One of my long term martial arts buddies is a really great guy. If you are like me, you meet them now and again; a good solid martial artist. He is a 4th dan in tae kwon do, and at the time training for his 1st dan in ju-jitsu. He once told me that one of the key areas in martial arts is avoiding injuries; good advice I thought. Shortly after, at the age of 35 he had a double hip replacement (yes at 35!). This could be attributed to a genetic pre-disposition, but I have heard such accounts far and wide about similar injuries to martial artists. Judo players for example with knees and toes and even tai chi knee! Since all martial arts, at their heart, are arts for self defence, surely this should include defence against injury by oneself? This idea is certainly included in the code of behaviour of at least one martial arts organisation that I know of (don't do drugs, self harm etc). But what about the training and even the kata or forms we do? Should these be looked at in this light?
My example is Empi. The opening move involves a drop to the left, thus putting, potentially, great pressure on the right knee as one drops. Over time this is likely to cause injury. My question is:
Is any injury suffered, caused by bad practice, and thus should the warnings be given in advance?
Is the technique itself, no matter how it is practised, likely to lead to injury?