Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Judo bruisers

Somebody hit upon my blog the other day with the search term, “bruising in judo.” That certainly brings back un-fond memories. Back in the day when I was first learning to fall, I would have these huge bruises on the sides of my hips and thighs from falling and I would have hand-shaped bruises on my upper arms and chest from people grabbing for sleeve and pinching flesh. Abrasions (mat-burn or gi-burn) on the knuckles and feet and forehead and neck were common too. This abrasion and bruising was a perpetual thing. It lasted for years. I would often have overlapping areas of purple, blue-green, and yellow bruises all in different stages of recovery.
So far as I know, this bruising was common to most everyone who did judo and it was benign, though I’ve wondered about the possibility of impact hemolytic anemia in judoka (BTW, that would be a great medical study to run if anyone wants to give me credit for the idea.)
But anyway, in answer to the question implied by that search term, bruising in judo is common, normal, and probably benign in young judoka who play rough. Abrasions, on the other hand, can become seriously infected. If you get mat burn or gi burn a lot, keep your mats as clean as possible and keep a can of Solarcaine (or other spray antiseptic) handy in the dojo.

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