Pride Goeth Before the Sprain

In my defense, the kick looked really good right up until things fell apart.

Yesterday I described how I’d sprained my knee by letting over-confidence become no confidence become pain. That all happened at the end of 2001 and I spent the next couple months limping around on a sore left knee. Finally, my knee healed but I’d gained a lot of weight and felt well, I believe the technical term is “blah”. I decided I should start studying karate again. I contacted my karate sensei from Niigata and he put me in touch with a sensei near where I lived.

The dojo was small, basically sensei, another student and me. I got a lot of personal training that way and picked things back up pretty quickly and my confidence returned.

Then, sometime in mid-2002 we got another student, let’s call him Mr. O. The day he started I had to show him a few things like basic punches and kicks, and then watched while my advice was corrected by my sensei. Then we did katas, one of which put lots of stress on my knees.

However, because I was no longer the new guy, I had a burst of confidence that gave way to over-confidence. Eventually, I was told to move off to the side and practice on my own while sensei worked with Mr. O. I took the opportunity to practice kicks.

After several basic kicks, I started working on my high mawashi-geri kicks. The first few, with my left leg, looked good–at the time I could have kicked someone my height in the head–as did the first couple with my right leg. On my third or fourth high kick, my left knee twisted, made a sickening “crunch” sound and gave way. I ended up on the floor swearing at myself for being stupid. (Thinking about that sound and feeling still makes me cringe.)

I sat out the rest of the lesson.

However, me being stupid, I never bothered to go to the hospital to get things checked out. I also stayed in karate for another 13 years which didn’t help my knees much. in my defense, the knee mostly healed but has become a classic “trick knee” that occasionally gives me fits.

I ended up retiring from karate for a while until I can get my knees checked out and worked on. Since I stopped doing karate, my knees have felt great and I haven’t felt the need to rush to the hospital.

But that could just be over-confidence and we know where that leads.

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