Safest MA style post-ACL injury?
In the last couple of years, I have blown out both my ACLs (1. landed badly from a jump split kick, 2. lunged forward while sparring and my weight shifted badly) and had (patellar ligament) surgery to repair them. After the first one and physical therapy, I went back to my old style. You can see how well that worked.
At this point, if I tear one of my ACLs again, the surgery repair will be a best-outcome day-to-day function, not good enough for athletic activity.
But I want to go back to training. More carefully, though!
I'm looking for something interesting (preferably not Tai Chi) and physically challenging that's good on the knees. That means fewer cutting and twisting activities (like landing from jump spin kicks).
I have read that Judo and Tae Kwon Do are both very bad for this. One of my friends recommended Aikido, but it's hard to find actual information on injury rates.
Any links to actual statistics for ACL injury rates compared between MA styles would be awesome!
Last edited by kickgrrl; 6/13/2010 6:52pm at .
I don’t have statistics, but only anecdotal comments, so take this for what it’s worth: A lot of people seem to regard BJJ as a pretty good option that causes a great deal less stress on the knees than judo. (Of course, some submissions actually attack the knees, but (1) these are taught and allowed only at higher levels and (2) so long as you ask your training partners to be mindful and don’t roll with assholes, you should be good.)
As someone with similar knee injuries I can tell you that BJJ is very hard on the knees when they are already injured. Truth is most arts are gonna be hard on the knees at this point. Where are you located btw? Might be easier giving you recommendations if we know where you are. That said with knee supports and a good teacher you could probably manage BJJ. Also consider good old western boxing. A weapons art like Kali or Escrima might be worth a try too. Good luck.
Short answer - yes, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but also consider boxing.
I have also blown an ACL and had multiple knee surgeries and been told that I can't do twisting, explosive sports anymore. I already had this condition when I first got into Martial Arts, and began with a stand-up style that was beyond me athletically.
From there I took up western boxing, and given its emphasis on the upper body and keeping the feet in a set stance solidly underneath one's trunk, found that it didn't bother my knees in the slightest. Absolutely no problems at all in fact.
However, age and speed were a problem - I was almost twice the age of most of the guys I was sparring with and getting the snot beaten out of me every time I stepped in the ring. So I decided to take up judo instead. Within two months, I was regularly icing my knees after randori in which someone had decided to use them as a fulcrum before slamming my face into the ground.
Ne waza, though, was a different story, and I found that I could use my old man strength and significant store of accumulated bile to great advantage on the mat. Subsequently, I have taken up bjj, and though I have had my knees banged a couple of times (mostly from letting my legs get too rigid while trying to pass someone's guard), I find that of all the arts I've tried so far, it takes the least toll physically, mostly due to the fact that you can tap the second you don't like what's happening. You can't really do that when a right cross is hurtling towards your face, or you suddenly find yourself loaded onto the back of some gorilla judoka.
Judo is really cool and I still intend to go to classes as often as I can, but for me at least, bjj seems to be the art I have most chance of participating in long term.
I also own a wide variety of knee braces and have a new one on the way. I should probably start a knee brace review thread, as plenty of people on here seem to share similar problems.
Good luck, and I hope you find something that works for you. You could always buy a gun.
I would also add that its not just the art you train in but who you train with and how they adapt to your needs. I would think you could train in almost anything you want if you listen to your body and have an instructor and sparring partners who are receptive
Just an idea but I've been doing Prasara Yoga for the last year and one flow in particular, Flock of Pigeons, has caused significant improvement to my knees strength and mobility. Might be worth your while to check it out. As to a little background in my own knee injuries. Its primarily my left knee. Lateral ligaments torn and stretched, anterior half torn and maniscus(sp) completely torn. Right knee has some damage as well but is currently undiagnosed. I have not had any surgeries to date and have primarily used helot massage and conditioning to rehab and treat my knees.