A Short Story on How I Injured My Leg

I did it. I hurt my knee while sparring with a friend, and since I have to recover now, I found myself with too much time on my hands. So, as a natural consequence, I decided to document the leg injury I suffered, so that others could take after my cautionary tale and avoid getting themselves in the same unpleasant situation as I did. Unpleasant is too little a word to describe the excruciating pain I experienced when I injured myself, but let’s just leave it at that, or my confidence will just take another hit.

le1I was sparring with my friend, Stephen, when it happened. Since I am a big fan of moving a lot when I box, I am quite aware of how important is for a boxer to have their feet in constant motion, so they do not risk being too static and getting a punch that would send them to the floor in an instant. Let’s make things clear. Stephen is not to blame for what happened, but rather my rashness and lack of attention when I should have been focused on what I was doing. Somehow, I miss-stepped at some point and I landed on my right leg. I was just trying to move my weight from one knee to the other and it happened. It was quite an awkward landing, too, and by the look on Stephen’s face and the strange popping sound my knee made, it must have hurt a lot. I cannot recall the actual moment, but, after that, it really really hurt.

le2Lucky me, I only got a stretched ligament, nothing serious, according to the doctor. For me, it is the first serious injury I have ever suffered, so it is a huge thing for me. So, right now, I am in physical therapy and I must follow the good doctor’s directions to the letter if I want to get well soon. I intend to go back to practicing martial arts, but now I know that I am going to pay better attention to what I do if I do not want a repeat performance of what just happened.

There are a few things I learned from my experience, and I am going to share them with you.

  1.      If I want to be fast, I need to train more. I think my injury was a matter of believing myself to be faster than I actually am … and my injury was a wakeup call like no other.
  2.      My friend is much more experienced than I am and that is bad for me. Apparently, novices are those who get injured more often because they have no idea how to properly control their punches.
  3.      And last, you must talk to your sparring partner about how hard you two are going to train. I was obviously going at it too hard and that is why my injury happened.

I hope my experience will help you avoid some injuries in your training. Of course, I don’t expect to suffer no other injuries in the future, but I surely know more now about what I can and I cannot do.

The equipment you need if you want to practice martial arts

I recently signed up for MMA training (Mixed Martial Arts) at my local gym and I quickly realized that I was going to need some equipment. Thankfully the necessary gear is relatively inexpensive, and I found most of it at my local sporting goods store. If it wasn’t I’m not sure I would’ve stuck with the classes. If you’re new to the sport, like me, here is a list of the equipment you’ll need to get the most out of your martial arts training.

 

Basic Equipment

 

Flexible Cup

 

lk1If you are a guy you will definitely want to invest in a strong cup, and the best ones are also flexible so you can still move without it irritating your inner thighs. Trust me, you will want a cup when it is time to start training with a partner.

 

Mouthguard

 

lk2Unless you really aren’t that worried about the possibility of losing a few teeth you will want to wear a mouthguard. A good one will also keep your jaw from being dislocated during a sparring match. If you are on a budget you can find several great mouthguards for sale, but the best one will be custom made by your dentist.

 

Athletic Tape

 

lk3I don’t think you can ever have enough athletic tape. It is inexpensive and can often prevent injuries. In fact I never start training unless I have at least one roll of tape in my gym bag. When you start boxing or Muay Thai training you might want to consider advancing to hand wraps for added protection, even if you are wearing a pair of sparring gloves.

 

Clothes

 

lk4You want to find a pair of shorts that are loose, but not baggy. You need to be able to move around without restrictions, but you don’t want your shorts to be baggy enough that they get caught on your sparring partner’s foot. The same is also true for your shirt. It should allow for plenty of movement without hanging off your frame. You can find clothes designed specifically for martial arts training, but a good pair of boardshorts and an athletic t-shirt will often work just as well.

 

Shinguards

 

lk5Nothing can knock you out of training faster than a hard kick to the shin, and from what I’ve heard the recovery process can be long and painful. There are two types of shinguards commonly worn, those that come with a sleeve and ones that simply strap on. I prefer shinguards that fasten around my knees with Velcro, though some of my training partners wear sleeves. Both are perfectly capable of providing plenty of protection, and choosing one is usually a matter of personal preference.

 

Headgear

 

lk6This is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need once you are ready to start training with a partner. There are several types and styles of headgear to choose from so you can easily find one that feels comfortable to wear. After trial and error I found that the two most important factors to consider is visibility and fit. You want to have a clear field of vision, and if the headgear is adjustable fit won’t be a problem.

 

These are the basic pieces of equipment that you will need when you are just starting out with martial arts training. As your skill level progress or if you decide to stick with the program there are a few others things you will need to get along the way, but we’ll get to those in my next blog post.

2 good websites where you can find the latest information on fitness gear are Dek23 and cookinglight

Trying out MMA

As you might know already, I’m a graphic designer. On the one hand, I love my job and plan to do it for as much time as possible. On the other hand, sometimes it’s very difficult to stay in shape if you spend more than eight or nine hours in front of the computer, sitting on a chair. In spite of the many office chairs I’ve tried over the years, none of them managed to meet my expectations in terms of comfort. Regardless of this, the main thing that bothers me is that I don’t get enough exercise. I drive to the office and whenever I go out, I always use my car to get there. Usually, I avoid doing more than ten crunches or other simple exercises partly because I’m lazy and partly because I’m tired.

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I’ve been trying to go to the gym regularly for some time. My friend Mike suggested I try out some mixed martial arts training, just take my workout to a whole new level, develop a new physique, and even learn some self-defense tactics. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to make a lot of effort once I joined the gym as I was able to avoid packing several pounds by sticking to a somewhat healthy diet. I make sure to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables so I get my vitamins and minerals, and once in a while I enjoy grilled or baked fish.

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When Mike asked me about whether or not I wanted to give MMA a try, I didn’t know what to say, at first. I thought martial arts were a bit too much for me. Once I got back home and started to do a bit of research on the matter, I came across some videos that explained several beginners’ techniques. While it might not be the easiest type of martial arts out there, I am rather ambitious and willing to try new things, so why not give it a shot? I just bought a pair of MMA gloves for my first training session. I am looking forward to seeing how MMA makes me feel and hopefully, I will be able to stick to it. Getting into martial arts might take some time, especially if you’re not used to the kicks and movements, or even to the strenuous warm-up routines. Either way, I’m determined to do my best, and I’ll be sure to document as much of the experience as possible.