Monday, February 22, 2016

Yes, I'm Injured (Again)

Getting injured in the martial arts is not an uncommon topic for this blog.  If you write about the martial arts, it's just part of the game, right?

I wrote about it previously here and here and here.

Well, I got injured again recently.

The hot new accessory ALL THE COOL KIDS are wearing these days.

This time, we were sparring with padded weapons (Actionflex).  I was using a padded arnis stick and my opponent was using padded nunchaku.  Now, just because they're padded doesn't mean there isn't risk of injury.  I've had welts from these weapons, had an eyeball scraped, got hit in the ear and lost hearing for about a half and hour (due to the air compression on my ear drum), and gotten many a bruise.  All the padding does is reduce the risk of injury, not eliminate it completely.

My teacher teaches nunchaku.  That is, how to use them for real, not tricking. I haven't studied using the weapon yet - that's in my kobudo weapons future still - but I respect the weapon in the hands of people who know how to use them and I do enjoy using various weapons I do know against them.

The thing when sparring against nunchaku with a weapon like the arnis stick is that you have to close very quickly in order to negate the speed and power it has in its ideal range.  You will probably get hit - and if they're the real deal that is gonna hurt - but the idea is to get hit in someplace not very vital (like the meat of the arm or leg).  I have been successful blocking as I close, then using my alive hand to trap or disarm the nunchaku guy.

The thing is, timing vs. nunchaku is very important, and I've been pretty good in that regard (nunchaku aren't a very... subtle... weapon).

The other day, well, not so much.  My timing was off, and I missed my block, and the nunchaku came down and hit me on the tip of my pinkie and ring finger of my left hand at full speed as I reached out to check.  I got what we typically would call "jammed fingers", but the doc calls a sprain and contusion.  My fingers are stiff, swollen, and painful.

Making a fist.  Yes, that's as good as it gets right now.

At first, I though it was minor, and I just stepped back to take a breath.  But then I realized it was more serious than a welt or a light jam (I got one of those a few weeks ago on my right hand and it didn't slow me down, even though it hurt).  I couldn't make a fist and it hurt A LOT - as in "I started hyperventilating and tears were welling in my eyes" level of pain.  I did my very best to not freak out about how much it hurt.  You do that, y'know, in the martial arts, especially in front of kids as you don't want to scare them.  You do it in front of adults because that's just our culture, isn't it?

Went to the doc, confirmed it's just a sprain and a contusion ("just" a sprain - it still hurts a lot, but grateful it wasn't more damage than it is).  I keep it in the splint when I need to protect it, but I also need to exercise it daily so it doesn't stiffen up and become a problem.

Either way, I'm not going to be holding a stick, bo or tonfa in my left hand for a week or two.

So, while I recover, I can still practice and teach Arnis and kobudo.

I can use my right hand - I am right handed, so that's a good thing.  I can practice my bo and tonfa forms empty handed (just working on the motions and footwork - the footwork of the new tonfa form is very difficult for me, actually, so I should spend time there).  And of course, my brain still works!

Oh, surely it's better than that, right?

It doesn't have to stop my training.  It won't stop my training.

I won't deny it's a real pain in the... um...

Hand.

Tell me about a time you got an injury, and how you worked through it.  What did you do differently?  What did you learn?