Martial Arts

All martial arts (by definition) have physical contact between practice partners at some point in their training (ie increasing levels determined by skill/rank). There are hundreds of different arts eg Judo, Karate, Kung-Fu Wu-Shu, Tae Kwan Do, Tai Chi Ch’uan, Aikido, Ba Gwa Cheng, Hwrang Do, Kenjutsu, Hsing-Yi, AikiJujitsu, etc., etc.

Each has a particular technical base, certain “tools” fundamentally which they prefer to use. Some arts strike (punch, kick), some grapple, others “wrestle”, some pin. Heavy physical contact is likely at some juncture it is safe to assume.

My particular question, are PUMPS compatable to arts where heavy physical contact is certain to occur (ie grappling, throwing, “submissions”)?

Any other martial artists (with some diabetes experience: ) in membership???

Hi Stuart,
Welcome to our community. I like your name. It is the same spelling I gave my son. I cannot personally answer your question, but I can tell you what my son has said about using the pump. He is very much into body building, has won some titles, playing football and keeping extremely fit. He will not accept the pump because of the physical activity he does. He says he doesn’t want something taped to him or hanging on him when he is working out. He wants freedom of movement and keeps very tight control of his diabetes with MDI. For him, diabetes is a non issue. He says it is just something that reminds him each day to take extremely good care of his health.
I think each person has to think about what is acceptable to them. The pump is right for some and not for others. I personally choose to keep my MDI’s because I want my grandkids up and down in my arms and on my lap as often as possible. I don’t want anything to get in the way of that or have to be careful because of it and miss holding one of my babies. I wish I could be of more help. If you want me to try to contact my son, just let me know.

Hello Judith

Thank you for the compliment… I look forward to hearing.

Hello Sandra:

Any word from your son?



I do martial Arts with my boyfriend.

Hello Rebekah:

That could give a whole new meaning to the word “fight”… (Stuart’s wife also a martial artist of nearly 30 years, remembering his bruises when they “fought” either as a couple or as practice partners… all depending where you put the “I” in the word (ie mart-I-al or mar-I-tal.)


Hi my name is Graham I am from South Africa I am 22 years old and Have been doing Karate for 16 years and an Instructor for 7. I have been a Diabetic for 6 years now and I would like to be in contact with you. Attached is an article I wrote for a local Diabetic website in South Africa, about Diabetes , Karate and Me. Hope to hear from you!
8570-MeMyselfDiabetes.doc (31 KB)

Hello Graham:

My computer system will not open the link (for reasons I cannot determine). I have the latest version of Word, not nothing I attempted worked. Regardless lets keep attempting this until we do succeed!

I would enjoy speaking with you as well. I’ve got more than a little “seniority” on you diabetes wise but are in similar neighborhoods in terms of martial arts study more or less.


Hello Kate:

Excellent, another person to chat with : ). Kenpo, Mitose’s ? Lots of flavors of that particular art…Lets dance.

My art is classical/fundamentally Okinawan (ie kata) based. Regardless of the fact we do NOT go full contact often the limited degree of free sparring would get my pump kicked around the room like a blessed shuriken! By my kicking or theirs…

Controlled but with meaningful weight regardless. Line drills, simple partner exercises, application work…

I would clip it to my canvas jacket, my belt, my tee shirt (as an experiment) or on the back of the pants. No place I could put it would not be blasted/tugged/ripped out Like most arts we do have physical contact to varying degrees and intensities depending on the exercise.

I could never make it work and to add insult to injury got dangerous DKA for disconnecting for even an hour. More times wearing it than I had in the entire 30 years previously??? The infusion tubing would get ripped off/tangled during grappling exercises

Looking forward to hearing how you coped/place yours…

Hello Kate:

Regardless of what we call the activity (outsiders looking in go JUDIST what are they doing/doing to each other… ; ) and we are still friends afterwards! At the time I looked like a GSW (gun shot wound) or one of the ancient U. Penn Mummies once the set was in place.Never failed something got snagged, grabbed kicked across the floor, etc., etc. and like it or not I had no place to “hide it” given the uniform. As I said we don’t do full-contact very much, but light-medium certainly, regardless as you well know with control.

But I get tripped/reaped onto my back/side the pump got crushed into my lower back, hip wherever it happened to be placed that class… Disconnection and bolus coverage… sounds awfully dangerous. Sugar drops easily 100 points by itself, heavier training, even more. Was not a huge fan of the “blind coverage”, even if ridicilously light to detour DKA. Too many unknowns with way too many woth serious teeth…

But even doing even the most basic group warming-up “line techniques”, the clip typically popped off and the basics were not being done near speed, or power. Simply quick rote and the thing went flying.

In terms of a “case” of some type what’d you have in mind that would not get shifted to becoming a target in front?? I block better than most but the attacks glanced something, shifted something, pulled something connected to something else and the “little beeper” went rolling all by itself…

I was not able to find a workable answer with mine, hense my question for those who do now. have the accessories improved signifigantly for OUR martial purposes…?

Kata application (aka Bunkai) with a pump.on board is a whole new facet of “SECRET movements”…: D Same same with SD, counter attacks, etc., etc. Throws forget it…


I did Isshin-ryu before blowing out my shoulder. That is as Okinowan as you can get! It was a great way to excercise. Not a pumper, so I never had to deal with those issues. I envy those of you who can continue to practice!

Hello Mark:

In point of fact Isshinryu is an American art, being only practiced by 2, 3 schools on Okinawa itself ! The art has all but died there. Here however, its lots of places East Coast primarily but pockets in CA, IL, so forth.

Thanks for contributing regardless though. Diabetes, pump, martial arts… fascinating combinations


I did capoiera for a while, but that was before I was diagnosed. It’s a Brazilian martial art/dance. It has a lot less contact than Asian martial arts, which I like because I’m a pacifist.

Hello Judith:

Any word on the young activist?


Hello Graham:

Hopefully we can connect via PM or by some method. Lets keep attempting it until we succeed.


Helloo Megan:

Capoeira regardless of the “flavor” (eg Angola, Regional, “Contemprary” ) is very much a martial art… pretty, acrobatic and beautiful art but martial none the less.It has qualities of dance, but is “martial” with absolute certainty.

If it helps any I too am a pacifist… I have rarely met anyone who studies for any meaningful time who is not. Not my goal and never was… the object is not bloodlust but to avoid the bleeding… mine, yours… if not guess I should get some strips ehhhh ?


I was doing Angola. It was so much fun - we were learning the songs and even made our own instruments to play in the roda. I like that the “fights” are called games, and that you’re encouraged to be mischevious and cheeky when playing.

I have a friend who does karate, and she shows me all these moves to break people’s noses etc. It’s pretty imitimidating to me. I like that capoiera has none of those! I’m glad to meet a fellow pacifist, it gives me the hope that I can do a martial art and still stick to my principles.

Now that the capoeira classes have ended (our instructor moved away), I’m considering doing aikido. Goju Ryo and Karate are also offered at the university.

Hello Megan:

It is ALL a game until someone gets hit! And it doesn’t hurt me one little bit… ever… unless/until I am!

I have no interest in the “bloodlust” aspect, I am now older than 40, have a family… in truth I never did. My distaste aside I must be able to make conscious choices, active choices and define my boundries; what I will maintain re: views, ideas, personal space, and what I will not.

I propose true self-defense is learning to get out of our own way : ). If you cannot provoke me, I cannot be drawn into “your” universe of self loathing, personal suffering, pain…whatever the case, I know what to do with violence, and neutralize it so that I can get away. I do not need to wear a white hat to be a good martial artist though. Chuck Norris I am not. I do not need to get into it with you/anyone over a stupid maneuver for a parking space, or a place in traffic ahead of me. Don’t need to play with others imbalances to maintain my boundries.

I have never believed the height of any art (worth a darn) was to produce violent people. Exploring ones power is necessary to be able to avoid it IMHV. Never examined, carefully play with the “red zone” with ourselves, and definately against another(s) trying to stop us…

Exploring the ~red zone~ is mandatory to be effective against intended harm.

Choosing any art depends almost exclusively on the teacher. Two different people, two different presentations and the identical art in every other way will not be a good fit for you/I respectively. Be happy to help if you sent/posted a link to any of them. There are many, many different “flavors” of Aikido, Goju Ryu and karate (a name that is in truth a specific art from Okinawa) in general.

Glad to help if I can…

Hello Kate:

How goes the PEACEFUL Kenpo ; ~)

It still “consistant” w/ using a pump? eg Kata applications, intense hands on practice, grabs, throws, chokes, pins… they work w/o the pump definately getting in your way, causing you problems?


Within a few weeks, Labor Day will be over, and the kids will be back in school again. Likewise the fall activities, classes, sports will begin anew as well.

Martial Arts (in whatever form) will be undertaken for the very first time, by tens of thousands of people from very young children to grand parents alike. In that belief, I thought I’d ask again, see if there were any new “Martial Artists” among the membership/guests. Any potential ~martial artists~

There are many different names for many different arts: Aikido, Kempo, BaGwa Ch’ang, Hsing-Yi, Tai-Chi Chuan, Penjat Silat, Tae Kwan Do, Moo Duk Kwan, Kung-Fu, Karate, Aiki-jujitsu, etc

Regardless of the particular art I wanted to re-raise the issue. Is Insulin Pump usage compatable with the heavy physical activity of martial arts?