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Martial Arts injuries can be nasty things. A Mixed Martial Arts Injury can range from pulled muscles to broken bones. And an art that specializes in throwing, we are talking aikido injury, or something like that, can result in massive trauma.
The question, however, is when is the injury real, and when is it imagined? This is a tough question, because some guy is in pain you don’t want to make the assumption that he is a hypochondriac. This article is going to address this nebulous field of when is an injury real.
There are two directions that the mind can take. One direction is the inward direction, looking at the body, examining the mind, and just general introspection. The other direction is outward, towards an opponent, towards the world.
If ones attention is directed towards oneself the experience of pain is usually increased. If one is watching ones body become struck, be it by Kenpo fist or Savate foot or whatever, one becomes convinced that the pain is more real. Simply, what you see is what you get.
If one is looking away from oneself the experience of pain can be reduced, and may even disappear. The alternative: if you don’t see it it isn’t real. What you don’t see won’t cause you pain.
Obviously, there are limits here, as if one gets hit by a car, though it came from the rear and it was not observed, the pain is usually fairly real. Still, in the matter of the martial arts, we are not dealing with the blindside of pain. We are dealing with the fact of you get what you put your attention on.
If you look at an opponent, and train yourself to look harder and more intently, then your attention is off yourself. Put that together with normal and good martial arts training, and the experience of pain may be greatly reduced. It may even become non existent.
If you are focused on yourself, then the small injuries that should probably be ignored, seem to become more significant. The bent toe causes an expensive journey to the emergency room, the hard block causes much negative emotion, and even emotion itself (a nebulous thing that can’t be physically perceived in any way) becomes a source of concern. The message here is that martial arts injuries may gain a reduced reality if one practices a traditional martial art, and learns to put his or her attention away from oneself.
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