Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Injuries, Illness, Disability and Aging Considerations

Back in 1983 one evening I showed up to train with Charles Murray and I had some leg injury making it impossible to perform the jumping front kick of Chinto Kata. Charles told me to instead use a stepping side kick, a technique, one step down, when injured.

Now Dr. Harper F.A.C.S.,who was with my program for years made it plain than only someone with a head injury should ever seek out my opinion for medical advice, instead needing competent advice. This is correct for I am not medically trained.

But I would like to address how to address training within competent medical advice.

First, consider the injury limiting oneself. There is still much that works after injury. Should it be jumping techniques, by taking them one step down say using a stepping front kick instead of a jumping one there still is much that can be worked until recovery of the injury. Or it the ankle injury prohibits spinning to perform Chinto kata’s spinning low block, you might always turn the left (the opposite direction for the Isshinryu Chinto kata, and low block. Perhaps knee injury or simple aging are makes dropping to the floor problematic or impossible, you might do the technique standing up instead. Techniques can always be taken a step back or replaced with another.

When movement in impossible you can still practice forms in your mind, and use the breathing patterns. Useful for better oxygenation on your back, from personal experience while in Cancer treatment.

Making technique variations for a form still allows you to work on he other techniques. And that is enough to work with whether the condition is temporary or permanent..

One of my students in Isshinryu and Tai Chi developed what became a life ending genetic condition. He lost control of almost all functions. However, as destabo;ozomg as that was we still were able to practice Tai Chi while seated. He was unable to pick up a glass of water without spilling it but I showed him how to flow to the glass with Tai Chi and return with it and he did. When even that proved difficult at the end we could practice the Tai Chi breathing patterns. It didn’t save his life, but enabled him to retain a quality to life that he wished for, being able to keep practicing.

Currently I face this myself. The Myasthenia Gravis I have developed affects my balance and energy often making things very difficult. So I do the best I can. My Tai Chi is still practiced but it goes quite badly for by balance make the turns very difficult, so I do the best I can, just not a very good one. My karate does better, the simpler forms are often the best. It is very challenging but my applications work quite we.. though my control where I hit Mike in the head is often less.

We have to live our art in our times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Victor, we've discussed this issue before, aging and being able to train at some level nonetheless. You remain an inspiration and as my own training becomes modified for the parts of the body that function less well, I continue, thinking of you and feeling honored to know what you do. Jim