View Full Version : Hello from Manchester, UK

25th July 2015, 17:12

My name's Phil, I'm 48 (for a few more days), and I'm returning to martial arts after a long break, and a monstrous bout of weight gain...

I've practiced a few arts over the years, though nothing seriously for a long time.

i started at 13 with a few years of Shotokan karate, then switched to Shukokai for a couple of years.

Next I started a thing called Ling Ch'ia Yogatshu. This is a made up art by a couple of local instructors. I didn't know anything about it at the time, not did I care, because the training was excellent. It's still going, and it's still excellent. One of the guys had a Jujutsu and Judo background, and the other guy had a background in several Chinese styles, including Wing Chun and Hsing-I and Ba-gua. They got together and came up with something that incorporated all of these influences.

I stayed training in that style until around 1990, when I was around 24. Then I went back to school and stopped training completely in order to focus on studies.

I've since practiced some Tai Chi, and also did a couple of years of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu around 2005/6.

Over the last few years I've been battling with weight, and attending gyms to try to get things under control. But nothing in the gym gives me the buzz of a good martial arts training session. My plan was to loose weight, then go back training. A couple of months ago I realised that was daft. Just get back in the dojo, and I bet the weight will come off way quicker than by indoor rowing or sitting on a gym bike!

So about six weeks ago, I found a Shotokan club, and went along for a few weeks. It was good. No. It was great. But two things bothered me.

First, whilst it was Shotokan, it wasn't like my old club (long since defunct - I think I heard my old instructor died some years ago). I mean no disrespect. The instructors were great. The students were sincere. It just didn't feel like my old club.

The second thing that bothered me was my right knee. It had made a crunching noise in the gym about four months ago. Since then, it had been painful to fully flex. Being an idiot, I ignored it. But kneeling at the start of the karate sessions was excruciating. Obviously I still ignored it.

After racking my brains, I remembered the name of the organisation I trained under those 35 years ago, and googling showed that it still exists (Karate Union of Great Britain). And they still have classes in my area.

I went along to one class, and it really felt like coming home. An absolutely superb class. I refrained from kneeling, giving rei from standing, but I REALLY pushed myself in class. The upshot of that lunacy is that I'm now waiting on a physio appointment and an MRI scan, because for two days after the class, I was barely able to walk on my right knee. Stupid.

Anyway, that means I have a massive bubbling enthusiasm, but am staying away from classes until the physio looks at me. The knee is much improved in the meanwhile, but I'm still limping.

I'm really hoping it's something we can address. It doesn't seem to me to be anything as serious as cruciate ligament damage - the location of the pain doesn't match, and the knee - whilst sore - is very stable. So I'm hoping some physio and some sensibility from me will allow me to return to training fairly soon.

In the meanwhile, I'm practising upper body kihon, slow walk throughs of the katas that I remember, figuring out where to plant a makiwara, and doing lots and lots of reading. Hence finding this forum!

Brian Owens
25th July 2015, 21:08
Welcome to E-Budo! Best wishes toward healing.

Tripitaka of AA
25th July 2015, 22:06
That was a great post Phil. I'm sure a lot of readers here could sympathise. Welcome to E-Budo, where you might find some questions and answers to feed the mind while the body is recovering.

26th July 2015, 04:46
Welcome--good luck with the return to training. Let us know how it goes.

30th July 2015, 16:26
Saw the physio today. Definitely not ligament damage, so that's a good thing.

She felt it could possibly be cartilage damage, and I now need to wait for an MRI referral to determine that. However, who also felt there was a good chance it was just some inflammation that might settle down on its own over a couple of months. In the meanwhile I have to refrain from all load bearing or lunging type exercise (including zenkutsudachi).

I have to say, even since my first post, it has improved dramatically. I'm going to continue to be patient and follow orders and see where I end up...

24th August 2015, 19:03
MRI scan is on Wedneaday.

The consultant I saw today is pretty convinced I have damaged cartilage, and will need orthoscopic (keyhole) surgery on the knee.

I'm probably looking at a few months more before I can to my second KUGB class...

In the meanwhile, I' e brushed off my old bokken, fettle do my Iaito, and I'm practicing kirioroshi when whether permits.

I just hope my enthusiasm to re-start training lasts as long as my recovery period...

Cady Goldfield
10th September 2015, 02:23
I hope it turns out well for you. If you can keep up with the low-impact movement using your bokken, that will help keep you limber without putting strain on your knee. Good luck, and please let us know how you're doing.

21st September 2015, 20:05
Finally got the results of the MRI...no op required :)

I've been referred for cortisone injections, and will be visiting a sports physio for advice on how best to ease back into things.

Hopefully, I'll actually be returning to the dojo quite soon!

Brian Owens
21st September 2015, 21:29
Finally got the results of the MRI...no op required :)

That is good news. Best wishes.

11th October 2015, 10:24
I've been told to hold off martial arts for at least another three months :(

Cady Goldfield
12th October 2015, 03:34
Hang in there and take your doctor's advice. You can always do low-impact things that don't involve your knee, but help keep your conditioning overall. Best wishes for a complete and smooth recovery from hereon in!

1st December 2015, 19:03
Around six weeks into the three months of my extended lay-off of my attempt to get back to the dojo.

I've been doing some light legwork in the gym to build strength around the joint, and last weekend I ran through a couple of Heian kata, in fairly short and high stances, and it felt OK.

Another six weeks or so, and maybe I'll be able to resume my resumption!

Cady Goldfield
1st December 2015, 23:12
Every little, careful bit of conditioning and review will help. Best wishes for a complete return to your training.