Rhabdomyolysys and Martial Arts

Tea or Cola Colored Urine Associated with Rhabdomylosys

One of the most disturbing aspects of the martial arts is the lack of adequate sports safety training among martial arts instructors. Deference to tradition regarding training methods and expectations of performance often blinds instructors to the intrinsic dangers associated with fight training. While it is probably impossible to ameliorate all of the dangers associated with fight training responsible instructors should make every effort to be aware of the symptoms of training related injuries, and related conditions.

Rhabdomylosis is potentially fatal condition coaches and trainers of all sorts should be aware of. It can be caused by excessive exercise, and other activities that traumatize skeletal muscle tissue like katakite, tanren, or even pummeling drills. When pounding and crushing activities are combined with intense physical activity the danger is probably greatest.

Here are a couple of links to articles of rhabdomylosys that may be useful for both instructors and trainees:

Rhabdomyolysis ( /ræbdoʊmaɪoʊlɪsɪs/ or /ræbdoʊmaɪoʊlaɪsɪs/) is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle (Ancient Greek: rhabdomyo-) tissue breaks down rapidly (Greek: –lysis). Breakdown products of damaged muscle cells are released into the bloodstream; some of these, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure.

CAPPA: Athletic Safety First-Rhabdomylosys


5 responses to “Rhabdomyolysys and Martial Arts

  1. Pingback: More on Rhabdomyolysis and Martial Arts « TKRIblog

  2. When I was in basic training a few years ago a fellow private had rhabdomyolysis, he collapsed and was taken to the medical facilities on base. Martial artists around the world who teach martial arts should follow the example of the Wingate Institute, which is Israel’s premier college for physical education and sports science. To be certified by them as a martial arts instructor one does not only not need to be proficient in one’s chosen art but they learn about anatomy and physiology, first aid, sports science, injury prevention, developmental psychology, etc. About 200 hours of training are required to earn an instructor’s certificate (this applies to MMA, Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Karate, etc. )

    • Rhabdo is amazingly common (or maybe not so amazingly) in military recruits. I can’t put my hands on the exact study, but I’ve read in a few places that around 40% of Army recruits show signs of rhabdo of varying levels of severity. Most of this is due to the wildly varying fitness levels of recruits and the need for drill instructors to get people through training.

      • And martial arts instructors everywhere would benefit enormously from the kind of standards you mention above. There are some plain back-asswards ideas about anatomy and physiology out there. It’s like some of these folks refuse to read any information relevant to training unless it was written before 1950. Or they do read current info, then dismiss it and claim “well that’s already in Sanchin etc., it’s been hidden there forever, and we don’t need to do anything else.” Riiiight.

  3. After training martial arts from a young age I came to the conclusion that many systems have deteriorated into organized idolatry and fetishized adoration of past masters without critical thinking about what the goals of training actually are and how to get there in light of modern times. People still practice corny and comical applications of technique that are more appropriate for Bozo the Clown and Benny Hill.

    A post on this blog that is so relevent-

    When I was a young child I was awed by the mystique of so called traditional martial arts, but now I am not. I now understand what their roles were in relation to their background, history and culture. (Anthropology taught me to be holistic in my examination of martial arts).

    I have no desire to really travel to Japan to train (maybe with Hatsumi Sensei, but even then training with him will not ensure I will be better as a martial artist). I do not really see a need to seek out and blindlessly idolize an Oriental master to enrich my life and improve my martial abilities

    I look at the teachings of modern traditional masters such as Morio Higaonna, Masaaki Hatsumi and Morihei Ueshiba in a holistic way. I am not throwing out the baby with the bath water- some of the movements in traditional arts have direct relations to modern day self defense- but only when put in the right context. I used to look at all the forerunners and modern masters such as Funakoshi, Ueshiba, and put them on a pedestal. After reading more into their lives I was brought down to earth and seeing how human they are and how fallible they really are.

    Now I think that Kelly McCann, Rich Dimitri, Marc MacYoung, Geoff Thompson, Sammy Franco, David James (Vee Arnis-Jitsu), Peter Consterdine, Nir Maman, Itay Gil, Jermaine Andre, Avi Nardia, Sam Sade, Llermo Rogers, Paul Vunak, Robert Miller and the entire TKRI organization, Richard Grannon, Dave Turton, Scott Sonnon, Massad Ayoob, Tony Blauer, Richard Ryan, Robb Hamic, and Bill Kipp (and similar instructors like them) are where martial artists should look to for better and proper understanding of martial arts in this generation.

    Judo is one traditional martial art that has been less effected by the fetishization of outmoded exercise methods and training ideals. During the 1950s and 1960s virtually everybody tried to mimic the Japanese in their training methods (and at the same time Donn Draeger introduced weight training to Judo). Then the Russians, who trained without the constraint of tradition, took the world by storm by adapting their recently concocted hybrid grappling art of sambo to judo rules. After that the world saw that they had to train more scientifically and professionally to win in shiai contests. (Isao Inokuma himself I think also decided to crosstrain in Sambo and Wrestling and it helped him win gold medals later on).

    The ‘true believers’ in traditionalism have to wake up and see that their day is long gone and that people are starting to be more astute and aware.

    I conclude this diatribe with the following quote by Ellis Amdur, which I posted before a while back:

    “The line of Araki-ryu that I practiced was true to its own definition of koryu. Even the oldest kata (forms) were ruthlessly examined with an attempt to make them more effective while still retaining the essential character of the school. In addition, new forms and freestyle practice were developed for modern day self-defense, street fighting or combat with improvised weapons. This included practice in methods of unarmed kakuriki (grappling) and kempo (striking with hands and feet). Such innovation was not something particular to this generation. Araki-ryu has always adjusted and adapted to local conditions in each generation and location that it alighted, in keeping with its defining phrase, “Ichi koku, ichi den: In each country/location, one tradition.” My instructor used to say, “If you return to America and simply teach what I taught you, I will consider you a failure. America is different – you will have to teach Amdur-ryu. Call it Araki-ryu if you like, but it will have to be developed so it suits you, and suits your country.”

    Traditional martial artists- take your head out of the sand and realize that its time to be a master of reality than a student of fantasy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s