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Training safely, or taking care of yourself
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We are all very aware of the need to keep our training partners safe while doing techniques, but the harder lesson to learn is to keep ourselves equally safe and uninjured.

You have to have a certain mindset to train in the martial arts, and that mindset includes focus, drive, determination - and not a little bit of hard-headedness. That last is what makes it difficult not to train as you normally would when you're injured - not badly enough that you can't train at all, but enough that you can't train a hard as you usually do. And it is extremely frustrating.

The trick, however, is to realize that, although you can't train as hard and fast as usual - and may have to avoid doing or taking some techniques entirely - you can still train slowly and build the muscle memory you seek to develop. (Training should always begin slowly anyway, to build correct muscle memory; speed comes with time.)

Not allowing an injury to heal properly - or worse yet, reinjuring it - will only cause further frustration and a delay in returning to full training.

So listen to your body and take a deep breath, relax, and concentrate on training with proper form and focus - then bring that back to your training once you're back to 100%. You can still learn even if you can't go full bore - just be mindful of what you are doing and how you are training.


The writer has Been There Done That, and has seen others do it many times since beginning training in 1995.