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Training vs. Healing: Using Shoes for Practice at Home?

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  • Training vs. Healing: Using Shoes for Practice at Home?

    Hi all,

    How do you all balance healing from small injuries with training outside of practice? I'm trying to balance an overwhelming desire/need to practice at home with the fact that I have mild injuries sustained during kendo and cross training activities. There's nothing terribly wrong with me- just small, nagging pain that doesn't prevent me from doing anything but is definitely a distraction during practice. I'm torn because I know if I don't practice at home and/or cross train, I won't improve. But, I also feel like I want to "save" myself for practice and be at my best.

    I'm toying with the idea of wearing shoes at home while practicing techniques that aggravate my feet and ankles. My logic is that if I do this, I won't be in much pain during practice. BUT... this also may be really dumb because wearing big ol' bouncy shoes really just isn't the same as being barefoot. But, I need to focus on agility and coordination so maybe it isn't that much of a factor?

    Anyway, I'm not sure if I should just suck it up, ignore the pain and train all out at home and practice OR if I should moderate what I'm doing at home so I can go all out in practice. Bleh, bleh, bleh... the ol' "mental toughness" vs. "major injury prevention" dilemma.

    How have you balanced injury and training? And what do you think about practicing kendo techniques in shoes, is it just a really bad idea?

  • #2
    What's the injury?

    Personally and from experience, I think if you can do something to stay active and that needs shoes, it's a good idea. But if you mean, should you practice fumikomi while wearing reeboks, then I'm not sure so. Sounds to me like you'd be better off getting healed first. Coming back too soon from an injury is a bad idea.

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    • #3
      I think the calculus changes as you age. I used to be more dismissive of my aches and pains, but in recent years I have twice allowed annoying injuries grow into debilitating ones by continuing to train through the pain. In both cases I was forced to quit kendo completely for months. I am just barely getting back on the floor after a relatively minor foot injury I sustained last May, and aggravated by hard training in June.

      I'm learning to take a longer view on my training. There are ways for me to keep improving without pushing my body too hard.

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      • #4
        I was thinking about this just last night. When I was younger I always equated fitness for kendo as being good general cario fitness and sufficient muscle power in the right areas. However I was always confused by my improved performance after a long break with no kendo, and also the ease of some Japanese yudansha with unhealthy lives but a base of kendo in their youth to beat me consistently.

        I'm starting to realise that a high proportion of kendo really is "mind". This is my experience from when I'm at in kendo, YMMV and all that.

        b

        PS - sorry, this is nothing to do with the thread really!
        Last edited by ben; 5th November 2010, 06:45 AM. Reason: Sorry, nothing to do with the thread! b

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        • #5
          Have sufficient rest and allow complete healing and have a long productive life in Kendo.

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          • #6
            Most opportune timing. I just pulled my calf muscle and will probably not put on armor for a few weeks. You do not really need to train hard physically for Kendo to improve. After I had ACL surgery, Koike Sensei had me do men suburi walking around the dojo slowly or standing still with a shinken for months as he watched between teaching others. That allowed me to heal and improved my swing, kiai and kamae quite a bit.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by alfanator View Post
              That allowed me to heal and improved my swing, kiai and kamae quite a bit.
              Not to mention your patience. I think I'd go stir crazy in that situation.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by alta View Post
                How have you balanced injury and training? And what do you think about practicing kendo techniques in shoes, is it just a really bad idea?
                A very important part of being an athlete is learning how to listen to your body. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who does some physical activity with intensity will deal with nagging pain and injuries at some point. The trick is to figure out what kind of pain you can practice through and what kind of pain is the kind you must let heal before starting again. You can get advice from more experienced practitioners and of course you should consult a doctor if it's really bad, but ultimately YOU have to judge when to press on and when to take it easy because no one can feel what you are feeling.

                As for shoes, well, do what you need to keep practicing and keep the injury at bay. But you might be better off cross training in something else. In the grand scheme of things, taking it easy for a few weeks isn't a big deal.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Halcyon View Post
                  A very important part of being an athlete is learning how to listen to your body. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who does some physical activity with intensity will deal with nagging pain and injuries at some point. The trick is to figure out what kind of pain you can practice through and what kind of pain is the kind you must let heal before starting again. You can get advice from more experienced practitioners and of course you should consult a doctor if it's really bad, but ultimately YOU have to judge when to press on and when to take it easy because no one can feel what you are feeling.

                  As for shoes, well, do what you need to keep practicing and keep the injury at bay. But you might be better off cross training in something else. In the grand scheme of things, taking it easy for a few weeks isn't a big deal.
                  I agree usually if I do have some injury I know what I can do and can't do. Also people don't realize you can learn alot from watching other people or using visulization. Maybe you might also want to look into something low impact like Tai chi, Pilates or dare say it Yoga to help strengthen those muscles and gain flexibility.

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                  • #10
                    I recommend stretching/isometrics/Pilates (where appropriate) for the physical recovery, but I also highly recommend Mitori-Geiko.

                    Mitori-Geiko is simply put: Watching practices, either in person at the Dojo, or youtube videos at home.

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                    • #11
                      Definitely boils down to figuring out the difference between an injury and pain. If it's just pain I try and suck it up to go to practise. If there's a possibility it's an injury, I speak to one of the physios at work to check if it's fine to practise. I'm lucky in that I can talk to health professionals in 5 minutes over lunch, so my paranoid approach may not work if you've got to book an appointment a week in advance, but it's prevented me from doing some serious damage to myself on occaisons when I've thought I'd just had a bit of muscle pain before.

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