Tuesday, April 15, 2008

11 Months – Time for a Jump Kick

Today marks eleven months since my ACL surgery.

Monday nights are black belt workouts in the dojo. We decided that we were going to work on open hand kata, sai and bo. The open hand kata we focused on was Chinto. This kata has all the elements of ACL difficulty. There are pivots, heel kicks to the chin, spins, quick directional changes, kosa-dachi, a one-leg kneeling position and a jump kick. We performed the kata together and then took the floor for individual demonstration. I asked the other black belts to watch my kata and look for disparity in my movement. In the past few months, I would walk through the jump kick part because I felt I was not ready. Well, last night I was ready to try a jump kick. It was not my best but it was a jump kick

When I finished the kata, I waited for my review. I was told that there was one spot (the kneeling spot) where there was a noticeable knee issue. A comment was made regarding my kicks. My new ACL is kicking higher than my other leg. It is not a flexibility issue rather a support leg issue. I am not comfortable doing heel kicks to the chin using my new ACL as my support leg. I am thankful that there are black belts in the dojo that will help me fine-tune my kata.

I think my knee has been physically ready to do a jump kick for a while. The issue was that I was not mentally ready to do a jump kick until last night. This injury has proved to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Having the surgery and working hard at rehab is the easy part. The hard part is being able to trust my knee again and letting go of the fear of re-injury.


Nonblond said...

Okay, how strange. You and I both blogged about fear on the same day. I guess I'm not alone! :)

somaserious said...

The fear is the hardest to get over since your body and your mind never want to have that kind of hurt again! Sounds like you're jumping the hurdle, though. I've always wanted to learn Chinto. We had a female shodan (from another school) in our dojo for about two years who knew Chinto. In the shodan shiai in our school she had not yet learned the upper level kata and Sensei allowed her to do one of her own. It was Chinto. What an amazing kata!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your version of this kata sounds way cooler than ours (which my school calls Jin Do). No kneeling or jump-kick in what we do.

More importantly, that's so great that you did the kick. A personal triumph for you, and so encouraging for the rest of us.

Way to go!

Bob M said...

Congrats on doing the jump kick, that's awesome!

Bob M said...

Michele, sorry to double comment, but I wonder, were you wearing a hard brace, a soft brace or none at all?

Michele said...

Thank you for your comments!

Nonblond: It seems that fear is a big part of the recovery. Your post on fear was very informative. Thanks!

Somaserious, Chad: Chinto is one of my favorite kata. During the first weeks of my recovery, I think I asked my PT every session if I would ever get my jump kick back.

Bob: I was wearing my soft Breg Short Runner. This brace has plastic supports on the outside. I have found the DonJoy Armour to be too constricting even though I believe it offers more protection.

Just this morning, I was in a hurry to get dressed for class and I forgot (I cannot believe it) to put my brace on. It was my first attempt at karate without a brace. I only worked on kata and I was a little hesitant. I do not think I am ready to be brace-free.