Training with injuries…safely!

In the movie “Roadhouse”, with the late, great Patrick Swayze (may he rest in peace, God continuing to bless), there was a scene in which he gave the beautiful doctor his medical history, filled with a multitude of previous injuries; well, mine is very similar.

Unfortunately, in martial arts training, once in a while we get hurt, either by accident (mostly), intention (rarely, and, if this occurs, said person of cause is emphatically expelled), or by an eventual “breakdown of parts”, simply due to age or previous history.  Mostly, however, it’s the instructor that receives these “reminders” from students and inexperienced lower belts.

Thing is, how is it possible to keep training and progressing, to keep one’s conditioning levels, while recovering and therapy?  The answer is by being creative and smart; it’s really that simple.

When I recently broke my nose for the 5th time, I stopped sparring, and avoided contact escapes from attacks, but continued with almost everything else, other than whatever required bending over, which put intense pressure on my nose.

One of my upper belt Krav Maga students recently had shoulder surgery.  So, after some recovery time off, which is always a good thing, and while her right arm was in a sling, ace-bandaged to prevent ANY movement, we worked on the following with ONLY her left hand: gun defenses (sometimes one-hand techniques are necessary), offensive and defensive knife techniques, Kali Eskrima, breaking choke holds with one hand/arm, etc.; not to mention that all kicking combinations and conditioning were status quo, as well as left hand elbows, punches, palm strikes, hammer fists and more.

The examples are many, and I can assure you, because of my own vast experiences, there is always some way to keep going.

The biggest hurdle is always psychological, but upon reflection and understanding exactly what one’s injury issues are, from a medical perspective, a safe continuance of one’s training is very possible!