Training is Healing


Did I ever tell you about the time I got hit by a semi truck?

What about the time I broke my leg hunting? 

I am no stranger to injury. I have had most of my body operated on at one time or another. It would be easy to think that I get hurt a lot doing Tae Kwon-Do, but that simply isn’t the case. Well… not any more, at least. 

Back in the day, Tae Kwon-Do training was brutal. We trained harder, we fought more viciously, and we did it with next to no protective equipment on our hands, covering our bodies, or even on the floor.

These days, way more people are hurt outside of the dojang than inside of it. If one of our students suffers an injury outside of the dojang, I give them a sticker to put on their cast that says “Non-Tae Kwon-Do-related Injury”, so people know that it didn’t happen here. 

Whether or not the cause for the surgery was Tae Kwon-Do-related, one thing is consistent: my doctors absolutely cannot believe how quickly I recover. 

I attribute this to two things: my body, and my mind

My body is not only in good shape, but it is in the right kind of shape for what I do with it. While I have muscle, I am not overly-muscular. So, I don’t have to carry all of that extra weight around. My body is held together well by my muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are all in good shape. But I also have good blood flow, strong breathing, and tons of energy. 

Energy is rarely talked about as a benefit to recovery, but I believe it is crucial. People who practice martial arts generally have an internal energy that radiates throughout our bodies. That energy can also be extremely helpful in recovery. A surgery that takes the average person six months to recover from, might take a martial artist only two or three. 

For example, I had my hip replacement on a Thursday. I asked to be released the same day, but the doctor knew me, and knew how crazy I am, so he kept me overnight. The next morning, he challenged me to walk up and down a flight of stairs before he would release me. By that afternoon, I was grocery shopping at Wegmans. By the following Monday, I was back in class, teaching. 

A normal person will often rest while healing. Doctors will encourage you to do so. That doesn’t work for a black belt. You don’t achieve anything by not doing anything. If achieving means healing our bodies from surgery, injury, or illness, then you are not going to catch us on the couch while we are convalescing.

One of the main reasons people quit Tae Kwon-Do is injury; be it an actual injury or, for some, merely the threat of injury. They stop coming while they’re recovering, then they stop coming altogether, then they wonder why their recovery is taking so long. Those who do still make the effort to come in and train through their recovery see their bodies heal at a much faster rate. And those tend to be the folks who excel the furthest in Tae Kwon-Do. 

To most people, it may seem counterproductive to train Tae Kwon-Do while you are recovering. But what those people don’t understand is that we aren’t just training while we are recovering, our training is how we recover.

There are many ways to incorporate a modified training into your recovery process. It comes down to attitude. If you are sitting at home, thinking about what you can’t do because of your injury, you’re done. Tae Kwon-Do is all about discovering what you can do. 

Part of the benefit of Tae Kwon-Do is the ability to heal. But the other part is the will to heal.This is where the mind comes into play. Simply put, Black Belts are doers. We will do whatever it takes to achieve our objective, no matter what it is. If healing is the objective, then we will work harder, and employ more resources at our disposal to reach that objective than the average person would. 

I had a student who fell into a coma in New York City. To help, I flew there to see him, and I brought recordings of his green belt class and a pair of headphones. I put the headphones on him while he laid in that coma, and I swear I could see him start sweating. 

He eventually came out of the coma and the first time I saw him, I asked him what I did. He said he knew. He remembered working out, while in a coma! In his mind, he was in class, continuing his training. It helped him out of his coma after three months, and his attitude continues to this day, as he works on the outside of high-rise buildings. 

Talk about mind over matter. 

Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, visit the Contact Us page or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!


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