I always like to write and teach from experience. As an Instructor, I always prefer to make the mistakes myself and for my students to learn from them rather than to learn for themselves, although unfortunately this does happen on the odd occasion. Often in class I will talk to my students to remind myself of certain things – I am actually talking to myself, reminding myself of what I believe and should be doing, passing on my thoughts to my students at the same time. Even I lapse on the odd occasion, so I find it fitting that I am writing this article in an injured state just after speaking about this to my class. Take it from me; the proof is in the pudding. Here is the lesson:
It is inevitable that at some point in your martial arts training you will sustain an injury of some sort. The injuries sustained can range from minor to serious. The extent and cause of damage is dependent on all kinds of factors, but the most common is to do with what, in Taekwon-Do, we call “dallyon” – or should I say, lack of dallyon.
In brief (I will write a detailed article on dallyon in the future), dallyon refers to equipment maintenance. Equipment in this regard refers to our bodies, and in turn, our minds. To be in good maintenance as a martial artist we must condition our bodies and minds to be able to handle the rigours of combat. Physically, this includes stamina, strength, flexibility, hardening of attacking and defending tools (forging) and diet. Mentally, this includes confidence, focus and positive thinking.
In my training, I have found that every time I have injured myself something, or things, have been out of alignment in my dallyon. I have found this to be true with my students too. Yes, there may be a completely freak accident somewhere along the line, but that is extremely rare. On closer analysis there is normally an imbalance either mentally or physically that has led to the injury. Each aspect of dallyon effects the others – when one pillar is out others will begin to crumble. This will most often culminate in an injury of some sort.
When an injury occurs people have different ways of dealing with it. Many will drop out of the race, others will become far less involved and others will embrace it and use it to learn and further themselves – often coming back stronger and more determined than they were before. They see it as a challenge rather than as a defeat or an obstacle.
There are times that we must heed what our bodies and minds are telling us. Not so as to give in to laziness, but to actually hear and understand what is necessary for us to do. When an injury occurs it is even more important for us to listen. Any injury should be given close analysis and the root of the cause should be addressed accordingly. Adjusting the dallyon in the correct manner will most often fix the problem from occurring again.
I find that the most difficult thing to maintain, especially with a serious injury, is a healthy state of mind. The mental state can turn into a far worse injury than the physical injury itself. Negativity can be a dilapidating disease – it is important to consciously block out the negativity and force positive thought. This will make the healing process of body and mind far easier.
I always choose to apply the math equation to injuries. – x – = +. Something negative is affecting your training – this multiplies and culminates into something even more negative occurring (injury) – You take the lesson and apply it to have a positive outcome.
These are some good steps to follow:
- Listen to yourself – you know somewhere deep inside when there is something wrong or out of alignment.
- Analyse what the cause of and root of the problem is – don’t just ignore it and think it will go away on its own.
- Correct the problem – where necessary seek help and guidance from people who may have more experience than you (perhaps Instructors/seniors in your club).
- If an injury has already occurred, refer back to number 2 and 3 above.
- Be positive – keep on telling yourself positive things to strengthen your mind. Think of and re-enforce the reasons why you should bounce back.
- Bounce back – don’t allow something as insignificant as an injury (no matter how serious) to kill your dreams.
- Be better than you were before – keep your dallyon in alignment and grow in strength from the experience.
Instructors and seniors – show your students and junior classmates how it is done. Be the role-models they see you as. Even the best slip and fall occasionally, but it is how you deal with it that truly separates the best from the rest.
Wishing you all injury free training!