While practicing kung fu, how can you keep yourself injury free? It’s a pretty strenuous sport as well as being a full contact one. Most martial arts come with a degree of physical pain due to the nature of the activity. People are striking one another, and the body could succumb to a number of painful abrasions. So the trick is to know what a real injury is versus just the regular wear and tear of the sport.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to properly stretch before every routine to prevent unnecessary muscle pulls. Students get so excited to go out onto the mat, that they rush themselves and aren’t properly prepared. Most good instructors will force everyone to stretch properly for a certain amount of time to make sure everyone is ready to go. Anyone who is playing a traditional sport such as football or baseball knows that if you throw the ball before you are warmed up, you can easily pull your shoulder.
The same is true for martial arts. The muscles move in a similar fashion, and injury can be just as likely. After the workout is just as important to focus on as well. Just like a proper warm-up, a proper warm down is necessary as well. If one stop strenuous exercise too quickly, the muscles will contract too fast which is not healthy for the participant.
Now how about the physical impact that kung fu has on the person being assailed. Someone taking a punch or hit may not feel the impact right away because their adrenaline is flowing too fast. The chemicals flowing in the brain can mask physical pain which will delude the opponent into thinking they’re fine when they are not. After every sparring round each participant should take inventory of their body, to see if they have been hurt in any way during the last bout. It only takes a few seconds to mentally scan yourself to make sure everything is okay.
Lastly, it is important for adepts to monitor themselves the day after a strenuous workout. Injuries sometimes take 24 hours or more to show themselves. While person may think they are fine after a match, the next day they may have found that they have done damage. So at this point is necessary for students to analyze whether their injury is serious, or they are just sore from the impact.
If you are unsure of your condition, it is very important that you meet with your instructor and let him or her know how you feel. They had years of experience in dealing with these situations and can advise you properly. Their first priority is to keep you safe at all costs. It is better for them to have you sit out for a while and heal up, than to risk serious or permanent injury.