I’ve only suffered two major injuries in thirteen years of training. One was a sprained knee. The other was a freak accident in sparring which required a surgery to alleviate a lower leg condition called acute compartment syndrome. Both of those injuries required time from training. However, according to my doctors and physical therapists in both scenarios- I bounced back quicker than most folks, which include elite professional and collegiate athletes.
I’ve had my share of black eyes, bruised ribs, sprained fingers, sprained ankles, and one broken nose. All in all I’ve maintained a fairly healthy bill of health for a martial artist. If one is training hard one will suffer the occasional injury. Most of these types of injuries do not hinder your training, as these types of boo-boos simply make training more challenging as you deal with the pain. If you are never injured you are either very lucky or not pushing your training to the next level. Most martial arts injuries are referred to as badges of honor. Something to talk about with your family. A story to share with your co-workers who think your nuts for punching and kicking for fun. Most do not ever experience the glory and joy and training in martial arts, so they will never understand you completely. Training through injury is a character building plight. To do something and get hurt, to face that something again and again makes your persona stronger and harder. It gives you the tools to overcome everyday obstacles and challenges. It emboldens you. I have several adults training through injuries as I pen this blog. Bruised and broken ribs. Fractured fingers. Strained hamstrings. You name it. These very students have not quit, have not stopped training. Because they know that if they’re faced with a tough street attack, they will have to battle through pain and fear to arrive home safely. We are not a school based on injury. In fact we’ve had very few in six years. However, this summer we’ve had several. We still practice safety in training every step of the way, however I chalk the rise in injuries up to a group of adults working their tails off, and sometimes desire and ambition blinds us in our training. So, again we do not seek injury. Sometimes through hard work and poor luck injuries find us. We grow when we learn to work through injuries and learn how to avoid the mistakes that led to the injury in the first place. Injuries are part of the martial artist’s journey. Loving the pain and the challenge is something very few will learn to embrace. To those students training with injury I salute you.