3 Stupid Martial Arts Injuries You Can Avoid

3 Stupid Martial Arts Injuries You Can Avoid

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Hey. Ando here. If you’re training in the
martial arts, there’s a good chance you’ve either been injured or you’re going to be
injured. Especially when you’re working with a partner. Sparring, grappling, self-defense
drills. Now, the truth is that some of those injuries
are unavoidable. I mean, this is martial arts—things happen. But some of those injuries are just
plain stupid. Now, they may not feel stupid the first couple of times they happen, but
if they keep hurting you, year after year, over and over, you’re going to start feeling
pretty stupid. At least I do. So, today, I want to talk about three common,
stupid injuries in the martial arts that you should be able to avoid. Let’s go. Stupid Injury #1: Spraining or jamming your
fingers. In the martial arts, your hands not only give
a beating, they take a beating. Now, yeah, we’ve all seen Bruce Lee in the movies,
jumping around, looking cool, flashing his fingers everywhere. But in a real fight? That’s
just stupid. Don’t do that. Your fingers are made up of very small joints.
I hate to tell you this, but they’re delicate. It’s so easy to get them caught blocking
a punch, or shooting out to try to stop a kick, or getting caught in your partner’s
clothes, getting caught in your own clothes, being on the ground and posting out your hand
and rolling over your own fingers. One time, I broke my thumb on someone’s
head trying to stop them from tackling me. Stupid. Look, fingers take forever to heal, and for
some reason when I ice them, I want to chop my hands off. So, don’t get cocky. Remember
this little rule: Cup your fingers until you need them. I’m not saying squeeze your fists
and burn out your forearms the whole time that you’re rolling or sparring, just keep
your fingers relaxed and keep them back until you’re ready to gouge, or slap, or grab,
or play accordion, or whatever it is that you do to get people to leave you alone. Oh–and don’t think if you’re wearing
sparring gloves that you’re somehow safe. You’re not. Your fingers can get twisted and
sprained with your gloves on or off. So, play it safe and cup them until you need them. Stupid Injury #2: Breaking or dislocating
your jaw. Just like your fingers, your jaw is pretty
delicate. Especially moving from side to side. It’s so easy to get caught with a punch,
or an elbow, or a headbutt. Sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose. Either way, when you
get popped in the jaw, you might also find yourself spitting out pieces of your teeth,
which is not a hot look unless you enjoy being single or scaring small children. Here’s something else that’s not cool–soup.
Don’t get me wrong–I love soup. But I don’t like eating it three times a day because some
idiot clocked me in the jaw. Then again, who’s the idiot? I’m the one standing around with
my mouth hanging open. The bottom line is this–the only reason your
mouth should be open during a fight is if you’re biting, screaming for help, or talking
trash—that’s usually when I get popped in the jaw. And I deserve it. The only other reason your mouth might be
hanging open is you’re out of shape. What can I tell you, man—you need to work out
more. One more thing–if you’re training with a
mouthguard, great. Bite down on that thing. If you’re not training with a mouthguard,
hey, you might want to consider it. But if you think you’re too cool for it, at the very
least, bite with your teeth. I’m not saying grind your teeth together and get all tense,
but at least close your jaw so that if you take a hit, there will be a lesser chance
of your jaw sliding around. Stupid Injury #3: Tearing your knees and spraining
your ankles. Some people spar or grapple with what I call
the “mountain mentality”. They set their weight as if to say, “You are never going
to move me.” You run into this a lot with big guys. They
seem to have been raised with the idea that they can hold their ground. When you grab
a big guy, and you give them a quick push or a quick pull, a quick twist, and they freeze
up, they refuse to move, that’s the moment when they tear their knee or sprain their
ankle. To be fair, it’s not just big guys that fall
into the mountain mentality. Sometimes skinny martial artists with gray hair and big egos
also plant their feet and refuse to move. Which is exactly why I carry a cane in my
car. Stupid. And heads up–training on soft mats doesn’t
help. When your feet sink into a soft mat, that’s just like cleats sinking into grass.
Even when you want to move, sometimes you can’t. So, how do you avoid freezing up and getting
stuck? Well, it’s simple. You’ve got to stay on the move. You’ve got to just go with the
flow. You’ve got to just accept what’s happening. If you want to be a mountain, be a mountain
on the move. Be an avalanche. The next time you find yourself resisting when you’re sparring
or rolling, relax immediately. Give up a little ground now so you don’t end up on the ground
later. Crying. I promise, all it takes is a little shuffle
or a little pivot and you will save your knees and ankles from injury. And there you have it. Stupid injuries that
you can avoid if you just follow three simple rules: cup your fingers, shut your mouth,
and go with the flow. Remember– you should not be hurting yourself while you’re protecting
yourself from being hurt by someone else. That’s just stupid. If you liked those tips, don’t miss the
next one. Make sure you subscribe and head over to SenseiAndo.com and get on my free
email updates list. For now, train smart, train hard, and keep fighting for a happy
life.

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