Thursday, July 10, 2008

Well healed

Today's core class was quite a bit of fun. We worked on slow kick drills for side kicks, worked with body shields on a variety of side kicks, and finally grabbed hand pads and tried out 360 round kicks.

One of the drills was on a step-through side kick. From a fighting stance, the rear leg is brought up and cocked with a 90-degree bend (hip rotation is a BIG part of this one) while the front leg rotates 180 degrees to support you, then the kick is delivered like a typical side kick. Besides hip rotation, that supporting leg and foot MUST get full rotation to be effective.

My instructor related that this particular kick tore the ACL of the school's owner long ago when he failed to rotate his supporting leg! As we worked on them, he declared that if I could deliver step-through side kicks, I must be well-healed.

Later we added a combo of step-through side kick with a turning back kick. The result is that you almost pivot the kicking leg as it strikes your opponent, turning and swapping legs to deliver the second kick. An interesting and very challenging combo, but not practical in sparring except as a final shot since it eats up a lot of energy.

For fun we turned to 360 round kicks. Take a typical tornado kick, tilt your axis of rotation back maybe 30 degrees from vertical and add more hip rotation--presto, a 360 round kick. Being somewhat adept at tornado kicks, this came to me quickly after just a few tries. Man, did those pads make some nice, thunderous pops, quite fun to do!

My sister came to town for a Triathlon this Saturday that the family team is participating in. I invited her to watch sparring class back on Monday, and unknown to me she was shooting short videos with her digital still camera. We had fun later that night analyzing the clashes frame-by-frame. I was really happy to see Danny Longlegs get into using his hands much more, and I managed to best him 1-2-3 in our last clash by sneaking quick jabbing side kicks under his guard.

Tonight made me feel quite well healed, though not necessarily fully recovered. I'd put myself at, oh, 90% since I'm still a bit stiff in the mornings!

Here's a question for ACL recoverees: How did or how will you gauge your recovery?


Michele said...

Well healed - good for you!

How did I gauge my recovery?
The ability to go up and down stairs without thought or a handrail was my gauge for normal daily activities. As far as karate, it was the ability to stand up from a one-leg kneeling position and the ability to sink into a cat stance.

BobSpar said...

Hey, Hack, sounds like your amazing recovery continues--including the healing of your mind, if you're going into kicks like that without hesitation.

With Michele, I'd say stairs were a big step for normal activity--especially going downstairs, which was tougher.

In martial arts, just returning to sparring and grappling were my biggest indicators of recovery.

As for feeling stiff in the morning, well, you young middle-ager, it's only just beginning.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hmm, well, I guess I'm thinking that when I see the surgeon and he clears me for karate, I'll have recovered.

But maybe it won't be until I and my knee pass my next brown belt exam.