Monday, April 18, 2011

Sitting Out

Today, I went to Kempo, but I did not attend class. This was VERY difficult for me. The reason I sat out was because of a shoulder injury, I strained my rotator cuff some time last month and have been trying to take it easy on my shoulder. If it feels good, I will work out or attend class, if it doesn't I usually still do these things, but I stay off my shoulder as much as possible because I want it to heal. I don't want to do any permanent damage to it. According to the doc a small amount of exercise is good for my shoulder, and I can work back up to normal activities, but I should be careful with it till all soreness goes away and even after continue to do my exercises for it etc. Yesterday and today my shoulder were REALLY bothering, but I desperately wanted to go to Kempo, so I took the advice found in the injury chapter of "Way to Black Belt" and went to OBSERVE a class.

I think my instructors were a little confused, but they politely agreed to let me sit in the lobby and watch. I tried to pay attention to how the instructor was teaching (as I would like to be a teacher some day myself) and also what the students were doing. How they were standing, how they were moving, etc. I tried pick one student and watch her, as is recommended. She just got her black belt on Sunday and she's one the students I respect the most in the dojo.

I found this exercise incredibly difficult. Not only because it was killing me to sit out, but I found myself paying more attention to the other students and things that I could see that I knew were wrong, trying to re-inforce or remind myself not to do them. Bend your knees more, widen your stance, drop you weight, basic things that I always find myself reminding me to do anyway.

I also think it would helpful for instructors to give more feedback. I don't know how everyone feels about this, but I like it when my instructor gives me a reminder, or pointers, or advice. I find it useful, but our instructors are often pretty quiet. : /

However, I still think it was useful, it is a pretty different experience to sit and watch instead of participating. I would like to come back and watch a class full of high ranking students, but I can't wait to get back on the floor.

Don't let injury keep you out of the dojo or from doing what you love. There is always a way to train around an injury.


  1. Excellent post! Your sentiments can be applied to just about any situation in life, which I love. Sometimes it's best to sit back for a moment and observe. Often we don't do this unless we are forced to, like you with your shoulder injury, because instead we prefer to be DOING things. But observing is always useful and can teach mountains of knowledge if we let it. =) Hope your shoulder heals up soon!

  2. Watching class may be good and all, but I know from personal experience how hard it is to be FORCED to watch from the sidelines because of injury - and it truly sucks.

    Sure, you can learn lots from watching, but it can be uncomfortable as all get out. But don't worry - you'll be back on the mat before you know it, I'm sure. Heal well :-)