Is "Any 'Martial Arts' Secrets to avoid/relieve soreness" on-topic? It seems to fall either in general medicine and health or in alternative/Chinese/herbal medicine. These have historically related to martial arts, but is it really in scope?

I could be convinced by some forms of kappo (rescuscitation) being on-topic, such as reviving someone who has passed out from a choke or had their testicles pushed into their abdominal cavity by an uchimata, since those are directly and specifically related to martial arts practice. But soreness seems like a Chinese medicine question. For instance, dit dao jow is used by martial artists, but isn't it also used generally in pre-industrial Chinese medicine?

Nothing makes it specifically "martial arts". If we apply the standard test--take out "martial arts" and see if the question still stands--it turns out to really be a medical question.

4 Answers 4


It falls under history. Dit da jow is part of the history of many Chinese martial arts, stemming from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and various family recipes are passed through the teachings of the arts.

While I would shy away from answering questions related to it personally unless I could back it up with some sort of science, I have pages of notes on various forms of traditional medicines, poisons, and even magical traditions and rituals from various (Japanese) ryuha that I've studied.

While there would arguably be better places for questions related to it, it does not appear to be a subject distinctly separate from martial arts.


I'm wary of expanding our scope this deep in this direction, for a few reasons. It invites pseudoscience, it invites medical advice, it expands our scope dramatically into all sorts of traditional practices, like bone-setting, herbs, leeches...

I think it's borderline, but just barely off-topic.


It isn't a scope "expansion."

We already have Whats the best way to stop a nose bleed quickly? which has a meta question associated with it. The highest rated answer there (by a large margin) was:

I think once the medical advice is at the point where you need to see a doctor, its off topic. But for basic treatment of typical martial arts injuries, that's right on topic.

The second highest answer on that would like to declare the nose bleed question as off topic, but references What's the recommended way to deal with an injured hamstring while still practicing?, which bares substantial similarity to Any “martial arts” secrets to avoid/relieve soreness? in form.

This matter then got re-evaluated with What exactly constitutes “general” versus “specific” injury treatment? (which started after discussion around kicked in the sternum - tips on healing, time frame? any lingering danger?) where by the highest rated answer the current question on soreness would still be considered on-topic.

I'll also note that, regardless of whether it is a pseduoscience (technically it is more of a quasi-scientific set of related disciplines), martial arts frequently teach these things, for which the question should be explicitly "in scope."

For example: We teach breathwork for when someone has the wind knocked out of them based on ki principles. Regardless of its scientific status, I'd argue that discussion of those techniques–which are as much a part of hapkido as pressure points and pain compliance–is (or at least I'd argue should be) very explicitly "on topic" here.

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    As noted in our community self-eval, the examples you used as not really the best. I think we're tolerating those questions more than anything. Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 16:34
  • As for the nose bleed--I don't think that "soreness" is MA-specific at all. The fact that the remedies are associated with MA is the only link, and stslavik's answer is the strongest argument I've seen in favor on that front. Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 16:35
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    Soreness isn't, but remedies for soreness from a martial arts context most certainly are. We also see several questions–that have been decided to be explicitly on-topic–relating to things that aren't unique to martial arts, but common issues within martial arts practice. Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 16:48

Medicine is traditionally within the scope of martial arts. You're not supposed to only be a fighter, but also a healer. Nowadays practicing and teaching martial arts without a good level of first aid (ie a week long course where people actually fail) would be pretty irresponsible. In the past, bone-setting would be very important as well.

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