What’s the first thing that goes through your head when you get injured???

For me this week it was damn I can’t train.  Whilst doing some cooking I was using a manual slicing machine and managed to manually slice a nice piece of my thumb off.  After much profanity mixed with equal amounts of blood, all I could think was how I will not be able to train jiu jitsu!!!

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Once I started to calm down, the bleeding had stopped and I was all bandaged up.  I started to try and think the situation through.  OK I am injured but realistically it only affected my grip.  So yeah I would not be able to roll, but I could still do some technical training as I could adjust my grip during this.

That is what I have done all week, no rolling just technique and drilling.  I am going to carry this on for another week as I really don’t want to risk bleeding on anyone.  But I have kept my training going and feel better for not missing out on moving forward.

I know I am not the only person who has been in this position.  Many of you will have suffered an injury that could affect an aspect of your training, leaving you with a hard choice to make.  Do I stop training altogether and recover or do I sensibly work around it and get some level of training in.

These are especially important decisions at my age, as recovery could potentially be a little longer than you young twenty some things. It always also depends on the injury and your personal view on the nastiness of the injury.  I have broken and dislocated toes in the past and have stopped training to let them heal.  But now I would look at working around something like that.

I think a big part of my change of view is the people I train with.  I do trust these guys and know that they would accommodate a partner suffering an injury.  So I would feel safe working with them.  This definitely helps with the decision making during injury time.  Knowing that you can trust your training partners like this will have a big impact on what you choose to do.

Another big decision factor is that if you are an old munki like me there is no reason to be a hero, but likewise breaks of a couple of weeks could take you six weeks of catching up to get you back to where you were before the injury.  There is evidence that shows after a two week lay off your cardio vascular capacity will have reduced.  Also your technical abilities could be affected too.  If you are like me and have only been doing jiu jitsu for a few years, then a layoff will have a bigger impact than if you were a black belt that has spent many years repeating techniques.

One important consideration as well is where you are at with your training.  If you have been training hard for months and your injury is a consequence of your fatigue, then maybe taking a break may be beneficial both mentally and physically.   You could potentially come back even better, with the eye of the tiger munki. Doing this could hit two issues at once.

I think the key when it comes to injuries is remembering that jiu jitsu is a long journey; sometimes you’ll walk slower, other times you made need to stop and look at the scenery and play a little catch up.  But whatever happens you need to enjoy it to make it worthwhile.

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