When Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he wasn’t speaking about martial arts injuries. However, the statement’s wisdom applies to many common martial arts injuries. Prevention must be a priority for practitioners, and that generally comes down to patience and proper training through strengthening exercises, stretching, stance and weight training, and internal and external toughening of the muscles and connective tissues.
Martial arts injuries are similar to other injuries suffered through any intense physical or sports-related activity. There are various grades of injuries, such as muscle strains like pulled hamstrings and groins; ligament sprains like tweaked knees and torn rotator cuffs; tendonitis; and tissue damage caused by the repetitive pounding of objects or of being pounded on.
Standard practice for the above injuries is ICER (ice, compression, elevation and rest) and to consult with a physician. Some martial artists also practicechi kung (qigong) methods to prevent injury occurrences.