Sunday, January 20, 2008

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Man Down ...

Martial arts training and injuries go ‘hand in hand’. With one, comes the other. It’s just part of it. Hopefully through the use of smart and safe training practises, we can reduce the amount of annoying injuries to a minimum and the amount of serious injuries to zero. But with contact comes risk!
The more classes you do – the more the chance of injury increases. If you do classes a week, you may get through a year with no injuris whatsoever. If you do twenty-five classes a week, you will almost certainly sustain injuries throughout the year. As a professional, I am almost permanently injured. The fact that I teach somewhere between 25 and 30 classes in any week means that not only am I receiving injuries, but I rarely enjoy access to recover time. I’m okay with this – a little frustrated at times perhaps – but I do accept that this is what I do. The older you get, the longer it takes to recover. As a twenty year old, I’d recover from a sprain or strain within days – now, as a 50 year old, it takes longer. I have had four knee surgeries and one elbow surgery over the years, and mostly because I have been in reasonable shape before I hit the operating theatre, I recovered rapidly and was back on the mat within ten days or so each time. So there are many factors that come into how well we recover from injuries. The advice I most often give to people is the same advice I give to (and take) myself:
KEEP TRAINING! Find a way to work around the injury – this will keep you mentally IN THE GAME – and keep the rest of you in shape. One of the biggest drama’s with injuries is when we completely stop what we do because of an injury and the rest of our body-system begins to decline as a result. It is this collateral/secondary impact that can usually be completely avoided. My rule is simple – DON’T MAKE THE INJURY WORSE WHILST FINDING A WAY TO KEEP TRAINING!

Be well – train safe – train smart – and keep doing it.
JBW

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