Whether your martial art has you rolling on the ground and grappling, striking and sparring, or working with weapons (hopefully the unsharpened variety!), there are five common types of injuries martial artists tend to see. It is nearly impossible to avoid all injuries, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of injury that everyone who practices any martial art should be aware of.
One of the most common martial arts injuries, stress fractures occurs when bones are struck with repetitive force — think checking kicks in muay thai, or repeatedly hitting a heavy bag with inadequate wrist support. Stress fractures are also very common in runners’ feet and legs, so if you’ve recently upped your cardio to get in better shape for your art, be on the lookout!
Use wrist wraps under your gloves for extra support.
Stress fractures are tiny cracks and fissures in the bone. A common sign of a stress fracture is pain that gets worse during exercise but lessens with rest. An injury of this sort usually requires around eight weeks of complete rest in order for the bone to heal properly.
If you feel as though you are pushing yourself too much, it would be wise to lessen the work or training you do in that area. Setting realistic goals and working with your body instead of against it can go a long way in sidestepping this type of injury.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises
These are minor injuries, but they are incredibly common across all forms of martial arts. Preventing martial arts injuries of this kind is not 100% possible, but there are some easy things you can do to minimize your risk.
First of all, it goes without saying that you should always keep your guard up when sparring. This is when the majority of these injuries can occur. Secondly, wearing sparring gear can also reduce the impact of hits and thereby decrease the chance of these injuries. Impact-related injuries aside, have you ever seen what it looks like when a bit of loose Velcro from someone’s glove gets scraped across a face? It’s not pretty – but if wear headgear, it won’t happen to you.
In grappling arts like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you have to resign yourself to some mat burn. You can reduce how much you have to get by wearing well-fitting base layers underneath your gi, or wearing long-sleeved rash guards in nogi grappling.
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