The practice of martial arts as a contact sport relies on the explosive movement of muscles and joints. Because of the rapid nature of its motions and the intense training regiment, it is important for practitioners to prepare and protect their bodies from injury. When learning kung fu, kickboxing, jujitsu, karate, taekwondo, and judo, it is important to follow prescribed steps to avoid injury.
Overuse injuries build over time from muscle strain and frequent, minor traumatic events. These small traumatic events can occur when you are overextending your body’s capabilities. When you are learning a new move or happen to misstep, your muscles and tendons may not have the needed flexibility or reach to complete the movement.
Preventing Overuse Injuries
Stretching will extend your muscles and tendons to increase muscle control and flexibility. Stretching is especially important in martial arts because it will enhance your ability to make rapid movements. Stretching before and after training will also help with preventing the risk of overuse injuries. Stretch before and after a training session to help prevent overuse injuries from occurring.
Understand your limits and take it slow when learning a new move or technique. Improper form can cause your body to rack up many small traumatic injuries even when combined with a stretching routine. Pace out your practice time; as your muscles are used, they will build tension, which makes it easier to overextend and induce injury. Practice a variety of moves rather than focusing on just one to avoid overusing certain muscles and tendons.
Acute injuries are induced from large traumatic events possibly resulting in broken or sprained bones, muscle tears, and snapped ligaments. As a contact sport, martial arts leaves the body vulnerable to large traumatic injuries.
Preventing Acute Injuries
Wear protective gear and padding to help prevent major traumatic injuries If practicing at home, it is important to practice in a large, obstacle-free environment with padded flooring. Each training center will have its own style of teaching. Some focus on perfecting technique before allowing contact, and others focus on physical contact early in the stages of learning.
Common protective gear that should be used includes mouthguards, cups (also known as groin protectors), wrist guards, and hand tape. Dojos might also have rules for protective headgear, certain types of footwear, gloves, and goggles.
Overall, martial arts is a great sport that builds character and improves health. Should you be injured while practicing martial arts, call Absolute Life Wellness Center at 512-280-6103 to find out how we can help treat your injury.