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Training Injuries

May 11, 2012

I got to meet this guy a couple of nights back. He had:

1) his ligaments torn,

2) carpus broken,

3) nerves damaged,

4) bone structure collapsed,

5) muscles out of alignment,

Because of his sensei doing an omote gyaku on him.

This is so wrong, on many levels, I don’t know where to start. First, it wasn’t a sparring accident, his instructor deliberately chose to demo a vicious version of omote gyaku on him. And also, that guy was quite thin, and his bones were obviously frail too. For crying out loud, you don’t even try a regular version on him without being super careful!

There was a time when I & my students visited that class. A visiting instructor was holding a special session there. Even as I was trying my best to keep myself from being clouted by my training partner I could see, out of the corner of my eye, that one of my students was having a tough time with his. I mean, if what they were doing looked very different from what the instructor told us to do, that can’t be a good sign!

And later on the guy training with my student had to sit out the rest of the training, something went wrong with his ankle. When I had the chance I asked my student what actually happened, and it seemed that the fellow decided to try all kinds of weird henka on my student rather than sticking with the script (which is the regular way to train in our system). So in the end my student had to choose between him or the other fellow being injured.

Sorry to be so blunt, but I’m glad my student decided to let the other fellow get it!

But it tells you something about the safety culture (???) of that instructor and that class. If I were the instructor, I would have put a stop to such antics straight away, it’s too risky especially in a large class. And the safety of the class is the responsibility of the instructor. If he will tolerate risky antics, and in a setting of mixed skill levels (he can’t tell if the visitors are skilled enough to take care of themselves, right?) then any injuries are entirely his fault!

Of course, if he deliberately chooses to inflict such injuries on his students…

OK, enough of all this ranting on my part. Let me just use this opportunity to say that I am totally committed to the safety of the people who attend my class and those I am training with. I’d rather look like an incompetent than use injuries to intimidate trusting students. And I expect the same thing from my students. I expect them to watch out for the safety of their training partners.

After all, we cannot train fully and enjoyably if we are injured, right?

 

Junjie
俊傑 (Shunketsu)
Singapore

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