Competitive fighting is a thrilling collection of disparate sports that all have one thing in common. There’s something impressive about various feats of physical prowess and strategy, but it’s all the more visceral when it resembles combat. However, it does more than resemble fighting, and your body will need to be in tip top shape to be able to land blows and dodge incoming attacks. Likewise, you’ll need to be able to avoid serious injuries, and recovering from lesser injuries is a reality of the sports in question. Here’s what you need to know to survive fight season.


There’s no way to truly avoid injuries in the arena. Like many sports, competitive fighting entails a high degree of risks. Boxers, for example, are known to get “cauliflower ear,” a condition that comes from repeated trauma to the ear. Many athletes at large run the risk of torn ligaments, concussions, and more. Fighters are also no strangers to broken bones, cuts, and bruises. Learning how to avoid injury where possible and how to recover from those that are inevitable is key to making a career out of fighting, or even enjoying a hobby in safety.

Recovery options are many. First and foremost, you need to know how to recognize when it’s time to seek emergency medical care. Concussions, for example, can be incredibly damaging, and a concussed brain might need immediate medical attention. However, in such a case, there’s little you can do for yourself outside of letting someone who can help you know what you need. One of the most important parts of recovering from a concussion is rest, but the potential for internal bleeding or lasting damage can’t be ignored. Broken bones also constitute a medical emergency, while cuts and bruises can easily be treated in most cases. Bleeding can constitute an emergency if it doesn’t stop for an hour or more, but many cuts stop bleeding significantly faster.

On the other hand, the DIY approach can help immensely with many lesser injuries. For example, red light therapy can aid in muscle recovery. Likewise, a sprained ankle can be treated easily and effectively using the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method. Keeping bandages and disinfectant on hand is as basic as it gets, but it bears mention here, because a minor cut can become a major problem if it becomes infected. One of the most effective methods of avoiding injuries has a lot to do with preparation.


Training is a foundational component of any sport. One needs to be able-bodied, first and foremost, but athletes have additional needs beyond that of an average person. However, the scope of those needs can lead to injuries if your training regimen is too harsh, for example. Proper form and safety are crucial during workouts and sparring matches, because improper form is one of the leading causes of stress related injuries. Simply put, you need to move the way your body is designed to move. While that’s a general rule, it becomes all the more crucial when you’re actively working your muscles and, in many cases, deliberately pushing yourself harder and further than your body is ready for. After all, that’s how muscles are built and toned. 

On that note, it’s important to point out the distinction between an athletic workout and a bodybuilding workout. Bodybuilding seeks to build muscle mass, something that is already at odds with the needs of an athlete, because excessive muscle mass can restrict mobility while providing diminishing returns on strength. More importantly, a bodybuilding workout routine is based on intentionally damaging one’s muscles, because this encourages hypertrophy, which is what causes muscles to gain mass. Bodybuilding is therefore fairly dangerous for those who don’t know what they’re doing, and it can lead to misfortune if you’re not careful.

Fighting has long been a thrilling and satisfying sport. but it has its risks. This guide can help you keep yourself in fighting form.

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