Thursday, 10 July 2014

Light training: a way to proactively recover from injury

Over the last week I have had to train lightly in order to recover from my injury. In saying that (and in line with my last article `Turning negatives into positives’:, I’d like to emphasise that “…an extended period of light training can periodically be highly beneficial”. Furthermore, light training is not necessarily `easy training’! On the contrary, it can still be made `very difficult’. For example, light training can be more endurance focused i.e. – distance or uphill jogging as opposed to doing wind sprints; isometric based exercises as opposed to doing plyometrics, etcetera. Needless to say, light training is probably the best way to acutely concentrate on exact form (the “A’s, B’s and C’s” of every movement in karate-do) without `being distracted’ by speed and power.

Light training doesn’t automatically mean `easy training’: By and large, when we try sitting in a proper neko ashi dachi for ten minutes each side our comprehension of `light training’ becomes a little different… Of course, this is just one example. I guess my point here is that “…no matter what condition we are in, we can still practice karate-do”. All we ever need is: (a) the will to practice; (b) the determination to continue; (c) common sense (especially pertaining ‘to not injuring ourselves’ or, like in my present situation, doing things that make existing ailments get worse); and (d) perhaps a little creativity (in formulating a self-appropriate  training regime, drills and/or exercises) to achieve this.

One more thing, which I have failed to add is, “the need to have good communication with your Sensei and/or training partners”. Essentially, this relates to being able to participate in group trainings without doing anything harmful to your body. This also requires self-discipline… Ironically, “the first thing that most karateka want to do—is `what they are not supposed to/should not do’”! For example, if they have a strained hamstring the first thing they want to do is kick jodan; if they have a broken wrist, the first thing they want to do is punch the makiwara; and so forth… I assume that this phenomenon is probably human nature `with a light echo of Looney Tunes playing in the background’.

Anyway, today after eight days of being injured, including my worst Unsu/kata ever in a tournament last Saturday (due to being in a lot of pain and literally being unable to move) I finally trained a little more freely this evening. I could actually kick with full range of motion and did not need to tense-up/shorten my movements: to protect my injury. Step-by-step! I would like to wrap up by thanking everyone for their support. I am very sorry to Nakamura Shihan and JKA Kumamoto that I performed so poorly in the kata (at the JKA Kyushu Championship), but I promise to make up for it. Lesson learned for overtraining in the week prior to the tournament.

That being said, “light training” has helped me to recover, whilst physically pushing me in other ways. All the best from Kumamoto, Japan. OSU, André.

© André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto. Japan (2014). 

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