Losing my breath after getting punched
First post at this forum and I apologize in advance if it seems like complete bullshit.
Been training at krav maga for two years.
Good teacher, responsible and definitely very careful, other students too.
Been punched quite a few times all over the body during sparrings, sometimes with protection, sometimes accidentally.
All of those times I just felt some pain and kept going. Some head punches left me a little shaky but again, I continued fighting because the pain was completely tolerable and has became even more so.
But on two ocassions, I've been left completely breathless. Felt like drowning and took me a few minutes to get my bearings. The pain was not too bad, but I just couldn't catch my breath.
In those occasions nothing "serious" in the traditional sense was involved.
One was a takedown that went wrong and I landed on my shoulder. Ended up with nothing more than a light bruising and swelling but during those minutes after the incident I was completely useless. I've been thrown to the floor plenty of times, and aside from occasional soreness, my body has adapted pretty well to the impact on the mat.
The other was blocking a punch that hit me right in the thumb (both my defense and the punch were quite fast) and again, no breath left in me for a few minutes. The muscles beneath the thumb were swollen and sore for a couple of days, but nothing serious to worry about.
Both incidents were not at the begining but around a year and a half after. I've trained almost non stop two hours a day, three times a week. I'm in pretty good shape and have a good diet (no smoking nor drinking in excess EVER).
My teacher has been very emphatic about dealing with pain as something that unless you're seriously injured, shouldn't stop you from keeping fighting. Obviously he never pushed us when we're injured but he's obviously got a point.
So despite being able to endure and shake off most of the pain I've felt during training (sometimes much greater than those two incidents) I can't understand why I felt like that with strikes that weren't even meant to hurt.
Feel free to call me a *****, I don't mind since I know how much I've endured to get to where I am. But I definitely would like to hear opinions and advice about this. Is there a physiological reason? Or is it in the mind?
Thanks in advance.
Welcome to Bullshido!
Originally Posted by Petrus_Carter
I've had the wind knocked out of me many times from getting hit in the midsection during sparring. I'd say that a brief resulting pause is a physiological reaction, and there isn't much to do it about it in the moment that it happens; tho I found that with practice I could recover more quickly and keep moving. Of course, whether you can keep moving is also a function of how hard you get hit.
I've also had fingers and toes jammed badly, and my natural reaction was to stop, breathe, and say "oh ****, not again." Since it's always happened during sparring and not in a real altercation, I did stop the action to prevent worse injury. In a real fight, I would think whether you can keep moving is also a function of experience dealing with a similar situation.
Thank you for the welcome and the advice. Good to know I'm not the only one left like that after a messy punch.
I hope that with more experience I'll the able to handle the pain better,and continue the sparring without almost any delay without risking further injury. Even from pain you end up learning a lot.
Definitely no shame in a physiological reaction to trauma. You were experiencing very genuine shock from a sudden trauma to the body. The brain's neurological system just temporarily shuts down from the sensory overload. Think of a computer that freezes when it gets an onslaught of too many commands simultaneously.
Like was already said, taking your focus willfully (that means consciously and deliberately) away from the point of injury, and making yourself breathe, is the best approach, in my own experience. Yes, a lot of us have been there too. The first few seconds, the shock won't let you breathe, but do the mind distraction thing and draw it away from the trauma. As soon as your breath returns do the deep slow belly breaths. I've found that in time, the lapse between losing your breath and being able to regain it gets smaller and less scary.
Try a kind of "meditation" approach where you intentionally draw breath down deep. Belly breaths slow and steady. It will calm your brain and also provide more oxygen to the brain and circulatory system so you get over the shock quicker. Then take the hell care of the injury before it gets too out of hand! That means anti-inflammatories and rest, plus medical attention of course if it's a dislocation, fracture or other serious owie.
Last edited by Big Klutz; 2/18/2014 4:00pm at .
Hello, welcome to bullshido.
I am still a beginner so take my advice for what it's worth. I have been in similair situations eventhough I don't train your art. The first time I couldn't catch a breath was the first time I got to know the feeling of body blows. I took a knee straight to my liver and my body just shut down (couldn't do nothing but notice i was being throw'n with an great outer reap). No breath, a little strenght and general "wtf is going on'ness".
I don't know if it's the best example but i'll still use it. I had had exam swimming (I study a physical direction in college) and we were judged on technique. I did it perfect but because I was not that good I kept getting less air (I did crawl). Eventually it send my into a full panic for air but i wrestled through it because I knew that feeling. The feeling that you just want to gasp for air and be done with it (mainly because I get beat up in the gym).
So my advice (and this can be "debunked" by a senior/more knowledge member than me) is. Don't get to cought up on it. Big Klutz said it best. You will sometimes get caught in these body blows where you will be gasping for air.
A dude in the gym where I train really likes liver shots/body blows. And what I learned so far is the same as Big Klutz said is the best advice. My method was take 2 steps backs away from his distance, disengage, chin tucked, shoulders raised, right hand chin, left hand a bit forward, breathe 3 times very deep (through your nose) while backing, reset.
You will still feel some after effect with those strikes but will be able to restart.
I could be totally wrong offcource because there are much more qualified members to respond to this BUT in my (limited) expepreciense that's how i deal with these situatuions.
I experienced this very unpleasant feeling last night. I got hit right in the solar plexus and it knocked all the wind out of me. The most frustrating thing was not being able to do anything after it - I was eating shots to the head all night afterwards because I was too gassed to even defend let alone fight back. It was so frustrating and also a little bit saddened because I felt that everything I knew and worked for - I couldn't even use when I needed it the most and seemed futile. I spoke with the instructor afterwards and he gave me some advice about how to avoid and how to prepare for it.
1. I was too square on. Have your body turned to the side. That way you have longer range and your ribs to offer limited protection. It is also easier with your rear hand to cover (your rear elbow should be floating around the solar plexus) the body from most blows.
2. Conditions that area. Use a flat hand and hit yourself there like karate chop. Start light but hard enough so that it connects (you should feel yourself bounce a bit with the force and exhale with the hit) multiple times and gradually increase the force as you get better conditioned.
I think the other guys on this thread have posted some pretty sound advice that I will be taking into consideration so I hope all of this works for us.
I had a similar experience when I was hit in the solar plexus last night. It's not a nice feeling constantly gasping for breath and not even being able to defend let alone hit back. It's frustrating because it doesn't hurt but it debilitates you.
My instructor afterwards gave me this advice
1. Fight with your body more side on. That way you have a longer range and it is easier to cover the body with your rear hand. You also have the additional protection of the ribs.
2. Condition that area. Use a flat hand and hit that area like a karate chop. Start light but hard enough to for it to connect (you should feel yourself bounce a bit and remember to exhale with the hit) and increase the force of the chop when you feel better conditioned.
The advice the other guys have posted on this thread is pretty sound and I will be taking that into consideration as well. Let's hope all this works for us.