A Conversation for Nociception - Pain

Pain resistance

Post 1

Captain Kebab

It is possible to train oneself to accept pain without showing it, as most people who have done any martial arts training will appreciate. When I first started training we used to do a lot of what was called 'conditioning', which basically consisted of bashing seven bells out of each other. The theory was that this toughened the body.

I'm inclined to believe that it toughened the mind - it still hurt but we learnt that the pain could be accepted and ignored. Obviously, in a fight, this effect is added to by the pain-blocking mechanisms described in the article.

I clearly remember cracking 2 ribs whilst fighting (in the club). When the punch landed it hurt quite a bit, but I'm sure the pain-blocking mechanisms helped dull it. There was no way I was going to show any pain if I could avoid it, so I expressed my (genuine) admiration for the technique and continued the fight. Afterwards, I did our normal cool down exercises and made polite conversation whilst getting changed - by now my side was throbbing badly. It was only when I got into my car that I really allowed myself to feel it though, and I missed training for some weeks because I was so sore.

I am reminded of a favourite comment of my first teacher, 'It's only pain - enjoy it!'

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Pain resistance

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