Yes, it does happen, eventually, to most of us that train hard. We will all endure some degree of pain and varying degrees of injury at times during our training. The most common are contact related minor injuries such as bruises, sprains, muscle strains, and the occassional broken finger or toe.
As we train, we accept these injuries as part of the learning and growth process of the physical side of our martial arts journey; often we adapt and continue to train with our injuries. This is both acceptable and encouraged to a point, because it strengthens our spirit, and allows us to build the instinct to be flexible and adapt.
Where do we draw the line? Where does common sense over-rule tbe stubborn desire to continue training when we should stop or limit certain facets of training to let our body heal?
The answer lies within us. If we listen to our body, we will know the difference between discomfort and real pain. When we listen to our body, we should also take the next step, and have a physician examine us..and listen to the doctor’s advice.
More severe injuries such as back and neck injuries, concussions, fractures, torn muscles, joints injuries of the knees and elbows all require immediate attention. We must swallow our pride and admit that..yes it’s true.. we are mortal humans, and none of us are invincible.
A wonderful part of training in traditional karate is that many practicioners enjoy training well into old age; it is very common to see teachers in Okinawa still training in their 70’s and 80’s. We can enjoy the health benefits of training, but we have to listen to our body when it tells us to slow down and recover.