If you train martial arts no matter how careful you are, or what protection you wear, at some point you are going to get hurt; bruises, strains, sore muscles and the occasional broken bone are all part of the life that we choose. As a matter of fact, if you’ve been training for years and have been completely injury free, you may need to take a look at what you’re doing. So it isn’t how not to get injured, but what to do when it happens. Do you try Alternative Healing, “Ancient”, or Modern Medicine?
Western medicine is great for many things, (I had lasik about 13 years ago and it’s great!) but for the most part when it comes to dealing with common injuries, especially without surgery or pills, they flat out suck!
I spent over a decade with Western doctors in the U.S. and Germany trying to get mobility back in my injured hips. After X-rays and MRI’s, physical therapy and shots of cortisone, I was no better than when I started. By the time I was in my late 30‘s I had tight shoulders, knee pain, and a very tight and painful lower back. I was told I had one leg shorter than the other (something told to many people suffering from the same issues) and that there was nothing to be done other than wearing an insert in my shoe to “balance” out the legs. I can tell you now this is not true, not only for me, but most people. I now feel better at 43 than I did at 22, because of holistic practices such as Dorn Method, Yoga and Bowen Therapy. See my video for some basic exercises for knee, lower back and hips.
This is just one story, of one injury and I have countless others; but I think this is the most useful to emphasize my point. And my point is: That as martial artists we should strive to learn as much about healing, as we do about hurting. Many ancient practices are still as useful today as they were hundreds of years ago. This isn’t about holding on to tradition. This is about finding things that work and have little or no side effects; something modern medicine seems to neglect. I can’t tell you how many people have been helped from my Kung Fu style’s bruise medicine (Dit Da Jow), and I have seen great results using clay to treat a painful shoulder. These practices are just as valuable as the martial ones and unfortunately are also in danger of vanishing. Now, there are plenty of charlatans out there, so do your research, ask around and if it looks safe give it a shot. I have definitely found more good than bad in my search and what I have learned is now a part of my training and teaching. True Kung Fu is not just the martial. So take some time to learn how to heal and you will be rewarded for it.