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  1. #1

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    Avoiding judo knee injuries as uke?

    Hi everyone, I came across some judo knee injury videos, in which it looks like the cause is bad throwing technique(looks like tai otoshi) by tori.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=U505Kphr_pY
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BWJ5J5oJr0
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8_jTh-84h0

    It looks like uke has no chance to ukemi in those videos. I was wondering if there was anything I could do if I am uke to protect myself from injuries like that if tori uses bad throwing technique like in the videos?

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  3. #3
    blackmonk's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I wrote quite a bit about preventing and rehabbing knee injuries in a thread a while back... I'm a CSCS and have had multiple knee injuries, so it's an area of passive expertise.

    I don't really know that there's anything you can do to prevent knee injuries in training, other than doing supplemental strength work. My left knee has been torn twice; once was from a sloppy tani otoshi, and the other was from an ouchi gari that also trapped my foot, in competition. My right knee was torn from a really good tai otoshi that made contact across my kneecap.

  4. #4
    solves problems with violence supporting member
    Ming Loyalist's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    IMO (as an accident prone ************, just become a supporting member and read my training blog) the best defense against knee injury is to leave your ego at the dojo door and be prepared to jump, yes JUMP for even the weakest white belt or over-aggressive black belt the moment you even think your knee is in danger.

    there is no winning or losing in randori. you can and should point out after the fact that you jumped because your knee was in danger (people have to know when they make that sort of mistake, so they can stop endangering training partners) but you need to watch out for #1 and take the fall, preferably on your back and with a healthy mat slap. even in tournament, one also has to accept when one is *not* fighting for olympic gold, and realize that losing the match is better than 3 months of knee rehab and a lifetime aversion to cold, damp weather.

    now, i know that your post is about when you have *no chance* to ukemi, sometimes you don't have time to jump, and sometimes your knee just decides to slip out of place on its own, and there's nothing you could have done, but when you have a chance to escape with a wounded ego rather than a wounded knee, take it.

    making your knees more stable is a good idea for prevention, free weight squats are a good exercise for that, and making sure that your legs are well stretched out and that some muscles in your legs are not pulling on your knee and causing it to be weak in certain directions (this is especially true with calves, hamstrings and IT bands in my experience.)

    my newest thing is to use a foam roller on my legs every day, as my calves and IT bands seem to have it in for my knees. YMMV, try to see where the trouble spots are in your legs before it becomes an issue. muscular imbalance is not your friend. i have over-developed quads and calves (thanks fencing and skateboarding) and they put a lot of torque on my knees that i would really rather not have.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
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  5. #5
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    BKR's Avatar
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    On Your Toes ************ !

    Ming Loyalist covered it pretty darned well. The whole ego thing in randori is huge. As a black belt, I have had to deal with it...and when it's a rusty ikkyu who thinks he will "prove" himself in front of the class, it's usually quite a show.

    Overall physical advice: keep your knees flexed, and stay on the balls of your feet, ************ ! Anything else is crappy basics anyway. And check the matting/tatami for cracks, lumps, humps, loose tape, etc.

    What I write below uses judo terminology, but could apply to any type of grappling.

    1.) Situational Awareness: Pay attention to who you are or will train/compete with. Watch them do uchikomi or whatever other drills before you grab them to drill or do randori or before the match. If they are overly aggressive, rough, or just plain suck (beginners? The deadly young adult orange or green belt? ), then be ready to take extra care. Don't trust all that "jita kyoei" (mutual welfare) stuff, most judoka today probably have not heard of it.

    If you are in your own dojo you should have a good idea of who does what and how well or badly. The head coach/sensei should be dealing with crappy technique and attitude before it becomes a problem. But from what I hear and see nowadays, don't count on that, especially if you are visiting another dojo, or at a shiai.

    Avoid or be ready to deal with the dangerous potential training partners. Whatever type of hacker he/she is, if you have to work with them, I have over the years done this: Tell them you have a sore <insert body part> and request they do not do <insert throw/uchikomi or whatever>.

    2.) Stay on the balls of your feet, knees flexed, ************ (yes, I repeat myself). Over the years that and situational awareness and being willing to jump have saved my knees dozens of times (except once, resulting in ACL recon...but that's another story).

    3.) Throws to look out for, mostly ashi waza but a couple of sutemi waza

    1. Tai Otoshi
    2. Tani Otoshi
    3. Any "gari" type throw
    4. Any "gake" type throw
    5. Yoko Otoshi (bad on shoulders/heads too!), Uki Otoshi
    Last edited by BKR; 1/31/2014 12:44pm at . Reason: Can't Spell or grammar
    Falling for Judo since 1980

  6. #6

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I personally wear knee wraps under my gi. Knees are always bent. And always pay attention to what their doing. Regardless this is a martial art and you may get hurt. Just take little steps to prevent injury. That being said the person should be aware of the uke and aid them through the throw. Doesn't always happen that that's how it should be.

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  7. #7
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    I think sometimes it is impossible to avoid some form of injuries specially in this type of sport.One of my fried tried Ju-Jitsu for years and further he never experience any back or knee pain.

  8. #8

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    Kinda bumping an old thread here but I want to re-emphasize BKR's emphasized post on staying on your toes. I planted on my heels and a uncoordinated but enthusiastic white belt ended up derping his throw and instead fell sideways on my planted leg. Now I probably don't have an intact ACL. Bend your knees, stay on your toes.

  9. #9

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    Dude, hope you're alright. As someone who has fucked up my MCL on multiple occasions, it totally sucks.

    Yes, stay on the balls on your feet. And if in doubt just jump and make sure your feet don't get stuck on the mat as you're being torqued. I'm super aware of this, and haven't ever had my knee go sideways being thrown. Goofy scrambles while under a little load however, seem to screw me every couple of years.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by RynoGreene View Post
    Dude, hope you're alright. As someone who has fucked up my MCL on multiple occasions, it totally sucks.

    Yes, stay on the balls on your feet. And if in doubt just jump and make sure your feet don't get stuck on the mat as you're being torqued. I'm super aware of this, and haven't ever had my knee go sideways being thrown. Goofy scrambles while under a little load however, seem to screw me every couple of years.
    One doc said LCL, another ACL. We'll see what the MRI says. Might need surgery. Oh well, **** happens. I am mostly just pissed about the missed training.

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