Injuries-hindrance or a chance to train smarter

If I had to stop training, be it strength training, weight training or karate training because of injury, I would never do anything again. It is all part of the game and you have to adapt to the situation to be able to continue with training. I’m not saying that when it’s a serious injury or if you are over-trained then you shouldn’t rest, far from it.

I’m one of those people who are either all or nothing, I either train really hard or I don’t train at all, I either have no dessert or nearly eat the whole house out (you should never underestimate how much I can eat), if I train it has to 100% effort, it’s just part of my nature. And like most people who do sports, marital arts or gym training injury is something that always lurks around the corner.

Well at my last grading I pulled a tendon in my elbow, which anyone who has had this kind of injury will know, takes a long time to heal. At first I did the sensible thing and rested for a week, then through impatience I jumped back into doing all my weighted pullups, chinups and karate and the injury was getting worse. In fact my body likes to get sympathy pains and both my elbows flared up; Murphy does have a bizarre sense of humour.

So instead of letting my ego get the better of me, I adapted, I focused on stuff to workout the muscles I wanted to like just hanging from the pullup bar for as long as possible, Sanchin kata and inverted rows. And when my elbows started to heal more I found out that my pullups and chinups max’s increased a lot.

With my karate training, the way I had to adapt I think has improved me in the long run as a martial artist. I couldn’t be so intense all the time, so I had to be smarter with the way I trained to make sure I didn’t aggravate my elbows, the easiest knocks could make me cringe with pain and I had to use more of my Ju side (gentle part of martial arts) to work through it. It also made realise even more how I could injure smaller people, and it made me take greater care of others.

It also made me want to spar with the girls more, as they tend to leave their ego at the door and my sparring improved in other ways, girls rely on more speed and technique then guys do, and when you try and match them for speed and technique (and leave your power at the door) you tend to improve a lot more as you’re not relying on your power or your ego to get through sparring.

So I will ask the question again, are injuries just an hindrance, or do they make you train smarter and force you to adapt, helping you in the long run to reach your goals.

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4 Responses to Injuries-hindrance or a chance to train smarter

  1. Ah! Funny I was going to do an injuries post as well. :p

    In my opinion, injuries are never good for an athlete, but if you are serious about your art, you are most likely going to get injured whether you like it or not. Its just part of being an athlete.

    However it does force you to adapt. I injured my left ankle tearing 2 ligaments a few years back, it was HORRIBLE to hear the doctor say “…6 months”. I was kind of dumb to go back into it after 2 weeks (big competition), but I have learned to care for all injuries better.

    Overall it really has helped me to train smarter, though it did take me a while to get back to where I was before the whole endeavor occurred :p

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