I’d Post a Photo But It’s Too Gross

Hematoma, allright. This puppy rivals any bodily insult I ever procured during four years on the pitch. This baby’s measurable, historical, barbaric, down right obtrusive. We’re talking 25% of my forearm, raised and discolored. It’s so bad it looks impossible. No, you’d think. That can’t be real.

Take your right forearm, wrist to elbow, and cut it into quarters. Now, imagine the upper left quadrant, the inside and top of your forearm, and turn it every shade of brown, pink, purple, green you can imagine. Don’t be bashful. Use the whole fucking box of Crayolas. Go outside the lines. Press down hard until the wax starts to split.


That. That. Will give you some inkling of an idea of what this bruise is all about.

I almost drove off the road today just staring at my own forearm as it stretched out before me, my hand griping the steering wheel. I seemed to get lost in the swale of colors, the ungodly pink center, the morphing from top to bottom, the sheer audacity of its surface area. An oncoming car honked and I steered back into my lane. Christ.

I find this quite disturbing. Am I that anemic? Fragile? Maybe, but why the hell didn’t my fellow karateka brush my arm out of the way more thoroughly. Had the first brushblock moved my arm, I’d have maybe a dot-sized bruise here and there from someone’s palm brushing my arm off course. Why didn’t I notice what was happening until it was too late? Why didn’t Hanshi? The brushblocks didn’t block. The full, second-thrown, classical blocks did, bone on bone, and that’s where the damage was done.

I’m no whimp. But I’m no dummy either. There’s got to be a happy medium to train on the tatami. How do I walk in the there tomorrow without simultaneously pouting and raging?

Showing 2 comments
  • "Lis"

    I can bring in some forearm pads for you, if I can track them down in this messy house. Actually, they’re shin guards, but I used ’em as forearm guards once or twice.

    The first time I did any conditioning drills, think Tues night against a 6ft 5in, 290lb man who feels no pain. By the end of the night, I could not make a fist and sprained my right thumb on his gi sleeve. (Don’t ask!) Both my forearms were a sick, squishey blue-brown from a little above the wrist to where the foreare muscles start to bulge out. On the bright side, I never really bruised there that intensely again.

    FYI, (AND REMEMBER THIS!) as the lower belt, YOU control the intensity of the exercise. It is perfectly OK to tell your partner to tone it down, that they are hurting you. Especially when it’s a 17 or 18 yr old young man still in high school. 😛

  • jeannine

    I was going to say something similar to Lis – you have control – you have to speak up and protect your body. It’s yours and you have rights. My brother is like a million-level blackbelt and even ran a shaolin dojo and still he got hurt by other guys, needed breaks, needed to rest and recover. Speak up. Listen to your body. I need to learn this kind of practice as well. Feel better soon, my darling, and don’t let those men at the dojo push you around.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.