All around Japan, little old men are practicing Aikido into their eighties. What is their secret? They have decided to keep training, their attacks slow down and their ukemi becomes modified due to physical limitations but they participate fully.
For those of us carrying ailments and injuries, whether short or long term, this kind or example is inspiring.
When injured, it's with some trepidation that we step back onto the mat. We may have a fear of the injury reoccurring and also a feeling that we can't participate fully. Aikido, though, is a marathon and not a sprint and we have to make the decision about whether to take time out, restrict our activities and /or modify our practice.
As we age and our bodies change so do do our physical abilities. Ukemi skills honed at an earlier age (like the soft breakfall) enable fuller participation to a ripe old age. Dojo like Aikikai hombu and many others have a softer mat section that's more friendly for the experienced among us. Here are some tips to consider:
Read 09 Getting your ukemi mojo back for more ideas.