Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Sensei

I met my New Sensei tonight, so he would know who I was, and why a brown belt was suddenly appearing in his class who couldn't kick and who didn't remember a lot of things.

He said he had knee surgery himself--occasionally he has to shove his rod-supported kneecap back into place (ouch!)--and he encouraged me to work at my own place. He was also very understanding of my anniversary trip to Hawaii: My wife and I were going to Hawaii in the spring to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary--but my knee operation got in the way. We're now planning to go the last week in January, and I promised my wife: no tournaments or black-bet tests until after we're back. New Sensei said, "Yeah, you don't want her to break your other leg." He understood I won't initially be ready to torque that knee or kick with that leg.

He said he wanted me to wear my brace--and thought I should probably even wear it for the black belt test. He said that opponents in grappling at the test could be told to take it easy on my knee.

He told me that there will be, starting in September, a revision to part of the black belt test I passed--punches and kicks have to be demonstrated on pads, to judge their force as well as their form. He's not sure if I'll have to re-take that part of the test yet. I told him I wanted the black belt when he thinks I'm ready, and if that means re-taking that part of the test, that's fine. (As part of this discussion, I learned that we're starting to use Muay Thai pads.)

He said he's a stickler for discipline and order in the class, which I had heard, and which is fine with me. It's preferable, in fact.

He said one option when I'm ready for contact is to attend kickboxing classes but only work on upper body punches and movement, and be with the less experienced classmates.

That's all I can remember at the moment, except that I should get back to core class, that he would help me get the black belt, and that I would need to communicate with him about what I can and can't do.

I was happy with the meeting. I hope I get that knee brace soon so I can get back to class.

P.S.: The Japanese symbols above, according to the Memories of a Gaijin blog, say, "Find a Sensei."

5 comments:

James said...

I'm in a similar position, injured doing muay thai, total rupture of my MCL and damaged ACL (not sure to what extent yet). It's been 5 weeks now and healing is coming on nicely although still on a single crutch. Looks hopeful I won't need surgery, just physio. Can't wait to get back to Muay Thai so arranged with my instructor to commence just boxing initially in private lessons until, as you say, I can pivot and kick without buckling my knee.

BobSpar said...

Good luck, James; it took me a couple of months before I realized I would need surgery. A damaged MCL, I hear, can repair itself (don't know about total rupture); an ACL cannot.

It's so frustrating being out of the action, isn't it?

James said...

It's very frustrating. I started muay thai to lose weight and get fit rather than to compete etc (especially as I'm 34 years old - a bit late in the day to get into competition). Unfortunately I'm putting weight back on now and watching muscle disappear....

You're right, the MCL can heal itself. As there was so much localised damage - torn tissue / cartilage, bruising etc, it hasn't really been possible to gauge the damage to the ACL yet but I'm hopeful.

I'm just trying to keep it slow, it is very tempting to overdo things and in the back of my mind I still recall when my knee buckled after injuring it. It's a horrible feeling having your knee bend to the inside, further amplified by being on stairs at the time.. gulp

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