How To Prevent Injuries

Injuries suck and most, if not all martial artists will experience injury at one point or another in their martial arts careers.

As much as we need to prepare ourselves for what we should do in the event of an injury, it is arguably more important to know how to prevent these miscellaneous injuries and to stop old injuries from reoccurring again.

In Karate the most common injuries athletes can obtain include:

  • Concussion: Forceful contact to the head, whether accidental or intentional can cause the brain to experience whiplash and shake within the skull. This can often cause cognitive dysfunction, headaches, nausea, dizziness and can become dangerous with continued impact.
  • Extremities (Sprains, strains, cuts and fractures): Generally the most common injuries include minor bruises and cuts to the arms and legs. On occasion there may be joint injuries such as ligament sprain or muscle strain.
  • Head/Ears/Nose (cuts and bruises).

So, how can we work on preventing the incidence of some of these injuries, especially those unnecessarily obtained due to poor injury prevention?

  • Strength and Conditioning: Regardless of your sport, strength, speed and power are generally all required to perform techniques well in competition. Many sprains and strains often occur due to poor muscular strength surrounding the injured joint or poor technique execution. Ask any elite athlete and they will tell you they participate in weekly gym sessions on top of their sport-specific training to ensure their body is not only technically skilled, but physically strong enough to support the high demands of the sport.
  • Find The Most Appropriate Help: Something we see in many kids is the want to get back into their sport after an injury. It is very difficult to find the patience at times to wait out the recovery phase, but unfortunately to their detriment they come back prematurely and end up aggravating their previous injury. Just because you don’t feel anymore pain, does not mean the injury has healed. Due to this, it is often difficult for GPs and therapists to know what is going on, so it is incredibly important to understand who you need to see for what type of injury. Specialists will always have a better understanding than a general physician. For example, if you obtained an injury during a sporting competition, it is more appropriate to see an Exercise or Sports Physio, than a general Physio or Osteo. Sports Physios specialise in exercise-based injuries and are more like to have a greater understanding of the stresses placed on the body participating in an athletic lifestyle as opposed to the lifestyle of general population.
  • Recovery and Nutrition: You wouldn’t necessarily guess it, but biochemical and nutritional deficiency is one of the greatest reasons athletes get injured. Look at it this way, if you’re not fuelling your body with nutritious foods or getting enough quality sleep, you stress out your bodily functions. If you bodily functions are stressed than it’s not going to do its job of absorbing the nutrients you’re eating, or regulating your bowel movements, and therefore, you will start to feel tired and lethargic. Ever felt light-headed during a training session and can’t explain it? You may have not fuelled your body enough or in the ideal way. Being lethargic on the Mat is not going to prepare you to perform technique correctly and we all know what happens when you train half-heartedly. Higher risk of injury.

*In martial arts, there seems to be a higher prevalence of injured females than males due to the lack of females participating in prescribed gym training. On top of the fact that females have naturally greater flexibility than males, their bodies tend to lack efficient support and stability making them more prone to joint dislocations and sprains.

If you find yourself getting injured all the time, if it is a twisted ankle here, a sprained finger there, or even simple things like falling over your own feet constantly, try and address these three elements. Are you actually training your muscles to be strong and supportive? Are you eating enough of the right foods? Are you seeing the most appropriate allied health professional for your injury? If you answered No to any of these questions, then this is what you need to focus on to improve your martial arts performance.

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Waiver and Release

I, the undersigned Student, freely and willingly agree to participate in martial art training with Fight Physio Pty Ltd trading as Twins Martial Arts (TMA). I hereby assume full responsibility and liability for all damages, injuries and losses that I may sustain or incur while participating in training at TMA. 

I realise that serious injury is commonplace in martial arts such as the martial arts that I am participating in and that death is a possibility, as remote as it may be. I also realise that if I am injured, I might be disfigured, disabled and/or rendered unable to work again. By participating in martial arts training, I fully accept and assume liability for any and all injuries that I may incur and I expressly waive and agree to hold TMA harmless in relation to any and all claims that I, other students, spectators, or any other person might have for any injury regardless of its nature, or effect as a result of my participation at TMA classes or events held or participated in by TMA. 

I further agree to follow all TMA rules and lawful instructions given by TMA instructors or personnel while participating in classes or TMA events. I acknowledge that failure to follow TMA rules and instructions could lead to serious injury to me, other students, instructors, or other persons.  

I authorise, and agree to hold harmless, any medical personnel that may be present at or called to TMA to take any necessary action, should I become injured whilst at training or any other event. 

I warrant that all personal information I have provided to TMA is true and correct and agree to immediately advise TMA if my details change. I agree to indemnify TMA in relation to any damages or loss it suffers or may suffer as a consequence of my personal information being incorrect in any way.  

I represent that I am in good health, that I am not presently and will not participate in any classes or TMA event while under the influence of any drug, medication, or alcohol. I have read and understood every provision of this release and I am legally competent to freely provide this waiver, release and assumption of risk. 

The indemnities and waivers provided in this document shall survive the duration of the event and shall bind me, my heirs, legal personal representatives, successors, and permitted assignees. 

In the event that the Student is under the age of majority, this waiver and agreement shall be signed by a legal guardian of the Student and shall bind the Student and the Student’s legal guardian. 

Warning under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Victoria) Under the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria), several statutory guarantees apply to the supply of certain goods and services. These guarantees mean that the supplier named on this document (being TMA) is required to ensure that the recreational services it supplies to you: 

1. are rendered with due care and skill; and 

2. are reasonably fit for any purpose which you, either expressly or by implication, make known to the supplier; and

3. might reasonably be expected to achieve any result you have made known to the supplier. 

Under section 22 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act, TMA is entitled to ask you to agree that these statutory guarantees do not apply to you. If you sign this document, you will be agreeing that your rights to sue TMA under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 if you are killed or injured because the services provided were not in accordance with these guarantees, are excluded or restricted to the greatest extent permitted by law. 

NOTE: The change to your rights, as set out in this document, does not apply if your death or injury is due to gross negligence on TMA’s part. Gross negligence, in relation to an act or omission, means doing the act or omitting to do an act with reckless disregard, with or without consciousness, for the consequences of the act or omission. See regulation 5 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Regulations 2012 and section 22(3)(b) of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012. 


I expressly agree that in exchange for being permitted to participate in TMA’s activities: 

1. I release from liability, agree never to sue, and hold harmless, to the maximum extent permitted by law TMA, as well as its employees and associates, for any bodily injury or death and for any damage, loss or theft of any personal property which I may incur while on TMA’s premises or which arises from my participation in any TMA activities, regardless of cause, including the alleged negligence, gross negligence, or strict liability of TMA. This includes a release of my rights to sue in relation to the provision of recreational services (as that term is defined in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic)) where the services or recreational activities are not provided in accordance with certain statutory guarantees; and 

2. If I or any legal representative on my behalf files a claim or lawsuit arising out of my participation in any TMA activity, I agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless TMA for any damages, legal fees or costs arising out of such claim or lawsuit. 

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