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The Karate 1-Premier League is nearly upon us. Is injury getting in your way?
April 19th marks the start of the most important league event in the world of Karate - the Karate 1 Premier League. 8 years and counting, the event aims to bring together the best Karate athletes in the world in an open championship of elite level performance.
The 2019 edition comprises of 7 events hosted all over the world. The next 3-day event is taking place in the city of Rabat, Morocco. Once the season has finished, results are added up and the champion of each category is presented with the “Grand Winners” award - one of Karate’s highest honours.
Sadly, even for elite athletes, injury can be a huge barrier to participation and performance.
Most times, an injury is completely unavoidable and an unfortunate part of the sport. However, there are several risk factors that increase your risk of injury: undeveloped technique, skipping a thorough warm up, inexperience and a lack of rest and recovery time between training. These factors all highlight the importance of taking time to reflect on anything that could have been done differently when you got injured.
In the event of an injury, what you do next is critical to your recovery. Stop the activity immediately to prevent further damage. Carrying on for pride’s sake will only increase the likelihood of more recovery time and further complications.
Don’t sit on an injury, seek prompt treatment and consult a professional. Any soft tissue injuries from karate can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Tackling the injury head on rather than putting it off will mean less time out of practice. Plus, an experienced professional will help guide you down the road of fastest recovery.
Any activity that puts direct tension or stress on an injury should be avoided until you’ve made a complete recovery. This is common considering the mental side effects of an injury.
The mental effects of an injury
It’s all too easy to trick ourselves into feeling like we’re ready to dive back into practice when injury still lingers. The determination to practice makes champions but when the desire to train gets in the way of the essential recovery process of an injury, it can create serious complications and even more time out down the line.
The mental effects of an injury cannot be overlooked and are often as difficult as the physical effects. Elite athletes, such as Karate World Champion Jordan Thomas, know the detrimental psychological effects of injury all too well. A shot at their dreams can be shattered in seconds from injury.
Jordan has had to deal with eye and knee ligament injuries getting in the way of his training and competition. But just like doctors telling him he wouldn’t walk again after breaking his leg at age 2, patience and perseverance in the face of adversity turned him into the champion he is today. Jordan is determined to return stronger and make the 2020 Olympics.
Injuries are some of the greatest challenges karate athletes at every level face. As Jordan’s case shows, acting sensibly and patiently from the moment an injury occurs goes a long way to a faster recovery and building an even greater athlete.
You don’t have to compete in the Karate 1-Premier League to enjoy the sport. If you participate in Karate, or any other contact sport, make sure you’re equipped with one of our self-fit sports mouthguards. You can shop by sport, level of protection, or age here.