Testing Exceptions due to injury/age

Discussion in 'General Taekwondo Discussions' started by Diamond78, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Diamond78

    Diamond78 New Member

    I am curious for those that have sparring as a part of testing - would you or do you make exceptions due to knowledge of a prior injury and/or age?

    I am recovering from an ACL reconstruction and think I could test forms/technique after about 7 months of recovery, but I am not so sure on the sparring part.

    Similarly in my club there is a guy that has had several back surgeries and while he is excellent in forms/technique - could really be injured if someone hits him wrong sparring.

  2. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    Obviously this is a question for your instructor/sr. instructor. Different schools will have different standards.

    If you have consistently demonstrated in class quality free fighting technique, I would not be surprised if your instructor would give you a pass on that activity.

    As far as the student with the damaged back. If it is something that isn't going to go away, they really need to evaluate their physical activity as a whole.

    This is a topic that comes up often in Taekwondo and I imagine in other martial arts. Can anyone earn a black belt, even if they have physical/mental issues that they can do nothing about?

    I don't know that I have a good answer to this question. I do know that I have several students with various physical issues and our GM is comfortable promoting them. He generally looks at their test to see if they know what they are supposed to know and if their physical ability to perform is consistently improving.

    I know this isn't the reply you necessarily want, but it is where I am on this matter.
    ssiidd likes this.
  3. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    I have had numerous injuries over the last two years and although I have done my best to look after them I have also made an effort to train as consistently as possible. Talking to various instructors, sharing concerns similar to yours, what I have been told is it is the individuals journey that is taken into account - perseverance and such ... some days I have not been able to train, I have just sat and watched the session.

    I have a foot injury at the moment and a grading just around the corner. I cannot do any cardio or endurance based exercises until after the test, so I continue to work on what I can. My instructors are aware of my situation and have already given me a reality check that it might be wise to not sit the test until I am back in the game :(

    I will continue training and be careful not to aggravate the injury. Will decide nearer to the time whether to sit or skip. Being stubborn I might play safe now and break it grading day but hey that's me ...

    At the end of the day, you know your body. Don't lose sight of your goals, it is worth working for a long fun TKD future. Even if it means taking things slow, it will be worth it in the long run!

    John Hulslander likes this.
  4. Pat Thomson

    Pat Thomson Member

    If you can do what you say you can, Im sure they will grade you. If they are like me, they will probably be a bit tougher on the techniques as you will not be sparring due to injury. However say you get to sitting for your black belt, I would wait until after you are fully recovered as I know our GM would expect some sparring. As for the back injury, its more up to the bearer of the injury. He has to protect it, If its not safe to spar he should look into how to make it safer etc
  5. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    It all depends on the mentality of the club, I think. Do they just want to promote people who have the potential to promote their club at tournies or do they want to their students to be confident students who exhibit perseverance, indomitable spirit, integrity, honesty, etc in life. Frankly, if any person is held back, that is a student that could be lost.

    Get the the yah or nay from a doctor/surgeon with experience in kinesiology and such. You may just have developed a fear of reinjuring it. I had the same idea after 11 years off and a heart attack 2 months before returning to my Kong Shin Bup hkd. My cardiologist said "I don't know anything about martial arts. Don't do it." I did not listen, but I knew enough to take it easy.

    The final sign of smarts: get a professional opinion about the state of the injury and inform the doctor the testing process. Testing will still be there on the next round, too.
    John Hulslander likes this.
  6. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    Diamond78, I have had several students over the years with handicaps that have been promoted to Black Belt eventually. If you have an injury, I would require something from your Doctor saying that you can or can not participate, what extent you can or can not participate. I have a few students right now that have such injuries to prevent them from doing breaking techniques or sparring techniques (some of these students have temporary conditions others have permanent ones). If they can participate they do within their limits, if not they sit it out until the next grading or test. Students who have permanent injuries/disabilities continue to their limit what ever that is. People don't really understand martial arts...Everyone thinks you must be undefeated, break ten bricks at a time or jump and do triple summersaults in the air before landing in a split. Martial arts are about making one a better person....not Superman! I make students do what is within their limits not mine or someone else's. Yes, you learn self-defense and how to take care of yourself. You also learn to show others how to reach their limits as well. I have military and sport injuries that limit me as well....I'm still doing what I can after 45 years in martial arts. Master Fahy
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014

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