The Plant Foot


White Belt
Dec 18, 2005
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My 16 year old daughter a 2nd dan Blackbelt began complaining a few months ago that her knees were bothering her. Gemini and myself outfitted her with Bio skin knee braces, to somewhat alleviate any potential problems in the future and i told her to take it easy, bring it down a notch in training.
The discomfort continued. I took her to the MD, where she was examined, x-rays taken. They found the x-rays to be negative. An Mri was next to see around the knee cap for any potential damage to the miniscus, or the patella. Again negative. The chiropractor and physical therapist soon followed. she was told to take a few weeks off perhaps too much stress upon the knees in all the kicking we do at TKD.
Following said advice worked for a while, then flared up again, and i noticed where the stress on the knees was coming from.
watching her kick, i found that 1 she was locking her knee up on her plant foot delivering a round house. 2, upon delivery of the kick the plant foot was flatfooted and not edged or bent on the ball of her foot. I quickly intervened and asked her if that was where the discomfort occured mostly in training. The answer was indeed a yes. the stress on the knee from bad technique would carry over as pain in her daily lifestyle.
We are going back to the drawing board, breaking down her delivery back to the basics, going over the pivot, the plant the execution .
To any Instructors out there, something you may want to take a look at on your lower belt students. Keep an eye out, even on the higher belted students its not that it was bad Instruction, sometimes we just fall into a lil rut and need to be re-tooled.
Something i thought i would share with you all.



Master Black Belt
Sep 29, 2005
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Huntington, WV
Thatnks for telling us about it, Knightmayre. Only 4 posts in at the moment and already giving good advice. Who knew? lol

It's so easy to overlook the little things sometimes. Then, when it leads to something glaringly bad or painful, we wonder why we never picked up on it.

I'm glad you've found the root of the issue and made corrections. Hope your daughter is kicking her best in no time.


Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Apr 12, 2005
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The Desert
Such a minor cliche in her style over such a long period of time caused the problem. Hopefully with proper attention to detail, she'll be back to full health soon. That's the problem with baggy uniforms. The difference between keeping your knee slightly bent or locked is very difficult to tell. If we worked out in shorts or something, someone would probably have picked up on it much sooner.

Personally, That's also one reason I prefer bare feet over shoes. On the mat, the grip is so strong that it adds too much torque on the plant leg during pivot, but that's a preference issue. May want to throw it out there though.


Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Aug 29, 2001
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Athol, Ma. USA
As has ben aid sometimes we miss the small things and they becom a bad habit, Thanks for the information I shall have to take a close look at my students tomorrow.
Lets hope that your seeing this inher technique ends her problem