Injury is a natural part of martial arts or combat sports training. It's understood that if you're going to spend a good portion of your life punching, kicking, getting punched and kicked, twisting limbs and joints, at some point you will get injured. It's inevitable. But what no one really prepares you for, is how to get through it. How to get through significant time off from an art that you love. I think most athletes can relate to the torture of being on the sidelines dealing with an injury while the game goes on without you. But what's different about martial arts is that it's not something you do. Playing basketball, soccer or football is something you do. You play the sport until one day you can't anymore. But a martial art is not something you do. It's who you are. An injury takes away a part of you.
Danny Dring and Johnny D. Taylor understand this. They are the authors of the book, Stay in the Fight: A Martial Athlete's Guide to Preventing and Overcoming Injury. The two wrote the book back in 2010. I came across it while looking for random books on martial arts and since I was dealing with an injury, I was curious. Danny Dring has over 30 years or martial arts and competition experience and holds a 8th degree black belt in Taekwondo, 7th degree black belt in Jujutsu and Bill Wallace's Fighting System, a sixth-degree black belt in Joe Lewis Fighting Systems and a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. At the time of the book's printing, Johnny D. Taylor had over 7 years of martial arts training and held a 2nd degree Black Belt in Taekwondo as well as a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Now, initially I was a bit skeptical after I saw 8th degree behind Danny Dring's name. The sad part about martial arts schools and teaching across the country, is there really is no true standard for martial arts progression. Individual schools and instructors can make it up as they go along. So when I see someone with 7s, 8s and 10s behind their name, my spidey-sense starts tingling.
Once I started reading the book though, these guys got me comfortable right away. Their professional knowledge and understanding of the martial artist is conveyed in every page. The book has 12 chapters. Each chapter begins with a fight analogy that provides context for the focus of the content. In addition, the authors provide situational examples from their personal experience and advice from coaches, doctors and other notable martial artists. So you have a support system that knows what you're going through.
A special bonus the book provides is dealing with medical professionals. The authors talk you through how to find an appropriate physician, what questions to ask them and how to communicate what you're feeling. They do a great job of explaining how certain elements of the body work, how to work around injury and what you need to do to get back to prime condition. They coach you through both the physical and mental process. One of my favorite chapters is number 9, which discusses the Seven Stages of Emotion. It was spot on.
Stay in the Fight is a superb resource for any martial artist, fighter or competitor. Even if you're not injured yet, you'll have a great team on stand-by to help when that fateful day arrives. You can find the book at www.Amazon.com.
About the Author:
Darryl Keeton is an avid striking, grappling and wrestling fan living in Upper Marlboro, MD. He holds a black belt in Taekwondo and is also a practitioner of Combat Jujutsu, Boxing and Muay Thai.