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tubbydrawers's picture
Injury has caused motivation slack

hi all,

I have read other people's posts of the motivation side of things and not wanting to tack onto theirs, I created my own.

I am in a position of where I have damaged my shoulder to a point now that after having 2 cortisone injections and in the middle of physio I seem to have lost my motivation for training. Let’s go for a brief summary!

I teach a reg once a week class - shared Dojo - Juniors by the way up to age 16. I also - when I can - travel 90 mins for a 90 min class and then it’s about 90 mins back depending on traffic - I do this once a week with a RBSD Group.

For the past few years, even leading up to my 3rd Dan grading last year, the Karate Club I am with are not in line with my thinking. Although I am getting Iain to do a Seminar next year, the lack of interest from my own association is shocking. I don't really want to into too much detail incase they are on here as well! Because of this and the fact that the Karate I was being shown, didn’t really fit in with what I was doing with Iain and the WCA, I started doing an Instructor course with a RBSD group. Now this group is really friendly and I have progressed through their system to a point where I am about 6-9 months away from completing their Instructor Course. This was due to me thinking I was going to open my own club etc with them.

In regards to opening a Dojo, I originally wanted to open one up with my Karate club, where I could teach my own way, Bunkai, WCA stuff but also grade my students under the Karate Association. I have now canned this idea as the politics is getting to me. The class I train in can usually have about 30-40 adults in it, but there are only a handful – say 5 that I have time for, I look at the others and find that some have been graded to Black Belt just because it’s a case of ‘will they get any better‘or that they think that I am too moody to talk to. It’s because of the lack in standards is why I am moody and people do not train serious enough!

My problems have started because since I injured my shoulder, I have now not trained for the past 6 odd months. It’s been on/off. Maybe once a week if that, sometimes it’s not even that.

I am becoming more frustrated because I can’t row, gym or karate or even go to the RBSD. I am so fed up with travelling early 3 hrs to do a 90 min class, just once a week.

On a side note, I have completed the Instructor course under the WCA and completing Bunkai with Iain. And although I am interested in Bunkai etc, where I would train – Karate club – nobody apart from 1 maybe 2 really want to know. So there is no way in knowing if what I know works. That is why I go down the RBSD club, but I am finding it hard to do the distance each week. I am now not going if my shoulder gets bad at work or if my stomach starts to play up – I suffer with many injuries and with IBS something rotten! And I don’t think people realise this when they train with me. At the RBSD a lot of them are 20 yrs younger than me!

I am hoping something will change, whether that’s inside me or whether the shoulder gets better. I am hoping too that people on here will not see this as winging too much but will see the problems of trying to train in an Association with a Karate Club that’s has no interest in what I want to do and a RBSD club that is 90 mins away sometimes maybe even 2 hrs because of the traffic. The Karate Club, I know is not mine, so trying to change 5 or so 4th Dans because I am stroppy will not get me anywhere. I do know I only have a few options: stay and put up, leave and go to the RBSD club or leave both and do my own thing.

What do others think?

tubbydrawers's picture

Hi. Since nobody has offered any advice, I thought I would do an update. I have now had x-rays and an MRI on the shoulder. The actual joint has cysts from either damage or from wear and tear. I have now given up rowing, karate and training withe rbsd group. I don't do any weights now and I have started back running. Even though it's only 5km,I have sore knees afterwards. Due to my right knee having a 10mm hair line Crack under the knee cap. My ankle has a bone spur and is calcified. As you can see I have completed a full stop on training. I think I am going through a stage of feeling worthless and now I do not know what I want to do. Anyway, I better go and get to bed!! It is midnight here in Australia!

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I’m really sorry to hear all that and I know how upsetting it can be when we can’t train. Have you had all of these injuries confirm as permanent? Will the crack under the knee cap heal? Do they have a plan for the cysts? Is there any rehabilitation you can work on? What about cycling? When I busted my knee up that was all the CV training I could do for a while. Have you considered yoga? Great for strength and flexibility. It will keep you “martially fit” too while the injuries heal. Good for frame of mind too I find. Soft kata can also be a great form of training too. Is that possible? Great opportunity to work on detail of technique and slow kata is demanding in its own way too.

I get where you are coming from and people like us need to feel we are making progress at something. You need to avoid getting too despondent though. Negative thoughts get big and bloated when we feed them. Maybe think about all the beneficial things you can do, and be more accepting of the things you can’t do for the moment.

It also sounds like you’ve been overtraining. A chance to reassess and move forward in a more sustainable and beneficial way maybe presenting itself here?

All the best,


AllyWhytock's picture


I empathise with the IBS. I suffer from this and at times it flares up with no apparent reason, until that is,  I realise that I'm getting stressed about something and it could be something innocuous. After being diagnosed with IBS, I learned later that the stomach has neurons, your second little brain, and it is linked to your main brain. So when you start to get stressed, even if you don't realise it, the IBS kicks in. The feed back loop kicks in to the brain and the situation escalates. I find that a bout of IBS can last for more than two weeks after the original stress point. So it takes time to ebb. 

I decided to change my exercise routine and included more early morning running and cycling, which are easy and you don't have to think about them. I do this first thing in the morning, to help kick start the body. This supplements my Karate training, which then involves the normal introspection and self examination, which now I no longer stress about. 

I watch what I eat and when I do indulge, expect the results. Normally I stick to 3 fruit or 3 leafy veg per day (not the 5). I avoid high fibre brans, soft fruit, cereals, milk, honey and anything with fructose (strawberries etc) or artificial sugars. Ironically, a lot of the stuff that is really good for you can irritate the stomach and has to be taken with care. However, everyone reacts differently.

Coincidently, In Kanazawa's Sensei's Black Belt Karate (I think) he has a paragraph talking about stomach and brain connection and how the two work together and his suprise when he learned of stomach neurons too.

Stress is the killer. Your life is what your thoughts make it. I changed my karate direction and I initiated my own club. That was stressful but I have gradually learned to relax more and look after myself. The first part of self defence is protecting yourself from yourself. I find little steps and a gradual progression to my objectives works.

I attracted new people who were interested in the practical, pragmatic, self defence approach. It took time but now our club is ticking along nicely. 

Good luck and take care. Ally