Regardless of the style of martial arts you practice, sooner or later you’ll get injured. It’s not a question of if you’re going to get hurt as you pursue your path in martial arts. It’s just a matter of when (and how badly). You don’t have to be a full-contact Mixed Martial Arts practitioner in order to experience the bruises, sprains, muscle tears, and even possible bone-breaks that come with training in the field of Martial Arts. The big question is what you do with these. Are injuries in martial arts a setback or opportunity?
That may depend on your attitude.
Injuries in Martial Arts – It’s Gonna Happen
Every style, from TaeKwonDo and Karate to Kung Fu, is going to involve some level of aggressive physical contact. This can result in minor (or, occasionally, major) injuries. When that injury does come along, and it will, how you choose to handle it can mean the difference between a setback or an opportunity.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may not be able to fully participate as much as you could before the injury. However, as you allow yourself the time to heal, that doesn’t mean you can’t train at all. Whatever the injury, you should give that damaged area a chance to mend. Not allowing your body the time it needs to repair itself could lead to permanent damage, so you will need to avoid using the injured area.
Don’t be afraid to consult your martial arts instructor for advice on how to handle an injury. He or she has probably seen many different types of trauma. Always consult a doctor’s advice if you have any doubts about how to best treat and heal your injury.
The Mental Game
Now, comes your chance to decide how you will mentally handle the fact that you are not going to be able to train like you had before the trauma. You have a few choices:
- You can mope and bemoan your situation until you heal.
- You can ask your martial arts instructor or other students about how they would handle the injury.
- You can give up on martial arts altogether.
- You can look at the abilities you do have, and make the best use of them that you can.
If, for instance, you have a hand injury, you could use it as an excuse to keep from training. Alternatively, you could look at it as a chance to analyze all of the elements of your martial arts style and see what can be made better. This may be just the opportunity you need to improve on your footwork or your kicks. Just because your upper body may not be at your full disposal, your lower body could become an amazing weapon that you can fine tune as you wait for your return to full strength.
Sifu Och Wing Chun Kung Fu Studio
World Ving Tsun Association Regional Director for the Southeastern USA
116 East Pine Street, Lakeland, Florida 33801