December 17, 2009

The Reality of our Passion - Injury to Haydn Clasby

From John Will, our brother and teacher in Oz:

In the last few seconds of the last round on the Saturday 12th December, Haydn Clasby from Submission Martial Arts (NZ) suffered a serious injury to his neck. This injury was sustained in a controlled BJJ environment and was a freak accident.

Haydn broke one of his vertebrae in his neck and damaged his C5, C6, C7, he is paralysed from the shoulders down at present. At the end of this week they will operate and put a plate into his neck.

At the moment the Doctors are providing worst-case scenario information to us, but due to the complexity of the injury it is going to be a wait and see. So as we all sit here with all our fingers and toes crossed, the initiative has been taken and an account has been opened in Haydn’s name at Kiwi Bank.

The aim of this account is to provide funds towards the costs of Haydn’s recovery and to help his partner Gen and family as they take extensive time off work to support Haydn during his recovery.

Any contribution no matter how small would be greatly appreciated.

Following are the account details for anyone wanting to contribute.

Haydn Recovery – M E McDonald
38 9000 0109787 02

A paypal donation link has also been set up for anyone overseas wishing to contribute to Haydn’s fund.
Please visit this link to donate!!

All here at NWJJA and Three Harmonies wish the very best for Haydn and his family. Incidents such as these bring a sober moment of reality to something we often do not think about; we are engaging in combat sports which can be very dangerous! From the sounds of it this was just a freak accident, I do not know more specific details.

What I can offer is a few words to contemplate over the next few hours before you hit the mat tonight with your brothers and sisters. As much fun as we have training in the martial arts, as much release we get from our daily grind of stress and anxiety, as much gratification we get from training hard for an upcoming bout... we must always keep in mind our own safety, and the safety of our partners.

Since I have come back from the worlds it seems as if I have a big target painted on my back. Their seems to be an abundance of testosterone and spaziness with some of the people I have sparred with both inside and outside my academies. Perhaps coincidental, these rounds have gotten me a bit dinged up, and quite frankly I have learned very little. Spazy bursts of 120% have left me wondering what I have been doing wrong to deal with such situations, and in the end I become quite defensive in my sparring which is not something I want to become accustomed to.

So I leave you with some food for thought from my experience... think about your partners growth, development, progress, and most of all their health! Sure their are times to go all out, but let us not forget the principles ALL martial arts were founded on: leverage / position / skill. Martial arts were developed so the little guy can be given a fair shot against a bigger, stronger opponent. Their seems to be an overbearing reliance on strength and brute force lately which is stalling the learning of both partners involved, and leaves everyone more susceptible to injury. Leave the ego at the door kids, a tap is not the end of the world and quite frankly sometimes it is the best learning tool.


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