Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Warning: this next posting has a gross factor

Ah.. the experiences of training in martial arts:

Throughout class, my young partner looked down at my left foot with compassion in his eyes and asked me if my dark toe was hurting me. I had to explain to him that I had injured the toe a few weeks ago during seminar, and although it looked pretty hurt, it didn't hurt me at all. I assured him that it just felt strange, like I had a second toe over the first one.. and that I would just need to be gentle with that foot.

Everything went normal during class, until it was time for kata. I surged into my cross-footed stance ( x stance/ Kosa dachi) at the kiai point, and I felt a pop down there on my big toe. I'm guessing that the force of the stance, and the position of the toes was too much for my injured big toenail, and it just burst like a blister. Instantly I looked down to see that there was blood, and water streaming out of my toe onto the floor leaving a fair sized puddle around my foot with my toenail standing straight up in the air. I collapsed into a seated position, and applied pressure onto the toenail to lower the amount of liquid seeping out, and I huddled around the mess so that no one would accidently move into it as they continued their kata. I did this silently... The black belts near me kept on doing their kata, but adjusted their position so that they gave me room. I could see them casting quick concerned glances in my direction to see if I was o.k.

The kata ended quickly. I unfolded to reveal the mess on the floor. I'm telling you.. the warp speed response that I had from the other people. Within seconds I had 6 people offer me bandages, antiseptic cleanser, paper towels (wet and dry) I had made sure that I had wiped up the blood colored water off of the ground before I took care of my foot. One person brought me a full out first aid kit. My little compassionate young partner was at my side with deep concern in his eyes asking me if it hurt yet. Well.. of course that brought a smile to my lips, and I said "Oh no.. it isn't hurting, it just released some extra stuff so now it's clean, and even better.." O.K... so I stretched the truth a little. My toe was sharply stinging like it had been stung by a scorpion but my little friend didn't need to know that. The whole dojo surrounded me with caring concern. Although it was a nice feeling, I really needed the space to just take care of my foot. You know what? It's like they all felt that need, and now that they could see that I was o.k., they backed away, and went on with finishing class.

Within a few minutes I was sporting a nice white bandage on my toe, and I was lightly limping my way out of the dojo to go and get changed.

I'm going to lose the whole nail on that toe.. Will it stay gone? Am I going to have a "bald" big toe on my left foot?


[Mat] said...

I can imagine their concern.
And ouch.

Do toenails grow back?

supergroup7 said...

I don't know if they grow back when they are THAT badly damaged. I've had my nail folded back about halfway, and my nail was fine after a couple of weeks.

According to this website:


"Once a nail separates from the nail bed for whatever reason, it will not reattach. A new nail will have to grow back in its place. Nails grow back slowly. It takes about 6 months for a fingernail and up to 18 months for a toenail to grow back."

18 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Mat] said...


18 months. Talk about a cat without claws

Good news is they do grow back. :)

Yonjuhachi Ronin said...

Don't worry... it'll likely grow back... but you'll always have a cool story.

Once I was invited to participate in a training trip to Japan with an eminent sensei. As it was my first time there I also wanted to train at the world headquarters and the dojo of the founder but I didn't want to insult my sponsor. I waited until later in the month and continued the six hour a day training at the host dojo. In order to also train at the hombu dojo I had to get up earlier and get to the 6 AM class there and then catch trains to make the 9 AM start time with my host. For better or worse I had also decided not to mention it to my host sensei.

The karmic retribution is that during my first visit to the hombu I broke my right big toe! I taped it up and rushed to my other class. That day the entire morning session was practicing shomen cuts with a boken which demanded pounding forward on to my right foot. I wondered if the sensei knew everything but I didn't dare show any discomfort. Since then I can tell you when its going to snow by how that joint feels!!!