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You Just Got Punched in The Head, Now What?
You are training or sparring with one of your favorite training partners and you both attempt the same move at the same time. His elbow accidentally contacts your temple and bam! The stars, the flash, and the almost immediate headache force your attention.
You got hit unexpectedly, and you get that flash of stars."Oh my gosh I'm sorry, are you alright?" your partner asks. He has now stopped, he drops his hands. You stop and put your hand up to your head and start walking towards the bathroom. You're going to check for cuts, and just assess your damage and make sure that everything is okay before you continue training. This seems perfectly normal in a lot of training facilities.
There is a bit of a fault to this training habit though. Now obviously, if there is some blatant damage, like blood for instance, you have to stop and prevent the blood from getting on the mats, the equipment, and most importantly, your training partner. I wish I could say keep going through the blood, but I disagree with allowing students to bleed. Blood is considered a bio-hazardous material, and it's always smart to avoid contact with another individual's blood, let's just use common sense here.
Another case would be an obvious broken bone, let's not be silly here. Let's not be excessive. What I am talking about are the occasional bumps and bruises that hurt and are inconvenient. These are a natural part of training. They come with the territory. Do not allow these to interrupt your training. You must work through them, you react how you train. If you keep stopping and interrupting your training because of a little minor inconvenience like an elbow to the head, just ask yourself if the mugger in the street would allow you the same courtesy?
You must train with the mindset that no matter what happens, I am stopping this attack and making it home safely. And sometimes you may even have to explain to your training partner not to stop. I trained at one club where it was considered disrespectful to stop attacking your partner after light contact. Please keep in mind however that all of these individuals exercised control with their techniques.
I agree that in the beginning it may be the first thing you think of when sparring... to stop after getting hit. But this is precisely why we must train this impulse out of us. I'm not suggesting you fight harder or softer, I'm suggesting that nothing changes. You keep going.
If you get dizzy after receiving a blow, tie the person up and try to get them onto the mats. Just remember, bandaging your wounds will come after the altercation, when it is on, it is on. Nothing will stop you from defending yourself with 100% commitment until the threat has been eliminated.
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