This thread has been inspired by Iain's updates on his daily training, and his avoidance of things that might aggravate his current injury.
I've had a number of training injuries over the years, and I'm certain I'm not alone. I thought it would be interesting to create a 'lessons learned' thread - where we could get reminders of 'what not to do' to improve our training safety, and also the advice as to how best to train with an injury, to help it recover quickly, and (if any) the benefit gained from the injury.
I'll start with a minor avoidable injury I gained about 20 years ago. At the time I was a young confident brown belt, and particularly confident in my Fudo Dachi. So confident I asked a junior kyu grade to try and sweep me. The resulting full power shin roundhouse kick to the side of my knee was not what I had in mind. It didn't move me (in fact the kicker ended up on his back holding his shin) but it did crack the head of my fibula, which made moving very painful for some time. My training solution was to devote lots of time to slow stance transitions to work the joint. The lesson learned? Always make sure both people in a paired training situation know the exact parameters of the training to be followed. :)
Major injuries? Not a training injury - but something that had a profound affect on my training. I've had two kidney transplants and been on Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis twice http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peritoneal_dialysis for some time while waiting for the transplants. That's posed a few issues. In the first place training following major abdominal surgery is interesting (these days inserting and removing a CAPD catheter is keyhole work - for both of mine I had a 5 inch incision from the naval down (and slightly larger abdominal incisions for the transplants) - you never realise just how continuously you use abdominal muscles until they are cut! In the second place training with a tube sticking out of your abdomen can cause complications. Finally training while anaemic and weak does affect performance and motivation.
Firstly I'd say I was lucky. When I first edged towards dialysis I became too anaemic to carry on with Karate classes and switched to home training, but while on dialysis I had an Aikido teacher who allowed me to continue despite having tubes hanging out of me. I think he accepted that the physical risk of injury in training was lower than the potential psychological injuries in such circumstances of not being able to carry on.
But overall - what did I learn? I learned that even if it is painful, it is better to adopt the correct posture asap rather than hunching over and letting things heal incorrectly. I learned that slow training not only continues to work strength, balance and stamina, but also allows greater evaluation of performance that refines technique. I learned (in my weaker state), that positioning and technique made a huge difference when strength and speed were no longer so available. I think the injuries and the recovery process gave me a greater insight into the importance of good biomechanics. Finally I learned that if you believe in yourself and commit the effort, you can succeed in your goals.