On Injuries/Sickness and the Mental Aspect of Martial Arts

Well, it seems that within the past month or so, nearly everyone around me has been getting sick with something or other. From allergies and colds, to flu or worse. For the longest I avoided it, but my immune system finally succumbed at long last. I don't exactly know what bug I had, but it plagued me for almost two weeks -- that is why I'm just now getting to update my blog. Anyway, I'm feeling mostly better now. Thank goodness. I'm just trying to get rid of the tail end of some cold or allergy symptoms.

Now to the main point of this post.

I've recently added a second Tae Kwon Do class night to my schedule. There's the formal class on Tuesday nights, and now the new more informal class that a few of us have been attending on Thursday night's. The reason I say informal is because we meet in the workshop at my instructors house and wear street clothes/sweats instead of the full uniform.

I have really been enjoying the Thursday night class especially because we are focusing on sparring and we're getting a workout that way. But this also brings up the next point that I want to talk about.

About two weeks ago on a Sunday morning, I woke up with a pretty intense pain in my right hip. It wasn't constant, but every once in a while when walking or doing a movement that used the hip, I would get a stabbing pain from my hip to right above the outside of my knee. With rest, the pain went away entirely.

Well, being the kind of person that I am, I went to class on Tuesday night and since I wasn't feeling any pain, went through class as normal.

I was fine until I came home. It flared up again when I was going to bed. Once again, it stopped hurting entirely with rest.

After after talking to some people and doing some research online on my own, I'm pretty sure the problem is a strained tendon. I figured out that my side kicks in particular are what's causing the pain. Well, soon after that, I decided (with a lot of urging from my dad who has suffered quite a few tendon/ligament injuries due to football) to take it easy for a while. On Thursday night, I let my instructor know about the problem, and so now we're working on some things that will not bother my hip. Now that I've held off on the kicks and some of the exercises, the pain has decreased and whenever it does hurt, it's down to a dull ache.

I'm itching to get back into the swing of things soon. I've had to back off on my kicks and forms big time and focus on not-as-strenuous techniques and more of the mental aspect of Tae Kwon Do. As for mental, I mean the process of understanding why we do the techniques the way that we do, being able to know the material inside out so that I can feel comfortable explaining it, and being able to teach it to others.

I would say that the mental part of martial arts is as important, if not more so, than the physical. You can learn a set of movements in a form, but until you see why it is done that way and what it is used for, then you are doing nothing more than going through a dance.

That's a interesting thought to end with. I may have to continue with that in my next post.


cheryl said...

Be careful about training when you're injured. I know it's tough to sit still. I just finished nursing a strained ankle - took a week and a half of sitting on the couch eating popcorn and ice cream. But finally it healed and I'm back to jiu jitsu. I love your dedication and commitment!

CrimsonPhoenix said...

Thanks for the comment, Cheryl. I've been trying to be as careful as possible, but sitting still is extremely difficult as you said. The popcorn and ice cream part doesn't sound half bad though. LOL. I think my hip is better though...I've been trying out some kicks and haven't been getting any pain, so that is really great for me.