Can you Learn from Injuries?
Be smart and make the best of your layoff
If you have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or any martial art or sport that is full contact you most likely have had some kind of injury at some point. Maybe it was major injury that set you back for years or something small that did not quite affect your whole life but still was annoying when it came time to train. The weak will give up whenever an injury presents itself and will never train or attempt to train again. The stubborn will keep training hard and worsen their injury. The strong willed and intelligent will persevere through an injury, training what they can however they can within their limitations. Training techniques that do not rely on that part of the body with training partners they trust will not worsen their injury.
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So, what can you learn from an injury? What is the silver lining to a poor situation? The silver lining is that you learn so much more about technique as well as experimenting with techniques and situations you typically would not find yourself in. Of course if your injury is completely debilitating you should stay home and rest, but if you have a sprain or broken bone in a location where you can keep it out of harm's way, training with a trusted partner is the best thing you can do. You will learn how much you relied upon that part of your body and how to expand your game, learning to use techniques that do not use it.
Broken hand or sprained wrist? Tie it in your belt and do not use it. You will learn right away if you rely too much on pushing people away or if you are not hip escaping or making angles properly. Sprained ankle? Put on a good brace and roll without ankle locks, you will learn right away how to use your partners body to move by using different parts of your body instead of stepping on the floor.
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A good training partner that you can trust is essential for you to be able to continue your progress. Hopefully you train at an academy with many good partners like I do, if you train at a school with only people who want to hurt you and you cannot trust any of them to be gentle with your injury, maybe attending a different school with a better atmosphere is the smart choice.
Not all injuries are the same. A bulging disc is not as easy to train with as something like a broken hand. Do what you can, talk to a doctor that specializes in sports related injuries and see what you can do. Talk to your coaches and teammates, see how they can help you overcome and adapt to your injury. Just because you are hurt does not mean you should not be allowed to train. Most of all, be smart. We only get one body, take care of it!
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