Martial Arts Training While Injured

A few weeks back I was practicing some ukemi by walking through the woods. Pick a direction and start moving, anything that is in your path roll, leap, or use footwork to get around, paying attention to balance, posture, and maybe throwing in a few strikes.

Over a fallen tree, a leap into the air, and rolling to take ukemi.

As soon as I left the ground I was aware of my mistake.

In the martial arts, never do more vs. what is needed in the moment.

In this case to clear the fallen tree, a simple roll over it would have been correct, leaping was incorrect. On the other side was a small incline where I landed, and I wound up rolling my ankle.

So what happens in the martial arts when you are injured?

Naturally a medical evaluation is the first step before anything else.

But training has to continue, just in a temporary and different way.

The first step is to promote healing and rehabilitation. Staying away from martial arts techniques that might make the injury worse, or slow down healing- complete isolation. Be ready to adapt the training around this. If I can’t stand or move, we practice sitting down, or ground work. If my right arm is resting, I do everything from the left side.

Also being aware of distance and timing.

When you are hurt, same as being tired, the distance needs to increase. You are going to move slower, take longer to move, so adjust as needed.

At some point when you are “better” and ready to return to regular training and movement…

…wait another week or so just to be sure.

Enthusiasm is a good thing, but it needs to be moderated so one does not get hurt or re-injured.

See you on the mat!

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