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  Topic: Injuries.... (mostly self inflicted)
  Pe Liso
  2007-08-18 20:26:39
I couldn't find a coherent thread for this and have seen some good stuff written on the East Auckland classes amongst others and it seems a worthy topic of discussion (especially what you did/ are doing to remedy the situation).
For years I thought practicing Capoeira and pain in the lower back was a package deal and It wasn't until i couldn't walk for a week that I learned about discs and taking the pressure off. Now I can happily say that I enjoy the movements with pleasure- sure I am not practicing as much as I once was but hey Quality/Quantity ?
Capoeira can have massive effects on our health and this can swing from bad to good or vice versa...
So what are those mystical powers you attained from an ancient Tibetan on top of a mountain that healed your severed spinal cord after you had fallen into a crevasse?
I know theres a few good stories out there....
  2007-08-20 14:14:27
Hey Pe Liso...Good choice of thread. I've been sorta working on a piece for the newsletter on this topic, but I might as well throw some thoughts in here too.

I think I'm fairly lucky in that I have yet to have any really serious injuries... The worst I've done has been the strained AC joint in my shoulder which was pretty bad and has kept me from training properly for about the last 13 weeks... I took about 6 or 7 whole weeks completely off it, but have been working my way back up over that remainder. The worst part is I don't even know how I did it, except that I must've landed funny to start off with, but it didn't get serious until I slept on it funny. What a lame story, lol. Certainly doesn't hold it's own against trying to do a mortal and bailing at the last minute to avoid risking landing on children, and dislocating one's elbow...huh? lol.

I think capoeira is a great activity to be injured in. Wait, that might not make sense... what I mean is that there are so many other levels to capoeira that even if you are injured, you can still participate/contribute/learn. Even while I couldn't play I still came to classes, did what I could one-handed, played music and just watched... I spent a lot of time observing and discovered that it is in fact possible for your game to develop even if you can't physically play (thanks Feiticeiro...yes, you were right about that too... but I was right about 'pronunciation' so ha!). SO I think, in that respect, capoeira is cool... I could never really go to karate and do what I could one handed, or anything on the sidelines if I was injured, so yeah. Oh, and it also gave me a chance to get a bit of practice teaching and explaining things to people...and forced me to be more vocal and say things since I couldn't physically do them, which was also good :). It can be quite hard to come to training and not train if you're really passionate about something, and I certainly found it hard to not get over-excited and go nuts once I started being able to use my arm a little again, so I did try to limit the number of classes I went to, or how hard I pushed myself in class to manage that.

I think the hardest part of this for me was the occasionally getting down or feeling like my shoulder was getting worse, or wasn't gonna get better thing. Injuries can have quite an impact on you mentally/emotionally I guess, especially in an art like capoeira where people tend to be so holistically involved... But I definitely found that my mental/emotional state impacted considerably on my injury too. The day I decided to be real positive and believe my shoulder was gonna get fully better, and that it didn't matter how long it'd take as long as I did all I could to help it, it actually started to make much better progress... Sure, maybe it's all in my head, but what does it matter if it makes my shoulder feel better. Mind over matter I say.

My 45c... Sorry it's long, but if I put something in A cabessada I'm only gonna get about 180 words so I'm making the most of it here :P

  2007-08-20 22:45:56
Glad to hear your shoulders on the up Sista.
I would say from a nursing and years of exercise point of view,the only way to avoid injury in any form of training is effective warm up and pre and post stretching.
I would love it if we did a cool down stretch aspect of our classes instead of just me in the corner looking like a contortionist,its one of my favourite parts of any training and my body deff feels the benefits.
  2007-08-20 23:53:18
Nice to see you active on the boards Pe Liso ;-)

I totally agree with Rachel about warming up and stretching. In Brazil I found that hardly any of the groups did a warm up or post training stretch, yet there were fewer injuries than over here. However, I think this is due to the climate. In a tropical climate (like Bahia) muscles don't seize up the way they do in cold old Aotearoa. I found that in Brazil my muscles stayed loose without stretching after class and were warm enough at the start of class to just get straight into things; back here I feel I benefit a lot from a decent warm up and post class stretch. I've had fewer neck/back problems since I started stretching after class.

My worst injury was to my elbow back in 2001 messing around with some acrobatics on the beach. I didn't let it heal properly and went back to training and playing and it was always there niggling at me for a year and a half until I injured it again. At that point I decided to rest it and get some physio. After about 5 weeks I gradually started training again (at the suggestion of my physiotherapist) and it hasn't bothered me since. The moral of the story is give your injuries the time and treatment they need to recover. I know how frustrating it can be to stop training and playing, but as Rastinha said, there are lots of other things you can do while you give your body the time it needs.

The other majory injury I suffered was in the Himalayas when I attempted to ascend mount Everest using only backflips. When I was 30 metres from the summit I landed a backflip on a ledge that turned out to be nothing but snow and I slipped and fell into a crevasse. As luck would have it I was rescued by an Ancient Tibetan enchanter who helped me attain mystical powers that healed my severed spinal cord...
  2007-08-21 01:14:44
I broke my arm one time at K'Rd with a bunch of folks but it just seemed that the whole thing was really good for me.

This happened to be just before I left to go to Brasil. I was bummed, but not really, cos I really wanted to sing (much better) and up until then I could only sing a few songs. O sim sim sim o nao nao nao (one of my favourites)

Brabo thought it was pretty funny and used to hassle me when he was singing, I loved it!?! it was a kinda of mandinga hassle, ya know. So I left the country and sulked in Brasil.

I went to Bahia afterward and saw this guy singing Bimba stuff, it sounded sort of older and less structured than a lot of the melodies I heard before. It kind of always stuck with me a being a rhythm was so alive and present. I was sold, this guy�s got axe. �Bom bom bom� thought Mugunza.

Since then I've developed this real interest about the berimbau and the bateria and it's syncopation that I confess I don't know much about it.

Anyways by the time I got around to playing my capoeira had changed particularly the swing in capoeira. These things were really helped by how Mestre Joao Grande was describing good movement, he spoke of similar things in the music.

Now, a good jam with someone is as good as a fantastic game and its great way to warm up and to me just as important if not more.
  2007-08-21 03:28:21

Self-inflicted injury, eh? *grin*

Well, I dislocated my shoulder just before Encounter, talk about bad timing! Went to physio and all that jazz, and it's still not as reliable as my uninjured shoulder. All the frustration and feeling down that Rastinha mentioned, I felt them too. Doubled, perhaps. I watched how Feiticeiro recover from his dislocated elbow and I was sooooo envious :-) but Zigue Zague is correct: there are lots of things that we can do while the body is recovering.

The thing is that my injury was on top of something else, which is, unfortunately, neither self-inflicted nor recuperating. My health swung from good to bad, but somehow being a part of capoeira makes me feel good :-)

I went to class to train as much as I could ... up to a point when I couldn't train anymore so I went to class to play music, help Labareda with money matters, make snacks for after-roda time, make notes about movements and sequencias (in hope that I'll practise them later), learn new song, make minutes of meeting, babysit Iemaja, take pictures, shoot video, help in the kitchen, and so on and so forth. It's such a joy to participate, to do something, anything!

However, as Rastinha said, it is very very hard to come to training and yet NOT train. I have to admit that sometimes I felt guilty for not actually doing capoeira and/or making progress. So, from time to time, I forced myself to train or play in a roda (a very short one, mind you). Enigma had to literally command me, or gave me a certain look, to stop me!

At the end of the day, I think we are very fortunate that our Mestre is a very considerate person. He never demands for something that we can't do, especially we who are injured and thus temporarily physically challenged. In fact, he encourages us to listen to the body and take a break when we need to. I think we are also very fortunate that lots of people take time to share their stories and experiences in this forum, even give advices.

As I lie down here, writing this, I can't tell you how glad I am for all those pics I took, video I shot, lyrics I jotted down, songs I downloaded, sketches I made. The only thing that could stop us from learning is ourselves.

O, come all ye injured, don't despair. All in good time :-)
  2007-08-23 13:17:41
I have totally noticed the climate thing i have so many less problems with silly strains and pains now i am living somewere its warm i recommend moving. and i only miss wellington very occasionally, if at all, especially at this time of the year when i am already going for a swim after work in the bay next to the school.
  2007-08-23 13:39:06
Oh... Nice man... It feels like summer is finally on the way here too, just for today maybe. Sun in the sky...warm out... Probably won't last. I usually look forward to around October here when the weather starts to feel ok again. But I'm really looking forward to summer summer when we have parihaka and soundsplash and all those other fun in the sun type weekends and festivals and stuff :D. I think warmer weather will be good for my shoulder too, that's probably why it's taking it's time... My muscles are struggling to not seize up and put extra strain on the joint. So I'll just keep on taking it easy until it can take it and hope that warmer weather will be good for it, if it ever comes and sticks around for more than a day :)

Cool to hear about everyone else's experiences... Sucks that we all get injured but it's nice to hear about what everyone has learned from them and how they've dealt with them etc.
  2007-08-25 08:54:15

Hey here is a link to something related to this topic... sorry I don't have much time at the moment to post something proper up here... I haven't even watched this video properly yet but its about a mestre who went blind a few years ago, but doesn't let that stop him... hmm I remember someone telling me about this guy or this video... anyways, talk to you all later on here.
  2007-08-26 18:01:52
Injuries . . .hmmm

It seemed in Rochester that I was always hurting one thing or another.
I think partially it was climate (it gets bloody cold in NY), and partly the way I was pushing myself. I was training Capoeira, kickboxing, and yoga; doing something almost every day, and sometimes multiple classes in one day.

Usually, when i did injure something, I did not give myself a chance to heal, and then would injure something else trying to compensate for the first one. (This is something I do not suggest to others)

As for worst injury, I was playing Capoeira for a couple months when I broke my toe in roda (well it kinda got broken for me) . . . Just imagine two beginners is roda trying to do Armada's as fast and as hard as the can because they thought they were being cool and bad ass.

If you have never broke a toe before, count yourself lucky, and if you have you know that it hurts way too much for such a little bone and does not heal quickly. It was about a month before my Batizado as well, and lets just say that I was a bit gimpy getting my cordao verde. :0(

Essentially I took some time off training kicks, but like Rasintha and others pointed out, spent that time learning music and how to play the Pandeiro. This is really when i fell in love with the music side of Capoeira. The are so many wonderful aspects of Capoeira that an injury should not keep you from participating and growing as a Capoeirista.
  2007-08-30 04:27:29
Hi all, comin at ya at one in the morning from a disused ballroom in the Hotel New Akao, Atami, Japan. I am presently the resident dinner show magician here - magics all about the malicia!

ha, anyway, to the point _

I find the concept of injury fascinatinfg. I mean, fascinating.
being a dancer, injury prevention and management is a serious part of my daily life, and I've been injured plenty times!
This may sound cliched, but every injury is an oppurtunity for further discovery about oneself and ones body. Generally speaking an injury is a signal from the body asking you to reassess the way you move or the way you think.
If you have injured a part of your body, chances are you don't know how it works!
A generic perspective shift I have experienced personally is how I view an injured body part. I used to see it almost as an enemy - something keeping me from my desires for awesomeness, a saboteur whose treachery rendered the entire body aimless and depressive. Injuries (and the injured) can be very emotional, no?
Nowadays I see it more the other way around: if a body part is injured, it needs the support of the rest of the body, the emotions, and the mind. that may sound vague, so I will elaborate in a practical manner (sorry if I write boring):
Rather than focussing on the injury, feel for the rest of the body, feel for the working whole and its inherent axe. let the injury be part of this functional, healthy feeling. remember the "injury" is still part of the body, a part that needs love. seek to accept and understand it. exert the greatest sum and subtleness of awareness you can muster (when you can be bothered!) in your effort to untangle what is, in the end, a wonderful oppurtunity to feel yourself.
I've always found awareness based movement practices like feldenkrais to be of paricular interest in this area.

Anyway, hope my thoughts are somehow relevant.
Looking forward to coming home, and maybe even coming to a class! ha ha


  Pe Liso
  2007-08-31 13:48:52
Oi Mugunza - I remember rubbing your wrist and you were like - "yeah its just a sprain" but you went off and it was broken - I felt pretty stink as I think we were spotting you in the backflip - oops!
anyway good to hear it was a mixed Bencao!
  2007-08-31 20:54:15
Yeah woops, about that old one eh?

Yeah well, it was like was Damien said from Chinas group was said at the time, if ya get served up a lemon then turn it into lemonade. I really miss that bloke, he's sounds as. Last I heard he moved out to Maretai and shacked up with his misses.

Anyways are you still training or what's the deal? I heard you've been visiting the odd roda and stuff and i take it you're working with the compass crowd?
  Cai Cai
  2007-09-01 17:17:45
owie i hurt my wrist last night!
  2007-09-12 14:51:52
Elbow to the nose during a Roda...can someone say ouch!!
  2007-09-12 16:34:17
Out with a twisted ankle; self inflected cause no one twists my ankles but me!
Pulled a tendon I think.
Going for the ACC physio option to begin with if that doesn't work its off to my chinese doctor.
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