Breakin my toe.

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by Pedantix, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Pedantix

    Pedantix Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    We sparr karate/kickboxing twice a week pretty aggressively. We obviously are not trying to hurt each other, but as it is a contact sport, accidents do tend to happen as I'm sure you're all aware.

    One of my favorite techniques, and a favorite around our dojo, is our mi giri, or front kick. The way we do it is to Snap it in with the ball of the foot with the toes curled back, as to create a quick penetrating strike as opposed to a flat footed push kick style front kick. It works well in many situations, to keep your opponent off of you if he is aggressive, to condition your opponent for other techniques, to set other things up, or for many other reasons. We sometimes call it our leg jab, as it is a quick set up technique that goes straight in and straight out (like a normal jab).

    On the defensive side of things, one of the things we drill over and over is picking off the kicks. In the case of a kick to the abdomen we are taught to just rotate the body slightly in the direction of the kick and pick them off with our elbows. This works well. Infact, this works so well, that it's painful...

    It seems every time I sparr I end up getting my mi giris picked off and, being as my toes are curled back to expose the ball of my foot, jamming my big toe back to all hell. When they get in and connect, they are very effective, but when they are blocked, it hurts. Its very rarely that my toes are in good condition when I have been sparring regularly. Often times I end up turning my mi giri into a yoko giri (side kick) part way through the kick so as to put my sakuto (sword edge of the foot) in instead so that if its picked off it won't bend my toes. This is fine, and it is still effective (sometimes even more so), but it's not what I'm looking to put in.

    Does anyone else use similar techniques and have any advise to offer? Also, in between time I usually just wrap my big toe to the toe next to it to keep it straight and put some arnica on it to aid its healing. Is there any better things I can be doing for it? Stretching it in a certain way, putting different ointment on it, anything like that?

    I appreciate the help, thanks guys!
     
  2. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    Isshin-Ryu uses the Mae Geri kick. We practice it quite a bit. For us it is a front snap kick from a fully chambered position, not a push kick (not a heel thrust kick).

    Our foot looks like this:

    http://okiblog.com/2011/02/mae-geri/

    I have not had trouble with my toe getting jammed. On the other hand, I broke a toe when I was new and I kicked the bag with my toe not curled up.

    We usually aim our mae geri kicks at targets below the waist. I can kick higher, but there is usually not much reason that I can see to do that. One, it can get picked off (as you said) and two, it's a penetrating kick. Useful against the groin or knees, etc. I would not use it to keep distance or kick someone in the chest, I guess. That's what a heel thrust kick is for. I could maybe snap kick someone my own height in the face, but I would not really want to try. You need too much distance; you're too far away to connect. If you want to kick them in the head, kick them in the groin and then in the head when they bend over.

    As you said, you can pivot your hip and turn a mae geri into a yoko geri; I've done that and it works. But it's a different kind of kick; instead of being a snap penetrating kick, it does push away, albeit with a snapping motion. Great for knocking 'em back and then going in after with another or a different technique.

    Another we practice is the transition from mae geri to a couple of other kicks. You can launch a mae geri and either feint or actually throw it, and then when rechambering, throw it again. You can turn the second kick into a yoko geri, or a kind of a mawashi geri (roundhouse), or, for fun, you can turn your hip hard and throw the kick again in a chopping motion down on their collar bone. I'm not talking about an ax kick here; you don't strike with the heel. You actually have to turn your hip over hard, turn your grounded foot away, and now when you recock your leg, it's going UP and not back. Your knee is pointed down, and aimed at the opponent, your foot is slightly over their shoulder, toes pointed at their neck. You throw the mae geri snap - but it's going DOWN and not UP. Catch their collar bone with your ankle or the top of your foot as you kick, the movement is down and in.

    I don't know if there is a name for this kick. Our sensei calls is a 'flip kick' or sometimes a 'walking away kick.' It does kind of look like you are unhappy with your mae geri and you're turning to walk away, but with your back nearly turned to the opponent (but still looking at them, obviously), you 'flip' the foot out over their shoulder and bring it crashing down on them. Like an ax kick with the front part of the foot instead of the heel. You can also apply the 'walking away kick' while actually walking away without first doing the mae geri; it kind of feels like you're throwing an uppercut with your foot; if you ever played hacky-sack you know what I mean; the same movement you use to catch and kick in hacky-sack applies, but you keep the foot going up and throw it OUT like an uppercut fist. It's a rising kick that comes from an opponent who appears to be walking away. Killer.
     
  3. Pedantix

    Pedantix Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    Thanks for the advice. The foot position you showed me is the same we do so I assume we are talking about pretty much the same kick. We use the mi giri in the mid section (especially to the sternum) because, especially if your oponnent is not well conditioned, you can actually buckle or drop an opponent with it. It has to be a good fast hard one, but I've done it a few times and it can work really well. Under the ribs is another good one to (just somethin you might wanna mess around with). Although I do agree, it is Much more effective to the lower targets.

    The other kick you described sounds very interesting (and you did a wonderful job describing it, thank you). I absolutely love learning and playing around with new techniques (especially kicks, as they are my favorite), so I'll give this one a try. I do street self defense and grappling on Mondays and Wednesdays and Karate and Kickboxing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I won't be able to try it in sparring till tomorrow, but that's fine since I've only just heard of it and that will give me some time tonight to go through the motions. But I'll let you know how it goes for me and if I have any questions.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    442
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Germany
    Hello

    Been there, front kick is a favourite for me too. In my experience, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of toe smashage during a front kick.

    Firstly, look at the gap between the bottom of a persons elbow (when guard is up) and their hip bone. It's about 2 inches. Follow this gap around their middle in a band. This is the height to aim the kick. Aiming at this height on the centreline of the opponent's body makes the kick difficult to block with an elbow, as the opponent has to both twist and drop the elbow downwards, which is slow and awkward, and leaves them vulnerable. Kicking at this height has the added bonus of sending a shock wave rippling down into the groin area. Sickening.

    Secondly, aim to have the ball of the kicking foot travel in an absolutely straight line from the ground to the target. (Imagine viewing the kicker from the side - a straight diagonal line from ground to target) Do not allow any curvature of the path. Curved path = more upward kick = increased likelihood of elbow contact. Straight path = maximised angle of attack as close to 90 degree contact as possible + minimum likelihood of elbow contact.

    When this straighter kick does contact an elbow, it tends to be straight on with the ball of the foot, rather than the toes, causing the opponent to punch or elbow themselves. Much more fun.

    Lastly focus on fast, on target kicking, when a real opportunity is there. Resist the temptation to just whale away on a half exposed target.

    With regard to recovery, strapping is definitely the way to go. All hail the mighty zinc sports tape! You could experiment with vitamin supplements too, if you're into that sort of thing. :D
     
  5. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10,912
    Likes Received:
    7,209
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    Breaking your toe is like teething.
     
  6. Pedantix

    Pedantix Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    Gnarlie...
    Good advice. Thank you. The only thing I'm worried about with the ground-to-target line is it sliding up my target and turning into more of a push kick as opposed to the intended piercing type contact. Although I'm sure there's a happy medium in there I need to find. :)
     
  7. Pedantix

    Pedantix Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    Lol, this is true, but even my one year old daughter has ointments and beads to chew on. :uhyeah:
     
  8. jedtx88

    jedtx88 Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I learned to accept broken toes as a fact of life. I do miss the range of motion in my toes, now they only curl up and down. Gone are the days of turning door knobs with my feet.
     
  9. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,827
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Australia
    I smacked My Toe in once, doing just such a Kick. The Solution: Kick Straighter. I only had the Problem when I accidentally Kicked at a slight Upward Angle. It must be Straight.
     
  10. jedtx88

    jedtx88 Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    What sort of foot protection do you wear when you spar? I only ask because I used boots like these for a while and constantly injured my toes.

    http://www.centurymartialarts.com/Sparring_Gear/Boots/Student_Hi_Top_Boots.aspx

    After a while I switched to some martial armor in step and shin guards.

    http://www.centurymartialarts.com/sparring_gear/Shin_Guards/Martial_Armor_Shin_Instep_Armor.aspx

    I'm not sure if I just improved or if having my toes free enabled me to curl them properly, but I no longer injure my toes every week. Personally I don't really see the point in foot gear. It doesn't really make it any safer for whomever your sparring if you are throwing snap kicks.
     
  11. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,827
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Australia
    Im pretty sure Youre addressing the OP, but personally, Ive never worn Gear. However, when I used to Train ITF, some People did complain of those Shoes making it hard to bend their feet back, making midsection Front Kicks hard to do properly. Others didnt complain at all. That said, some People have more flexible toes than others. I, for example, find it hard to do horizontally connecting Turning Kicks with the Ball of the Foot if it isnt offset slightly. But others can just pull their toes back that far. Others cant do it at all without offsetting themselves way more than I do.
     
  12. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    When I spar, I wear these:

    http://www.amazon.com/Martial-Arts-Foot-Kick-Pads/dp/B000X66JD8

    Piranha Gear is better than the best of the foam-dipped stuff I've tried. Well worth it, IMHO.
     
  13. Pedantix

    Pedantix Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    I too started out with the foot "boot" and to me it felt very restrictive of my toes. Now I wear the shin instep ones with just a small pad on top of the foot. So I have full range of motion in my toes, but like Cyriacus was sayin, I think I just don't have that much flexibility in my toes.

    Which brings me to a related point... Does anyone know how to Gain flexibility in your toes? I regularly kneel down with them curled under my feet and sit on my heels to try to improve their movement, but I've been doing this for over a year and I don't think its really done any good. Any other methods?
     
  14. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    That's how I do it. Works for me. I'm not terribly flexible, I'm over 50, but I've been sitting on my toes for about 3 1/2 years now. I can curl 'em well back. Maybe 'cause I'm fat and can put more weight on 'em when I sit on them?
     
  15. Pedantix

    Pedantix Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Missoula, MT
    Lol, well I don't know about the weight aspect of it, but if it works for you maybe I just need to keep it up and be more diligent about it. Thanks!
     
  16. Native

    Native Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Interesting.. I've never considered toe flexibility. I guess I assumed all toes were pretty much created equally in that respect, but it makes sense some would be more flexible than others.

    I've also never worn protection on my feet, though my toes are often battered. It doesn't seem like the pads would help to protect toes in particular. I think placing your feet accurately and quickly when kicking might be the best bet for toe preservation.
     
  17. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    In competition, most rules require padding, whether one likes it or not. In dojo is up to the dojo, and of course everyone has their own personal preferences.
     
  18. Native

    Native Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Thanks for the info, Bill. I did not realize that was required often. Is it more for the protection of the person being kicked?

    I'm very careful and conscious of my toes because they are often injured. Fingers as well. We do sparring drills that are 4-5 vs 1 where the pace can be very fast; especially if you get surrounded. Kicks end up hitting knees/shins, fingers get jammed when using open hand techniques. Really not sure how to entirely avoid those injuries without turning down the intensity.

    -Adam
     
  19. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    Honestly, I don't know. Might also be for liability reasons. But every competition I've been in required head, hand, feet, mouth and groin (for men) protection. Shin guards are sometimes optional. Some tournaments allow a special kind of shoe (a certain brand, I forgot the name) and some only allow the foam type footguards; the half-covered cloth pads won't do.

    I know all about jamming my fingers, even with protection. Did it blocking a kick open-handed at a tournament last June; they still hurt - a lot. I've got a monster bruise on one shin I've had for over a year (you can't see it, it's on the bone, but it hurts if I press in on it) when I kicked a guy in dojo sparring and he blocked my kick with his shin. I had forgotten to put on my shin guards. Taught me a valuable and painful lesson.

    In our dojo, we have to wear feet and hands when we spar, the rest is usually optional (except groin protection for guys, and hey, if they want to sing soprano, whatever). If we're doing bagwork, it's up to the karateka what to wear. I wear bag gloves when doing uppercuts to the bag, otherwise nothing.

    However, I will say this; my toenails, for whatever reason, point UP instead of OUT. I keep them trimmed very short; I give myself pedicures like a girl; and still if I kick someone with my toes up, or if they step on my feet while sparring, they complain about my 'sharp toenails'. So if I put my feets on, no problems for them or me.123
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

marshal art yokogiri kick