When You’ve Bruised More Than Your Ego…

Don’t let the title fool you, today’s post is about actual, physical bruising. let’s leave the emotional bruising for another day… If you train in the martial arts, it stands to reason that you’ll get bruises. Let me repeat that: YOU WILL GET BRUISES!!! If you think, for one moment, that you’ll train extensively in karate or any other style in the hopes of becoming proficient without suffering bumps, bruises and abrasions, you’re kidding yourself.

I’ve recently written about the fact that proper martial arts training requires hitting something. I’ve mostly been referring to the use of pads or punching bags. But when training with a partner, speed and precision need to be developed. This can usually only be accomplished by executing techniques to their fullest extent against your partner. Your partner, on their end, need to develop their blocks in such a way that they can intercept and counter.

I have unfortunately known quite a number of instructors who have adopted a policy of “no touching” in their dojo. Although this can seem ideal, especially in a modern society where everyone gets easily offended and can construe physical contact as something inappropriate (despite martial arts being a contact sport), such a policy does you no favours. It prevents your ability to learn martial skills in the way they were meant to. If your instructor preaches no contact, he or she is doing you a great disservice.

But if you’ll indulge me for a moment as I climb down off my soap box, let’s discuss actual bruising for a moment. A bruise is basically a pooling of blood beneath the surface of the skin. There are different types of bruising, but we’re keeping it simple (for a change). Bruising happens when your tissues come into some traumatic level of contact with something solid. The capillaries beneath your skin burst and release blood into the tissue beneath the skin. The collection of this blood is what we see as a bruise.

Although bruises will initially hurt or ache, the feeling should pass within a day or two. And you should likely know that the bruise will change colours as it heals. That being said, there are certain medical conditions that can cause bruising without trauma to the tissues. Some bleeding disorders like hemophilia, and some forms of cancer, can cause abstract bruising that you may not be able to explain.

You should definitely seek medical help if your bruise is accompanied by swelling and extreme pain, bruising without knowing how it happened and if you suspect you may have broken a bone. If you have bruising and also have blood coming from ANY extremity (nose, mouth, urine…) then it requires immediate medical attention. On the milder side, bruises will usually heal on their own within a week or two at most, depending on the cause.

If you have Type-1 Diabetes, you’re likely already aware that it’s tougher for us to heal ANY wound. A simple bumping of your leg can cause bruising that will need to be treated by a medical professional, through draining or medication. This all depends on how well you manage your Diabetes, especially through the practice of good nutrition, exercise and frequent blood sugar testing. ☯

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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