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JWT's picture
Protecting your knee


In response to a discussion I had online with a fellow karateka in Germany, Dan White and I spent a fair bit of time at the end of one of my Shotokan classes talking through the different dynamics of stepping. Dan kindly agreed to demonstrate for me in a short video which is designed to show in a few minutes how to avoid common faults that have the potential to cause knee damage.

Here's the video:

Hope you like it.

All the best.



karate10's picture

I saw the video not long ago on YouTube....Good advice and I see from other dojos that students tends to go too deep with their Zenkutsu Dachi which can cause knee problems down the road. I keep mines in a steady base, back leg straight and bend knee in the front.

Kim's picture

Excellent advice and demonstration.  I only wish I had seen it sooner and been told these things from the time I started - I feel like I could have avoided the knee problems that I have today. 

I think a lot of it comes down to the importance of function over form.  For example, the long front stance demonstrated, where a lack of hip flexibility leads to the poor knee position.  I think we'd do better to start students in shorter stances where they have the flexibility to move properly, and allow them to deepen/lengthen their stances as their flexibility permits.  Rather than the usual "it must be 2 shoulder widths long", and people are trying to fit that standard from day 1 when their bodies might not be able to do it safely.  Something I'm now very conscious of as I teach new students.

karate10's picture

The "2 shoulder width" deal is not at all good for new students, let alone doing so with many repetition because in time, your knee will feel that pain and can carry on throughout the course of your MA training.....When my Shihan from time to time ask me to lead class in moving basics I tell students to be mindful on how to have a steady base with your stances so you don't go too deep 2 shoulder and beyond that, nor standing to high, but make sure your movements is fluid as you progress in training which takes time.