Most minor and major injuries provide me with time and motivation (born out of frustration) to rethink where I stand, where I’m going, from high level goals down to the details of day-to-day training.
So, I started reading about injuries in Muay Thai (example) and realized that they happen a lot, more than with judo or grappling. In fact, that’s the fundamental problem with striking arts. If you want to execute the techniques at anywhere close to 100% intensity, you are going to deliver damage to yourself and/or your opponent. There is just no way around that. That’s partially why jiu jitsu and submission grappling is so effective at building great fighters. More than other disciplines, it allows you to train at 100% intensity with a minimal risk of injury, so you can train more often, for longer, and at full intensity.
Of course, when I talk about “risk of injury” I’m assuming both people have extensive experience in the sport and thus have clean, polished technique. For me, in Muay Thai, this is not the case. Arguably, the reason I got injured is that I don’t have extensive experience in holding the pads, and that in itself is an art. The cost of being a beginner in a contact sport is that you are going to have to accept injuries as you learn how to avoid them while amping up the intensity of regular training.
The key is to not let injuries deter you from confident full emergence into the dynamics of the sport. In Muay Thai, too many people seem to get injured, and then start flinching or hesitating every time they hold the pads or in sparring. I guess it boils down to being a tough, crazy, even stupid s.o.b. It’s the wrestling mindset of going harder whenever every reasonable part of your brain is telling you to quit, stop, go home and sit behind a desk reading a book of Convex Optimization or some such other mathy crap. I know I’m not that tough yet, but I’m learning it, and unlike many people that talk about this subject, I believe that it is something that can be learned. Of course, those people usually know a lot more than me, so my belief is on shaky ground, but that’s why life is a bitch.