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.