Place a small strip of red tape on your uniform, over the injured area. A patch of red tape on your shoulder indicates that it’s still healing. Your partners appreciate this courtesy communication to take it easy.
Attend the beginner’s class at your dojo, even if you are an intermediate or advanced practitioner of the art. Take this chance to focus on basic techniques at a slow pace to revive your muscle memory. Work joyfully with the people in class who really are just beginning. You carry valuable knowledge, and helping someone else will help you to remember how much you have learned.
Take two classes a week for four weeks. Then, add a third class per week. If you like to train more than that, gradually add more classes. Even if you’ve been working hard in your recovery exercises, give your body time to get used to your return to Aikido.
Write down on index cards the names and descriptions of attack and response techniques. Carry the cards with you and review them periodically through the week. Visualize your successful execution of these techniques. This will help you remember movements that may feel rusty and awkward.
Ask your dojo colleagues to work with you before and after class on any technique that feels hard to get back. Break it down, take a good look at it. Work as if you’re learning it for the first time. This is your opportunity to find things in “forgotten” techniques that you may never have understood before.