Age & Injuries


Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Apr 16, 2002
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Somewhere Wild,Wonderful and Wicked
Hi All,

It's good to find this Forum :) I'm a 42 yr old Kenpo stylist who is as my husband says -Hard-headed-Stubborn as a mule, Obstinate and never gives up. My first class -5 yrs ago, I was doing back fist drills with a 'machinist' -6'6" and after 5 minutes he looked at me 'Shouldn't that hurt?" my left hand was swollen twice its size~ I replied.."I guess it should.. but it doesn't' Ice and the next day in the ER. .Shattered hand.. I was back in class with a cast to my elbow. a couple months later I was in a car accident that put me out of training ..back surgery, hand surgery, multiple herniated disks, and a complication from the surgey.. Foot Drop.. Docs said I would never get better..a leg brace, cane and thoughts of a wheelchair made me Irate~!! I was pretty down for a couple years but when my other half (Seig) started teaching Kenpo at the local college.. and convinced me to return to at least assist him.. and then we opened our own Dojo last June.. I started doing what I could.. finding I was feeling better each day.. Last Christmas I sat on the sofa.. feet on the coffee table.. and my Toes Moved.. My foot Moved~!! It took a couple of more days and It's back to it's old self!~! Since June I've had numerous injuries.. Blocking a kick with my shin gave me cellulitis.. and does that ever Hurt~!! I've repeatedly torn both ham strings to 2nd degree tears.. recovering now from dual dislocated fingers.. I may never be the highest kicker.. or a fancy stylist.. but I've got fast hands and my goal is passing my knowledge not only of Kenpo.. but of the tenacity of Life.. Bumps, Bruises and injuries will occur.. as long as we learn to encompass them.. learn to prevent them.. and never quit..

In the Spirit of Martial Arts
Tess, you have my utmost respect. May God bless you and yours always.
Thank you both :) Yes I am tenacious and believe anything can be accomplished if you want it badly ~! *s* My nickname at the Dojo is TessManian Devil.. hahaa.. it fit's :) Guess I'll need 'IT" even moreso - now that we are teaching children's classes~! *g*

Stay safe ~!

In the Martial Arts Spirit
Sheesh Tess, you sound like me! Well, I never got into a serious accident, but I have many small injuries that do not stop me from training. I sprained my ankle when I was little, but never got it fixed (I have a hard time with jump kicks that land on that foot). I have carpul tunnel (sp?) in both wrists (which make me bite my tongue evertime I do push-ups), I broke my finger during class a year ago (never seen a doc for it), I stressed the hammy on my left leg twice, and pulled the hammy on my right leg thursday night, and I still went to class! :D It's called determination, and we both have it :) I'm supposed to test on 5/14 for my green belt, and nuttin is going to stop me :D So, don't lose the spirit and keep chuggin along, but don't over do it.
Hi Laurie :) great to meet you~!

sounds like you've had your share of injuries too.. it's great that you've kept going and I'm sure you will do fantastic on your belt test!! I'm going for Brown 2 on 6/7 and sure am hoping no more injuries ~!!! I can empathise with you on the carpal tunnel and pushups. I had the surgery in my right hand but it came back ! Another doc told me it probably wasn't really carpal tunnel but Ulner or radial tunnel entrapment.. sheesh..~! but I do what I can as far as warmups. If something doesnt' 'feel right' Sensei says. .Don't do it~! You take good care and Thanks for your kind words ~!

In the Martial Arts Spirit


I refuse to get the surgery on my wrists, actually. Because, like you said, sometimes it doesn't work and you are left with an ugly scar ..... eeeeekkkk. That happened to a guy I knew. He got 4 surgeries ..... none worked and his hand looks awful. But my instructor suggested exercises for my wirsts and they are working (their getting stronger). He also tells me to not do anything that will stress them too bad (like trying to do push-ups on a "bad" day ..... when they hurt). Chin Na is difficult somedays on my wirsts .... ouch. So, I know how ya feel.

I wish you luck on your test :)
You sound like me!!! I'm a 53 years old man, have had a mastectomy on my left side from a bout with gangrene, broken toes, fingers, had a stroke, and am adamant about my study of MA's. My instructor say's that I've got the stongest punch in the bunch that I train with. When I got out of the hospital, in 1995-after the gangrene, mastectomy, three bouts of pneumonia, skin grafts, etc.-I had gained over 50 pounds, was so out of breath most of the time that I couldn't walk 50 feet without getting winded, and was, in general, mad at myself and my doctors for what had, essentially, been something that was out of my control, that I decided that I had two choices: I could either lie down and feel sorry for myself or get off my keester and do something about it. I chose #2! I got a membership in a local health club, started working on losing weight and getting my lung capacity built up, and started working out with weight's to improve the strength of the arm that was weakened by the mastectomy. It wasn't fun, it wasn't pretty, but it (in my opinion) was necessary! I started back into the martial arts (I had studied some jujitsu about 30 years ago.) and started getting myself some self respect and learning that I could overcome the results of the damage my body had endured. I feel better, I have excellent skills that I'm building on, and my son, born with Spina Bifida(I was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam in 1968) and in a wheelchair, wants to start learning the martial arts. With my instructor's permission and instruction, he will start to learn after he recover's from some minor surgery that he had. All in all, I decided when I got out of the hospital that I wasn't going to lie around-I was going to do something about getting my life back. So far, it has worked!!! This has been one decision that I'll never regret!!!:cool:
thumbs up to you lancewildcat1!!!!!!!!!!!

and much encouragement to your boy! everyone has a handicap in one way or another. and life seems to go on with or without our participation.
what will your son probably be learning?????
what will your son probably be learning?????

Anything that he can do with his upper body from a wheelchair or on the ground. ;)
Best wishes to your son! I've seen people with disabilities do some pretty amazing things, and I'm sure he will too.

a side note...

There have been some things said in Martial Talk that worry me. For some reason, people tend to think its "macho" or "cool" to have an injury and keep training and not care for it or see a doctor. I used to think the same. I'd train through sprained ankles and even broken ribs once....which I later found out was damned stupid, because if I'd gotten hit there, one of those ribs could've punctured a lung very easily.

However, I got to college and started taking ballet classes to stay in shape. I discovered that I couldn't completely extend my foot because I had sprained it years before, walked on it, trained with it, and made it much worse. Scar tissue had built up and affected my flexibility. It took six months of physical therapy (which is bloody EXPENSIVE) to fix what one week on crutches would have solved.

Please, people, think long term. You need to take care of your bodies so they'll keep working for you twenty years down the road. My dad didn't take care of some knee injuries twenty years ago and now he's looking at complete knee replacement surgery. His doctor flat out told him that if he'd taken care of the problem when he'd injured it in the first place, he'd be looking only at minor surgery rather than major knee replacement surgery.

When I'm teaching a class, if you injure yourself, and I look at it and it looks injured rather than just "tweaked" or something, you're on the bench. no discussion. I don't care if someone says they're fine... if its swelling, hit the showers. If someone wants to ruin their body, its ultimately their choice, but they ain't going to do it in my class. You're also setting yourself up for a lawsuit if you permit someone to train if you know they probably shouldn't be. You're supposed to be an authority figure, someone who knows, and if you let them train, and they hurt themselves worse, they can sue you. They may or may not win, but do you really want to go through that?

A few good rules for athletes, given to me by my doc, who was the doctor for the Rams when they were still in California:

If it hurts, don't do it. (aside from the normal impact ouchie of hitting/kicking something really hard, if something doesn't feel right, STOP. You're setting yourself up for a worse injury)

If it's "just a strain" but hurts for more than five days, see your doctor. It ain't a strain. Muscle strains tend to heal pretty fast so if it hurts for more than five days, you have to rule out ligament or tendon damage, because if you keep walking on that (like I did) it'll just keep getting worse, not better.

If its swelling: RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression (ace bandage), Elevation.

If its a sprain or strain and still purple (not turning green or brown), DON'T WALK ON IT. If its purple, its still bleeding inside, its still damaged, and you're just going to hurt it more. If its turning green or brown and used to be purple, its not bleeding inside anymore, and you can put your weight on it, but take it easy until all the color and swelling is gone and it feels completely fine.

If it made noise when you hurt it... you probably broke it. See your doctor.

I care about all of my brothers and sisters in martial arts...please take care of yourselves.


alot of it lies on the head of the practitioner too, you have to be able to know when you are hurt, what you hurt and how bad it's hurt. Some people, especialy people who are new to sports in genneral or havn't played for a wial don't realy know what diffrent injuries feal like.