Lack of Conditioning Leads to Injury

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John Giacoletti
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:08 am
Location: Largo, FL

Lack of Conditioning Leads to Injury

Post by John Giacoletti »

Last Wednesday in class a woman injured the knee of her support leg while executing a round house kick in a partner held pad drill.

The Instructor introduced the drills not for the purpose of conditioning but for teaching proper technique (pivoting on the support leg), focus and targeting.

Any time impact and resistance is involved in completing a technique, conditioning or lack of conditioning becomes an issue.

There are some karateka who would regard the back and forth kicking in thigh conditioning as brutal and painful. In my opinion, these students forget the benefit of this conditioning exercise to the kicker. Over time, the kicker is stregthening the tendons and ligaments in his/her kicking leg as well as "conditioning" the partner's thigh.

Had the student more impact kicking experience, she possibly would not have injured herself. One has to practice on one's own doing bag work and/or focus master work (or the old-fashioned makiwara) to thoroughly test and strengthen the arms and legs for punching and kicking.

Without addressing the issue of conditioning, one may unfortunately get injured.

One needs to have a balance in training, performing kicking without and with resistance. Both are necessary for the proper development of form and power.

We found out this week that she will be out at least eight months due to a torn ACL. And that's not at all good news.
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Dana Sheets
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What causes an ACL tear?

Post by Dana Sheets » ... auses.html
Most ACL injuries occur during athletic activity. Often those are non-contact activities with the mechanism of injury usually involving:

* Planting and cutting - the foot is positioned firmly on the ground followed by the leg (and body for that matter) turning one direction or the other. Example: Football or baseball player making a fast cut and changing direction.

* Straight-knee landing - results when the foot strikes the ground with the knee straight. Example: Basketball player coming down after a jump shot or the gymnast landing on a dismount.

* One-step-stop landing with the knee hyperextended - results when the leg abruptly stops while in an over-straightened position. Example: Baseball player sliding into a base with the knee hyperextended with additional force upon hyperextension.

* Pivoting and sudden deceleration resulting from a combination of rapid slowing down and a plant and twist of the foot placing extreme rotation at the knee. Example: Football or soccer player quickly slowing down followed by a quick turn in direction.

About 40% of all individuals experience a "popping" sensation at the time of the injury, which is actually the tearing of the ligament tissue. At least half of all anterior ligament tears also cause injury to one of the menisci of the joint, which may also produce a tearing sensation.

Hyperextension (forceful over-straightening) is most often caused by accidents associated with:
* Skiing
* Volleyball
* Basketball
* Soccer
* Football

Because the ACL becomes taut with inward rotation of the tibia, activities placing any excessive inward rotation of the tibia (usually seen from a plant and twist mechanism) are seen in sports such as:
* Football
* Tennis
* Basketball
* Soccer

Injury to the ACL may occur in other sports such as:
* Wrestling
* Gymnastics
* Martial arts
* Running


# Studies from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have shown that female athletes injure the ACL more frequently than their male counterparts.

# The NCAA data also reports that female basketball and soccer players have a significantly higher incidence of knee injuries in general, and ACL injuries in particular, than their male counterparts.

# This greater incidence of ACL injuries in women probably originates from several interrelated factors such as hamstring-quadriceps strength imbalances, joint laxity, and the use of ankle braces.
Planting and twisting sounds pretty much like a perfect description of a round-house kick. Most martial arts instructors that I've seen do not mention to women that they are at a higher risk for ACL injuries during planting and twisting. I can even say that I've not always remembered to mention this to new students or reminded more experienced female students during training. This added awareness could help women pay attention to the possibility and listen to what their bodies are telling them when they're doing risky things like round-house kicks.
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