Foot? Meet Elbow.

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Attitude, Injury

Ah, another stupid injury. Stick with me long enough and we’ll work our way through body parts in alphabetical order.

This was one of my dumber ones. Working on our side kicks, our partner would hold up Muay Thai pads and we’d give it a good whallop, making sure we got some good momentum and power with the ol’ hips.

Perhaps this is a good time to point out the strange coincidence of a recent post where I polled people about whether they trained barefoot or with footwear. Well, for the record, my school is 100% barefoot. I like it this way but in this particular instance it made for an unfortunate outcome.

I lined up, confident in my kick prowess I’ve been developing in Friday night sparring, and let it rip with a left kick (no switch step). What should have resulted in a vinyl ‘Whaap’ sound was instead a dull ‘Whump’ sound as the top of my foot connected with my partner’s right elbow.


Initially my thought was that I would end up with a good bruise and, in fact, I did. Just not where I expected I chalk this up to the uneducated guess that tight shoes pushed some blood to the surface where it was pressing on the foot the least.

In the end, nothing it broken (I ended up getting an X-Ray later in the week when the bruising got worse) or even fractured.  I will be back in the saddle early this week and can’t wait to get back into it. 

This post isn’t about whining or a call for sympathy. Rather, I have been thinking about how unbridled enthusiasm, bad technique, and overconfidence can be a painful wake-up call on occasion. Karma’s way of saying, “Hey, dummy. Smarten up.” So I will. I think there are a few things I draw from this incident:

  1. When doing practice kicks it is always a good idea to do a few light kicks first to measure out your distance and make sure your foot actually lands where your head thinks it’s going to land.
  2. Never let your training go to your head, making you think you are “all that and a bag of chips”. No, I wasn’t strutting about the dojo, thinking I was a world-class fighter. That’s not me. But I guess I was lulled into a sense that this weren’t no big deal and that my kicks could be taken a bit lightly. That’ll learn me, right?
  3. Be on the lookout for things that can knock you out of training. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go all-in with each and every lesson. It’s more of a acknowledgment that we shouldn’t outsource our safety to the instructor or our partner, assuming that we can just go through a lesson or technique on autopilot.

Now.  Off to get an ice pack for my foot.

  1. […] You will get hurt. Regardless of the safety precautions and no matter how safe you are, you will get hurt. Sometimes it will just be a bruise or scratch here or there (prepare for bruises!) and sometimes it will be a little more serious like a strain, pull, or fracture. This is part of the game and although you should be prepared for it, you shouldn’t be scared. […]

  2. […] takedowns, lots of sparring, bear hugs, chokes, and ground defense. Lots of bruises, bumps, fractures, and other minor injuries but thankfully nothing debilitating. Here’s hoping that trend […]

  3. […] sweaty! When is my next belt? What is testing like? Why is everything so sore? Oh great, another bruise. So much to […]

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