Can i start a martial art? - Physical condition.

Bigby

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Hi. I found this site and after reading some posts i decided to ask something. I hope you could help me.

Im 20 years old and always wanted to do martial arts, but because school and other things i never had the chance. And two years ago i found out that i have a genetical disease that is ''breaking'' my spine little by little.
Right now i have 3 lumbar hernias. The doctors said that i have to exercise the muscles on my back and so on.
What catch my attention is that one of the doctors said that a some martial fighters have hernias but dont feel pain because of the training.

First - I can't go back to that doctor i said, to ask if i could do martial arts because is very far from where i live and i don't have more time to do that. (I'm from Brazil, but i'm studing Medicine in Argentina.)

Second - Well there is nobody that i can ask this in a 500 km radius so your help it's appreciated.

Well that's it. Thank you for your time. Sorry for any mistakes that difficults reading this.

PS: The disease its very similar with Degenerative Disc Disease and i have Spinal Stenosis too.
 
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Dirty Dog

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If you're studying medicine in Argentina, I can't imagine that you aren't surrounded by physicians. That's generally who teaches medicine... Ask one of them.
But don't be surprised if the answer is no. Exercise is one thing. A genetic disorder that results in fragile bones Osteogenesis imperfecta being probably the most common, but it's extremely unlikely that that would be affecting only your spine) would not mix well with any sort of martial arts training.
 

jks9199

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Maybe tai chi or something similar would be helpful, but you really need solid guidance from a doc. I would suspect that any hard contact would be unwise at best.

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Chris Parker

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Actually, if I was to pick a martial art, I'd pick either Iaido or Kyudo both are done with little to no impact, and will (through postural work) focus on strengthening the back (and other areas) but most importantly, a doctor must be consulted before anything. And, on that note, I'm with DD there you're studying medicine, but there's no doctor for you to ask? Gotta say that has a bit of an issue to itself right there
 

Brian King

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Hello Bigby,
Welcome to Martial Talk and thank you for sharing of your history and interest. I do think that you can study martial arts. Rather than looking for a particular style I strongly suggest that you look at the instructors. A good art will help you to strengthen all of your bodies systems. It will not only strengthen them, but will allow you insight and understanding of your body from the inside out. A good school will not only work on the physical body, but will stimulate the mental and spiritual parts of your life. A good instructor would be one that takes the time to listen to you and to observe you. One who will see deeply into what your body needs and what you can take. A good instructor will help you learn to healthily deal with pain (physical, emotional, and spiritual) A good school will include massage work and lots of stretching and moving of the body. A good school will teach you how to fall more safely even with your possible limitations. A good school will provide community. After class you should feel invigorated and positive emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

A school/instructor that might not be a good fit for you Bigby, might be one where the instructor does not give you individual attention or take the time to learn about your disease and how to help you work around it and with it. A ill fit might be one where you are expected to fit in and do everything that all the other students do the same way that they do. A bad fit would be a school where they believe that you can and should power thru pain and or ignore pain. A school that is not the right one for you would be a school, where after class you do not feel better than when you arrived, where you feel weaker or less a human after class.

Every martial practitioner has strengths and limitations. It is ironic maybe that every strength can also be a weakness and that every limitation can become a strength. It is our bodies and our responsibilities to make the most of the body we are given. We can in my opinion do this best by learning and understanding our bodies. Self awareness and the understanding/ wisdom that comes with it becomes a strength that cannot be taken away.

I have a very good friend that has a school in Argentina. Carlos is a very good guy and I encourage you to reach out to him, he might have some advice for a school or teacher close to you that he might recommend. Systema - La Victoria Sobre Uno Mismo

If you cannot find a martial instructor that fits you and your needs Bigby, and that is possible, I strongly urge you to look to dance. LOL especially where you are located. Many of the same physical, mental, and spiritual benefits from martial arts can be found in dance. The same criteria for a good instructor applies to dance as to martial arts.

On your own, start to become aware of how you currently deal with pain. When do you become aware of it (how soon - say on scale of 1- 9 do you become aware of it at 3 or at 8) In addition to medication there are ways of helping to deal with pain, especially if you can feel it before it becomes too high to deal with. Start to measure how much tension you are holding and where. Start to learn how breathing, massage, and moving can help you resolve excess tension and how that can change your perceptions of pain.

Good luck with your search
Regards
Brian King
 
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