, family stuff, moving away, etc.) and I'm willing to bet that is part of the problem. recently we've gained some new guys that are close to my size. I'm betting they'll be reaching the point where they start being good training partners right about the point that I move away next semester...


    _________________
    Warning: I am very opinionated, and very willing to share that opinion. However I am very much aware that I am here as a student, not a teacher.

    Cichorei Kano

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    Location : the Holy See

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri May 24, 2013 7:43 am

    genetic judoka wrote:
    interesting concept. I'll have to read up on it some more. but given that the injury has come and gone and I'm totally healed, what can I do to counteract the effect? would working my left side help even though I'm healed up now? I'm semi ambidextrous with my judo, I spend about 15% of my time working on my left side. so spending a bit more time there wouldn't be too big of a shock for me. my left side harai was never as strong as my right by any stretch of the imagination. for some reason I struggle more with that than I do with most other left side throws.

    I reread your first post. I didn't have a lot of time earlier, and I must admit I did not recall the precise context of your injury ad the extent of the surgery. Upon rereading what you wrote, this was clearly not major surgery, where one has to drill in structures, cut through major structure, displace and reattach structures, such as in the case of ACL surgery. Really, all that was done was remove a loose body. Normally, sequelae of such a minor intervention should be close to nihil, certainly after weeks. After all, all they do is inflate your nee with CO2, and put in some instruments through noncritical structures. This is even easy surgery in a knee compared to an elbow where everything is a lot smaller and you have far less space to work in with more risk for nerve damage. For these reason, I speculate that what you are experiencing is likely merely something transient and of little significance. It may well completely disappear if you don't devote too much attention to it.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."

    GregW

    Posts : 102
    Join date : 2013-01-22
    Location : Norman, Oklahoma

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by GregW on Fri May 24, 2013 12:55 pm

    There is a definite fear of re-injury after something like that. You probably recall my story from the old judo forum. I had a 300-pound uke fall on my leg and break the tibia plateau and tear my ACL. The recovery for me was about six months. That's because the tibia is a weight-bearing bone and the doctor wanted to be sure it was totally healed before doing the rehab. For several reasons, I decided against having the ACL reconstructed. I wear a brace on the knee now, which limits some of what I would attempt to do. For example, I won't do a sankaku jime with the right leg near uke's neck anymore because I wouldn't want to risk hurting him with the brace.

    When I went back to practice, my leg was still very weak and I was very protective of it. It took about three months back on the mat to get my confidence back, not to mention my timing. My old go-to throw used to be drop-knee seoinage. That was basically gone. I started using seoi-otoshi instead. That actually ended up being more useful of a throw. Likewise, it took me a while to build up courage for ashi guruma or tai-otoshi. My knee feels back to normal now, but in the end, having to explore other options, i.e., develop my ashi waza, made my judo better.

    In terms of the moral and mental aspects of judo, the injury made me have to overcome a serious obstacle and face potential danger and harm to come back. The whole "fall down seven times, rise eight" thing was a factorb for me. Many of my friends said things like, "Well did you get that out of your system?" as if I was having a mid-life crisis by restarting judo at 51. They thought I was nuts when I said I planned on resuming practice as soon as I could. I guess that's one of the things that makes a judoka different than "normal" people. Smile

    genetic judoka

    Posts : 541
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 30
    Location : Florida

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by genetic judoka on Fri May 31, 2013 1:43 am

    I'd have posted about this sooner, but I spent the past few days in bed, only rising to vomit and then return. some sort of stomach bug. it's been a rough week.

    back to the story... on friday I decided that I was gonna get to the bottom of this harai goshi issue, one way or another. so I asked my sensei if I could grab an uke and break off from the rest of the class and work on nothing but that throw. he had no objections. so after bashing away at it for about an hour, and asking lots of specific questions, it was starting to feel a bit better. so the last 30 min of class rolled around, and one of the lighter fellows (a 160 lb nikyu, fully 50-60 lbs lighter than myself) asked if I wanted to partner up. seeing this as a golden opportunity to get over my mental issues with this throw relating to the fear of re-injury, I jumped at the opportunity. after all I figured the best way to do this was to work with someone decently skilled (but not so good that I wouldn't be able to catch them) but lighter, and this fella is generally a pretty good uke.

    so I decided I was only gonna go for harai goshi, and combos off harai goshi attempts. and before 20 minutes were over, I'd thrown him a good 15 times with it, and about 10 more times with other throws I'd linked to from harai goshi attempts. I also stumbled onto an interesting combo, right side harai goshi-> left side okuri ashi harai as they back away (again he was a lot lighter, which may be why that worked so well).

    now, before I consider this problem solved I'll need to repeat the same feat with someone of similar size and rank, but I am thrilled with the progress I've made. and I thank you guys for the pep talk that helped me along my way to recovery. I feel I've made real progress.


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    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts : 790
    Join date : 2012-12-28
    Location : Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: 'lost' techniques after injury, and how to get them back

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri May 31, 2013 5:24 am

    [quote="genetic judoka"]
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    I think you will need to refocus on those thorows. Although it seems to me that the issue may not be your sugery (which wasn't that serious), but that pehaps your Judo has evolved. By that I mean your fudnamentals are better now, so you have moved on to other throws. Sometimes beginner/novices/intermediate judoka will develop tokui waza based on their own physiological pecuncies. I think htat may have happened in your case with theose first two throws.

    I had a similar thing happen to me with Kouchi Gari. I got so good at it (relatively speaking" that I was throwing people in shiai with it for waza ari/ippon all the time. Yeah, Kouchi Gari...My Seoinage was pretty good too, so it to tothe point that all i had to do was even look like I was going to do Seoinage, and I would catch the reaction and throw with Kouchi Gari, or vice versa.

    I had knee surgury, (ACL recon), and "gave up" kouchi gari to develop other ashi waza (ashi barai to be specific). AFter that was accomplished (it took one year of intense study and practice), my kouchi gari was totally gone. It's still is gone.

    Kinda of a mystery, but I had to accept it. After I inured my knee, I had to start doing Seoi Otoshi (knees) instead of a low standing Seoi Nage. I had the surgery, rehabbed, but I never could get to doing a standing or low squatting Seoi again in shiai.

    So I had to accept all that. Once I did, I could move on to other throws and skills.

    what do you mean when you say "refocus"? as in just work harder on them? fair enough. did you willingly give up your ko uchi or did it just stop working for you and you just accepted that it's gone?
    Cichorei Kano wrote:

    interesting concept. I'll have to read up on it some more. but given that the injury has come and gone and I'm totally healed, what can I do to counteract the effect? would working my left side help even though I'm healed up now? I'm semi ambidextrous with my judo, I spend about 15% of my time working on my left side. so spending a bit more time there wouldn't be too big of a shock for me. my left side harai was never as strong as my right by any stretch of the imagination. for some reason I struggle more with that than I do with most other left side throws.

    Regarding refocus, I mean to practice the throws more, in different ways, to break them down into their components, pay attention to which of those components you feel awkward with, study video of "experts", post video of yourself here so we can give specific advice, stuff like that. Then work on drills that address any problem areas you discover, then ut them back together into the whole skill, reanalyze, wash rinse repeat until you either are satisfied or decide it's "good enough" and move on to something new.

    I willingly gave up practicing Kouchi Gari because it was so easy it was all I would do. My original knee injury and recovery from surgery didn't really impair my ability to do Kouchi Gari. Like anybody else, I like to be successful in randori and shiai, Kouchi Gari worked, so there you go. Lots of Kouchi Gari. I stopped training Kouchi after my surgery, which was maybe 4-5 years AFTER the original injury. I did judo seriously (relatively speaking, again) without an ACL in my right knee those years between.

    I decided to focus on my ashi barai, (which were not horrible) because it facilitated my recovery from the ACL recon and I also felt that I needed to improve my skill at them. Facilitated because I did not have to turn my back and bend my knees deeply, or bear a lot of weight on either leg. I was also privileged to be training with Jacques Legrand (R.I.P.) at the time, and he was an expert at ashi barai, with a whole system for teaching/training them that he had learned in France.

    So I lost the Kouchi Gari, but gained the ashi barai. Of course, I can still do Kouchi Gari, teach it, etc., I just don't throw for ippon with it much if at all anymore. But my students do, so it's all good.

    Regarding proprioception and how training one side helps the other and vice versa, it's not a concept it's a proven fact. It's in "the literature" plus I've experienced the same myself, and use it as a teaching/drilling tool for myself and my students. It's one of two reasons I have them train to throw left and right from their dominant side (lefty and righty). So if I'm righty, I practice throwing left from the same grip I use to throw right (say sleeve and lapel). Maybe Ippon Seoi Nage, Tsurikomi Goshi, etc. It is amazing how well this works and how quickly even kids learn to throw left and right forward throws.


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