Krav Maga, in Sickness and in Health

Sooner or later we all have a day where we feel under the weather, not 100%, or even, that dreaded word; sick. Sooner or later most of us (who are we kidding, all of us) have an injury that sidelines us for a while. The question that then pops up into our mind is; can we train?

Pain, what can you do?

Most doctors will simply say, take it easy until you feel better. I can't stand that answer. I have seen so many good students destroyed by that answer. They take it easy, then they get used to the easy and they never come back. With all due respect, this is a mistake!. Martial artists take a different approach.

The first step is to evaluate how bad your situation is; do you really need a break or do you need to just slow down a bit or adjust your training?

Years ago Itay Gil related to me this message from his Kick Boxing instructor back in Texas, a fellow known as Ben Mai; "If your right leg hurts, you come and train with your left leg. If your left leg hurts, you train with your right. If both legs hurt you train with your hands. If both hands and legs hurt you show up and watch the training. But you do not stay home."

This helped make Itay Gil the warrior he is, and the uncompromising trainer that he is. Do not look for an easy time when training with him. At Israeli Krav International (IKI) we are not looking for an easy time.

What if you are totally side lined? Then train your mind. Bruce Lee wrote the foundation of his classic Tao of Jeet Kune Do while sidelined with a painful back injury. Other martial artists used the time to probe deeper into their training and evaluate their approach. Whatever you do you don't take a total break, for this is a dangerous and perilous path from which many warriors do not return.

How do you know what to do? How do you know when it is time to just kick up your feet and watch TV for a day (or a good martial arts movie)? As Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid would say; that answer come when you have full respect for self. Be honest with yourself, do not look for excuses.

Look yourself in the mirror and ask, What can I do today to advance my training? Maybe this is a good time to read that martial arts book you have been meaning to read, maybe this is a time to look at your video clips or go over your training notes. Surely there is something you can do. And if things are so bad that you really need to rest, do so without guilt, our bodies have a voice too. Coming back from an injury or sickness too soon is also a problem. We want to be healthy as soon as possible. So give yourself the time you need, just be honest with yourself.

Just as in a fight, it is all a matter of proper evaluation and timing. When to fight and when not to fight? How hard to hit?

Daniel San: But how do I know when to fight and when not to fight?

Miyagi Sensei: When have full respect for self, full respect for other, that answer comes.

Respect yourself, respect your body, and that answer will come.

About the author,

Moshe Katz