What's Your Achilles Heel?

Discussion in 'General Taekwondo Discussions' started by Kevin, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I was wondering if any other members had an achilles heel?

    For me, it's my knees. I got diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter Disease when I was 14. I was a sporty kid so was frustrated at not being able to do exercise for more than a year and has a plaster on each leg for a few months.

    When I was 21 I had to stop training in Taekwondo as my knees were hurting as I was trying to do much. Since then I have been proactive in managing the problem. It can cause the muscles to tighten so I stretch a lot. By developing the quads you can take pressure off the knee but I still feel a little pain when doing high jumps etc (Jumping squats are very painful and I can find it a little difficult to walk properly for 5 minutes afterwards. Kneeling is very painful too so I prefer to sit).

    I was doing a lot of running a few months ago, doing an 8 mile run 2-3 times a week. My knees were sometimes a little sore afterwards but generally speaking it doesn't cause me too many problems any more as I try and not do anything that provokes it.

    The bone which protrudes from my leg is very sensitive though and even a small knock to it can be very painful. The hall I train in at the moment is slippy and a few weeks ago I slipped trying to do a jumping kick and landed on my knee. It was painful but nothing compared to last night.

    Last night our club trained outside. I actually preferred training out in the school yard as there is much more room and it was a great temperature however the concrete ground was more slippy than the hall we usually practice in.

    During sparring I changed partner and got matched with a white belt. I wasn't trying to do anything flashy but I felt right up in the air and landed on my 'Achilles Heel'. I was laughing a little as it was literally the first kick I threw but I was in serious pain. I kept on sparring but was limping badly for a good 15-20 minutes before my leg felt better. It was really sore last night but thankfully, it's not so bad today.

    As you can see from the photo below (thanks iPhone!), I managed to land directly on the bone (known as the patella bone).


    It doesn't look so bad from the other side though it still shows how much the bone protrudes from my leg.


    Well, if any of you ever want to take me down in a real fight, you now know where to kick me haha :)

    What's your achilles heel? Have you had an injury that holds you back in training or something that brings you close to tears if you get hit there (apart from the groin area!) :)

  2. Mick King

    Mick King Member

    Mine is age I still think I'm 20, I can still do everything.Trouble with me is I see the Korean tigers and I want to do what they do (exept the dancing, whats that about anyway), and I don't think I can accept I can't,well I can but should not. Having trouble growing old gracefully.
    lynM likes this.
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    I don't want to grow old gracefully either haha. I'm still in my early 30s but already I feel that my body is holding me back. The mind knows what I should do but the body has other ideas!
    Mick King likes this.
  4. Leighton

    Leighton Member

    Besides the age, mid thirties and the body taken longer to recover from training, I still worry about a torn calf which I sustained during a tournament a few years ago. It took me about 6months to get back to having a good training session again and when I run it still tightens up when warming up. Thankfully this doesn't bring me to tears unlike Kevin's injury above.
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    Ahhhh. A fellow Taekwondo guy with a torn calf!! I was out for about 7-8 months because of it though I still get pain from it when I do too much. Nightmare of an injury.
  6. crdomke

    crdomke New Member

    I began tkd at age 37.5. I don't necessarily have the younger body syndrome. I have bursitis of the hips and arthritis in the spine. I do the tkd to keep myself limber. I find it better than any other previous exercise I have participated in because of the intensity of the stretching. Oh, and I have pins in my 5th right metatarsal from landing a kick wrong, way wrong. TKD is still my favorite thing to do!
    Mick King likes this.
  7. crdomke

    crdomke New Member

    Good Luck with those injuries. Take it easy.
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    Wow. I thought I had some bad injuries. That's fantastic that you are still training despite having pins in your metatarsal. My dad has arthritis in his hands so I know how bad that can be (especially in cold weather).

    Great to have you here :)

  9. Tony73

    Tony73 New Member

    Very Inspirational.
  10. dojo

    dojo Member

    I have some huge problems with my knees too. 12 years ago (a little before I started my MA training) we went hiking on a pretty big mountain in my country. Me, the idiot I am, wanted to show that a city girl can keep up and managed to really 'arrange' my knees. Then I started MA training and 'finished' the job so to say. The cherry on top (for the left knee) was that soon after I also got into an accident (the driver did, but I was on the right seat) and injured the knee. Had a nice black round mark on the patella for months. Right now, even if I can use my legs ok, I still have them pretty tender when there's a change in the weather or if I flex them too much.
  11. David Manning

    David Manning New Member

    I discovered my issue when when breaking with a backwheel kick. A previously unknown heel spur poked a nice hole in my Achilles and tore it a bit. That took about 9 months to recover from.
  12. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    In 1978 while on a night jump in Germany, I had the misfortune of landing in the (y) shape branch of a tree with my left foot being bent all the way up along side of my left shin bone (no bones broken) but I torn all the tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle. It took nine months of physical therapy to be able to get back to what is now normal for me. I still have problems with the left ankle. Master Fahy
  13. lynM

    lynM Member

    Right now it is my left calf. I keep pulling something. Not enough to keep me from practiing, but enough to have to change my rountine (no running for 2 weeks, but I could warm up using the stationary bike). Every once in a while it reacts funny - hurts - and I also noticed some weakness. Sheesh. All of a sudden now, my left big toe is extremely painful - but only when I point it .... what is up with that? I have no clue what I did to it. It hurts like a needle is being inserted along the top. Weird. Luckily, I don't have to point it very much...... I have a chronic neck issue from a car accident and I avoid certain exercises - always asking and looking for alternatives.
  14. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    Going over some of the old posts. It would be interesting to see how people are getting on some 4 years later. Have you needed to slow down your training or are you as active as you were.

  15. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Active Member

    I rely on forward momentum in performing kicking techniques. I am not naturally flexibile but when warm enough and accelerating at the appropriate speed it works. My legs feel heavy too, which is another reason static flexibility poses problems for me. Due to all of this, kicking combinations doesn't work for me. I am much better suited for full contact formats.
  16. northface

    northface New Member

    Diet! When I eat well I train well when I don't I don't :(
  17. slonomo

    slonomo New Member

    I'm late to this party, but I'll respond anyway.

    I started training again at age 37. I am now 43 and almost 2nd Dan. I quit my job and I am a full time instructor now. It's my calling. I'm 5'10, a former power lifter and athlete, began TKD at 266 lbs, now 238 lbs, on my way to 210 lbs lol. Even though I'm a big guy, with gray hair and a gut, my vertical leap is 19" and I'm one of the quicker sparring students at our school, probably the quickest adult (Master's not included). So yes, I overdo it a lot.

    Along my journey I've sprained my left calf 3 times and my right calf 2 times. All of that was from lack of flexibility. I have a herniated L5/S1, even had surgery 7 years ago, so I deal with the pain and back spasms. I have also torn my upper hamstring, it was referred to me as a running back injury from deceleration. Well that took a year to heal totally.

    I also have knee problems, but mostly from tight quads. It seems adults with large leg muscles get what's called "Jumper's Knee". I too have Osgood Schlatter's when I was a kid, but the Jumper's Knee syndrome an extension of this. If you stretch your quads twice a day, stretch your hamstrings and back muscles, your jumper's knee will disappear.

    So I've had my share of injuries. I trained through all of them. When I was injured I just did what I could, sometimes that wasn't very much. But I went to class. I didn't want to fall behind in my journey. So I came to class and continued to study. As I felt better, I'd do more.

    My advice.....DO YOGA. It has saved my life and saved lots of pain. A fully stretched and strengthened body will be less prone to injury and more likely to heal quickly. Also, eat high quality food. Nutrition is very important if you want your body to feel younger and resist injury and have better energy.

    John Hulslander likes this.

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